Violence in Human Society

Wednesday, 14. October 2009 | 10:45 Uhr


Kurt R. Spillmann


ETH and University Zurich


In the pursuit of power, violence is a dominant factor. Within the last generations, mankind developed weapons which are much more effective than the people’s ability to control them. The 21st century is challenged by the imperative: If we want to survive, we have to find ways to curtail violence”, according to Prof. R. Spillmann. In addition, he called on the roughly 130 participants of the Dialogue on Science to develop a fundamental road map which will show ways to reduce violence.

Kurt R. Spillmann

Kurt R. Spillmann has shaped the analysis of conflicts and their causes in Switzerland like no one else before him: as professor, author and public expert. In 1986 he was appointed Full Professor for Security Policy and Conflict Research at the ETH, he founded and headed the Research Unit for Security Policy and Conflict Analysis (FSK). He also initiated the establishment of the Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS), which has grown to include ten professorships today and brings together the competencies of the ETH and Zurich University.

For many years, he held the rank of colonel in the army and was head of the Military Sciences department. In addition, Kurt Spillmann can look back on some important achievements as consultant.: For example, he made a substantial contribution to the modernization and opening up of Switzerland’s security policy in the nineties.

Since his appointment as Emeritus Professor in 2002, he has had more time to pursue his special interests: the psychological and social backgrounds to war and peace: For example, the interdisciplinary links between ecology and political conflicts – in particular water-related conflicts – and the development of the new generation. But he does not necessarily do this at his domicile in Zurich. Since his studies in Rome, Kurt Spillmann has had a special affinity for Italy: And in the last few years, he has put down additional roots with his wife in Cortona, Tuscany.

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