Countering the Militarization of Youth Conference 2012

International Conference Germany 2012 (pulled from the website)

Darmstadt, 8-10 June 2012

In Europe, and to some degree on a global level, there are presently two trends which both contribute to an increased militarisation of youth. The first is the end (or, more exactly, the suspension) of conscription in most European countries. The second is an increasing “normalisation of war” stemming from the ‘war on terror and the use of military force as a means of politics. Both trends reinforce each other in strengthening the militarisation of youth from an early age- something we are committed to working against.

The project, which includes an international meeting in Germany, and a post-conference publication, hopes to bringing together activists from all over the world.

The aim is to foster an ongoing regional and multi-regional network of cooperating anti-militarist organisations. The overarching objective of the conference is strengthening the work against the militarisation of youth in Europe (and beyond) by providing opportunities for people to exchange skills and experience of working in this field and to create/strengthen networks and relationships across the region.


The militarisation of youth takes many forms. The project aims to analyse the different ways youth are militarised, and will also look at strategies to resist the militarisation of youth.

Although we have separated out several different issues and types of resistance we aim to bring core themes of analysis to each topic including but not limited to;

  • Class,
  • Race,
  • Ethnicity.

• Nationalism and patriotism:

Looking at the privileging of the military as a normal and essential part of maintaining and sustaining the nation state. How can the legitimacy of challenging violence be maintained when it is de-legitimised as a threat to security and presented as destructive to society as a whole?

• Culture of militarism:

Attendees will be encouraged to participate in ‘mapping’ the global militarist culture whilst sharing strategies for challenging the cultural prevalence of militarism and discussing the provision of peaceful or non-violent alternatives.

• Military recruitment strategies:

Discussion on current military recruitment strategies will occur throughout the conference, however contemporary and emerging trends in recruitment will feature heavily.

• Military in public spaces:

Looking at both long-standing and emerging ways in which the military encroach on public spaces, developing an analysis of the situation as it currently stands and sharing resistance strategies.

• Military masculinities:

Time will be set aside to look at the ways in which militarism undermines diversity with gender binarism and the increased recruitment of women and LGBTIQ people

• Military in education:

The ways that the military access school age children for example with cadet/youth programmes or collaboratively with curricular and extra curricular activities and recent (under) funding of Universities exploited by the military with ‘tied scholarships’.


Within the peace and anti-war movements, there are many different approaches to challenging and resisting the presence and recruitment tactics of the Armed Forces.

During the conference sharing and exploring strategies for increased resistance of the militarisation of youth- both in Europe and beyond- will take prominence.

Attention will be given to;

  • Military Out of Schools
  • Conscientious objection
  • Countering military recruitment
  • Veterans For Peace
  • Resistance by women and Queer people
  • Working with disadvantaged youth to prevent recruitment of vulnerable groups

Application Process

Filling out and returning the attached Registration of Interest from will not automatically guarantee you a place at the ‘Countering the Militarisation of Youth Conference’ it will however mean that we have your contact details so that we can communicate with you about the development of the project and offer you a place when they become available.

More information: