First Scottish International Conference on Armed Forces in Society

date and time icon 22 Aug 2024 9:00 AM  to  28 Aug 2024 5:00 PM Location of Event Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus 219 Colinton Road Edinburgh EH14 1DJ

Edinburgh Napier University’s Centre for Military Research, Education & Public Engagement, in partnership with the Scottish Armed Forces Evidence & Research Hub (SAFE&R), are delighted to host Scotland's inaugural conference on Armed Forces in Society. 

About the Conference 

'Identity, Purpose and Belonging: The First Scottish International Conference on Armed Forces in Society' will be a combination of research seminars, colloquiums, workshops and public events that will take place at the end of Edinburgh's Festival Season. 

The Conference is designed to offer delegates the opportunity to engage with peer, international and UK based, researchers and practitioners from a wide variety of disciplines - from Military Sociology to Strategic Studies, Art and Engagement to Veterans Affairs. We hope to provide the opportunity for researchers from around the world to share their work at our Craiglockhart Campus, in the Southeast of Edinburgh. 

Known as the Craiglockhart War Hospital from 1916-1919, Craiglockhart became famous as the site of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owens first meeting as poets. In addition to exploring our poetic heritage, delegates will have the opportunity to explore some of Edinburgh’s historic culture and the heritage of our armed forces community within Scotland while at the conference.

The Centre for Military Research, Education and Public Engagement was established in 2020 with an aim to consolidate existing knowledge through the development of a collaborative community of research and practice.  In partnership with Scottish Armed Forces Evidence and Research (SAFE&R) our mission is to harness the combined knowledge of multiple academic institutions and military practitioners to provide rigorous analysis and incisive commentary that contributes to sound, evidence based military policy and practice.  

This conference is sponsored by the Veterans’ Foundation who have also funded the creation and continued development of SAFE&R.

Over the course of the conference the Centre for Military Research, Education and Public Engagement is pleased to participate in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, through launching Forces at the Fringe. This will be a series of public events and exhibitions, hosted both at Craiglockhart and other Fringe Venues, that aim to connect and critically examine the role of armed forces in our society. The full programme will be launched after the main Festival Fringe Society Launch in June. 

Conference Theme 

The Conference is a combination of research seminars, colloquiums and workshops, each day has its own unique theme.

  • Day 1 (22 August) - International Arrivals/Conference Registration & Doctoral Day and Military History
  • Day 2 (23 August) - Arts & Humanities in the Armed Forces
  • Day 3 (26 August) - Armed Forces Covenant & Transition
  • Day 4 (27 August) - Armed Forces Family & Child, Transition, Employment & Life Long Learning
  • Day 5 (28 August) - Health, Mental Health & Wellbeing

Call for Papers 

We invite original research and in-depth conceptual papers on the conference theme, ‘Identity, Purpose and Belonging: The First Scottish International Conference on Armed Forces in Society’ as well as research in the areas of, including but not limited to:

  • Armed Forces and Veterans’ Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Veteran Housing
  • Transitioning from the Transition
  • Service Children
  • Service Families
  • Service and Supporting Charities
  • Elderly Veterans
  • Military, Veterans and Military Families’ Education (HW/FE/Schools)
  • Post-Military and Veteran Employment
  • Cyber Security
  • Military History
  • The Role of Military Reservists in Society
  • Urban & Rural Considerations for Military Veterans and their Families
  • Female Veterans
  • Veterans in Prison
  • LGBTQ+ within the Military and Veteran Communities
  • The impact of Devolution on Armed Forces Support
  • Military Art
  • Public Engagement
  • Military Sociology
  • Critical Military Studies

On 22 August, devoted to Military Histories, there is an opportunity for a panel addressing veteran identities or regimental identities from the 19th century onwards. If you are interested, please could you submit a panel proposal which includes three presenters speaking for 20 minutes each and a chair. Please provide a Title and Abstract for each paper (abstracts of up to 250 words) and a brief summary CV of each participant.

On the 23 August, devoted to Arts and the Armed Forces, there is an opportunity for panels addressing:

  • Arts for Veterans
  • Military Art for Strategic Engagement
  • Art as a tool to maintain or create Regimental Identities
  • Military Sociology
  • Critical Military Studies 

On 23 August, devoted to cultural representations (literature, film, television, art, etc) of modern conflict (c.1800 to the present), individual paper or panel proposals are welcomed. If you are interested, please provide a title and abstract (up to 250 words) for each participant.  If you are submitting a panel proposal, please include a brief explanation (150 words) of the rationale for the panel.  You should also include a brief summary CV of each participant. 

Further information about abstract submission here >

Key Dates

• Submissions open now
• Submissions deadline: 6 May 2024
• Submissions of revised paper summary: 15 July 2024
• Registration deadline: 31 July 2024

• Conference: 22 - 28 August 2024


Further information

For further information about the conference please visit the Conference website or contact: