Sustaining Peace 2013

Peace-Event-2013-sidebar-v1Sustaining Peace: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Showcasing cutting-edge interdisciplinary work in conflict resolution, violence prevention, peace and sustainability at Columbia University

This event was held on
Thursday, October 24, 2013

from 1:30pm to 9:30pm
at Teachers College, Columbia University




Watch the Keynote Address by Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee


Watch the Book Talk with Robin Vallacher, Peter Coleman & Larry Liebovitch


Workshop Titles and Presenters

Photovoice and Sustainable Peace

Facilitator: Daniel Jack Lyons MPH, International Community Health Research Consultant, and Adjunct Professor of Medical Anthropology Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

10 Mistakes Crisis & Hostage Negotiators Have Made (& How You Can Avoid Them)

Facilitator: Jeff Thompson, Research Fellow, Columbia University Law School; PhD candidate, Griffith University Law School

World Peace Game and Complexity

Facilitator: Molly Clark Education Program Manager, International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, Doctoral Student Adult Learning and Leadership, Teachers College

Mapping Stakeholders, Issues, and Opportunities in Environmental Conflicts

Facilitator: Dr. Joshua Fisher, a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Earth Institute, and adjunct faculty in the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program at Columbia University

Embracing Complexity: The future of sustainability in Policy, Business and Finance through the lens of dynamical systems

Facilitator: Nikolas Katsimpras, AC4 DST Fellow and Alumnus of the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Masters Program

Teaching and Learning Systems Thinking

Facilitator: Tucker Harding of the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning and doctoral candidate in Communication and Education

Taking a Communication Perspective for Sustainable Peace

Facilitator: Dr. Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Faculty and Director of the MS in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and Co-Director of AC4 and member of the Cosmopolis 2045

Download the workshop presentation slides

Using Creativity to Establish Sustainable Peace and Conflict Resolution

Facilitator: Adam Jacobs (Executive Director and Founder) and Suzu McConnell-Wood (Program Director) Kids Creative

Land-Based Practices for Sustainable Wellness and Peace: Youth Centered Initiatives from Vancouver, BC

Facilitators: Jeffrey Schiffer, PhD Candidate; Special Projects Officer, Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFSS); Murray Anderson LIFT Supervisor, Pacific Community Resources Society; Youth Mentors: Davina, Scott, Cheyanne and Brenda

Poster Session Presentations

Land Reform and Strategies to Win Elections in Zimbabwe

Presenter: Lauren Young, PhD Student, Department of Political Science; AC4 Graduate Student Fellow

Description: Under what conditions do politicians use violence to affect electoral outcomes? Specifically, how does the availability of patronage resources affect the incidence of electoral violence? In this dissertation, I will use variation in land reform driven by plausibly exogenous variation in colonial land laws to identify the impact of patronage through Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Program on levels of violence during the elections from 2000 to 2013. This project combines several data sets on political violence and land reform collected by Zimbabwean civil society groups and scholars with original data collection to test potential mechanisms driving the relationship between patronage and violence.

Alliances, Capability Aggregation, and Military Effectiveness

Presenter: Sara Bjerg Moller Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, Columbia University; Predoctoral Fellow Institute for Security and Conflict Studies Elliott School of International Affairs The George Washington University; AC4 Graduate Student Fellow

Description: this project seeks to understand when and why states choose to fight as an alliance or coalition, as well as the influence the institutional makeup of these security arrangements has on military effectiveness.

Genocide Prevention in Kenya: Interagency Coordination and Competition

Presenter: Meg Sullivan, M.S Student, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution; AC4 Graduate Student Fellow

Description: As an AC4 fellow, Meg studied early warning technologies and early warning response systems in Kenya. In particular, she investigated the state of interagency coordination (between government, NGO and international actors) around these technologies in the aftermath of the March 2013 elections.

The Debate over Post-War Justice in Sri Lanka

Presenter: Kate Cronin-Furman, PhD candidate in Political Science; AC4 Graduate Student Fellow

Description: Kate used the AC4 funds to travel to Sri Lanka in July-August, 2013 to investigate debates over accountability for war crimes allegedly committed at the end of the civil war in 2009. This research will be used to construct a key case study for her dissertation: “Bargaining over Justice: Accountability in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocity.”

Exploring Social Identity Complexity among Arab-American Muslim Youth

Presenter: Jennifer C. Hull, Saad A. Saad and Kaleigh Schwalbe, M.S Students, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Description: As AC4 graduate fellows, Saad, Kaleigh and Jen used qualitative methods to explore Social Identity Complexity (SIC) among Arab-American Muslim youth. SIC, a theoretical construct developed by Sonia Roccas and Marilynn Brewer in 2002, refers to individuals’ subjective representations of the interactions of their various ingroups. Low perceptions of overlap and similarity between ingroups are thought to be associated with an identity structure that is more inclusive and complex, and early studies supported the prediction that certain SIC scores may be related to tolerance of outgroup members. This particular research project also takes into account how experiences as varied as 9/11 backlash or growing up in the United States as an immigrant may play a role in subjects’ Social Identity Complexity.

Strengthening Sources of Stability: Exploring the Impact of Water Management Initiatives in Host Communities

Presenter: Heather Olsson, M.I.A student, School of International and Public Affairs Security Policy, AC4 Graduate Student Fellow

Description: In partnership with a graduate student team from Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution, my research analyzes how the USAID-funded Community-Based Initiatives for Water Demand Management (CBIWDM) addresses water scarcity concerns in Jordan. The study seeks to understand how community-based organizations, as a major component of civil society, have implemented the CBIWDM project, in addition to their role of helping Jordanians meet new challenges from the Syrian refugee influx. Within this framework, the long term strategy of international organizations to engage and aid Syrian refugees was also examined.

The International Criminal Court in Ongoing Conflict

Presenter: Michael Broache, PhD Student, Department of Political Science, AC4 Graduate Student Fellow

Description: Michael Broache’s research examines whether, how, and under what conditions International Criminal Court prosecutions initiated during ongoing conflict affect civilian victimization, conflict intensity, and conflict duration. Michael is developing case studies of the impact of ICC prosecutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, and Uganda and is using AC4 funds to support fieldwork.

Conceptualizations of and Experiences with War: Perspectives of Former Combatants in Post-Conflict Liberia

Presenter: Katherine Rodrigues, MPA-DP Student, AC4 Graduate Student Fellow

Description: Ms. Rodrigues’ research explores the dynamics of poverty and violence in post-conflict Liberia through a series of semi-structured interviews with former child soldiers. Her research aims to gain an understanding of former combatants’ conceptualizations of, and experiences with, war as well as mechanisms for change.

Disaster Risks and Impacts on Economic Resilience: Vulnerability Assessment of Supply Chains To Flood Risks Using a Network Approach

Presenter: Masahiko Haraguchi, PhD Student, Environmental Engineering, AC4 Graduate Student Fellow

Description: As an AC4 fellow, Masa would like to investigate the vital components of economic systems that are resilient to disasters. By understanding how companies are responding to natural hazards, Masa would like to examine the role of private sectors and the environmental policy to bolster economic security. In particular, his study will focus on the resilience of supply chains to flood risks.

Teaching in Times of Exception

Presenter: Cathlin Goulding, Doctoral Student at Teachers College, Columbia University

Description: This research takes up Giorgio Agamben’s theorizing around the “state of exception,” or states in which new laws and provisions are folded into the legal order in the name of national security or emergency. The research engages a series of projects attempting to teach the American public about two different states of exception, Guantanamo Bay Prison and the Japanese American internment. The projects include such sites as Gone GITMO, a video game-like re-creation of Guantanamo, and the Tule Lake Pilgrimage, an annual visitation to the site of a former Japanese internment camp. The study explores the design thinking behind these projects and how such projects can be fruitful arenas for teaching and learning. How can experiences be designed to help the public think and feel the state of exception?

Pending Title

Presenter: Raul Sanchez de la Sierra, PhD Student Economics, AC4 Graduate Student Fellow

Description: As an AC4 fellow, Raul studied war and stationary bandits in the Congo. He trained a team of 6 Congolese surveyors, and obtained with them data on the local economy and institutions dating back to 1990 for 100 villages of the Kivus. He exploited unusual world shocks to study how armed groups’ institutions respond to endowments. Based on the trade-offs faced by criminal organizations in this context, the project aimed at providing empirical evidence on the motives leading the initial stages of state formation.

Skills of Effective Mediators: Research & Practical Implications

Presenter: Jeff Thompson, a certified international mediator and New York City Police Department (NYPD) detective

Description: This presenter shares recent scientific data collected as part of the presenter’s PhD research on nonverbal communication and mediators in relation to rapport, trust, and professionalism. The three are skills previous research has demonstrated as being possessed by effective mediators. The information, provided by mediators across the world, is structured around the METTA acronym (Movement, Environment, Touch, Tone, and Appearance) created as part of the research.

Tables at the Information Session

International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR) at Teachers College is an innovative center committed to developing knowledge and practice to promote constructive conflict resolution, effective cooperation, and social justice. We partner with individuals, groups, organizations, and communities to create tools and environments from which conflicts can be resolved constructively and just and peaceful relationships can develop. We work with sensitivity to cultural differences and emphasize the links between theory, research, and practice. Our training and work with the community is rooted in our scholarship.

M.S in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (NECR) is the only graduate degree program in conflict resolution in New York City. It combines theory and applied skills practice to prepare students to constructively address conflict and make a positive difference in the world through building community within the program and the field and developing new frames of how to observe, interpret and make meaning. Students in the program have opportunities to both expand and focus their interests through coursework and applied research, as well as gain rich practical experience through fieldwork opportunities.

Center for International Conflict Resolution (CICR) at SIPA contributes to the resolution of international deadly conflict through research, education and practice. CICR strives to increase understanding of international conflicts through innovative, collaborative research and is committed to offering courses that disseminate knowledge about conflicts and their causes. CICR’s research, education, and practice, inform one another creating a unique synergy that enriches each element of the Center’s work. CICR also coordinates efforts of academics and practitioners from governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations in joint research and action.

Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at SIPA was founded in 1951 under the sponsorship of Dwight D. Eisenhower during his tenure as president of Columbia University. Members of the Institute offer courses on American foreign policy, national security, international politics, political economy, environmental policy, and international organizations.

International Security Policy Concentration (ISP) at SIPA is designed for students interested in defense policy, military strategy, arms control, conflict resolution, and peacekeeping, coercion, and alternatives to the use of force. Coursework provides a conceptual foundation for understanding international conflict and the political, economic and military components of policies, and capabilities for coping with the possibility of war, as well as expertise for analyzing specific functional and regional security issues.

Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) at The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and SIPA was established in 1978 at Columbia University. ISHR is committed to its three core goals of providing excellent human rights education to Columbia students, fostering innovative interdisciplinary academic research, and offering its expertise in capacity building to human rights leaders, organizations, and universities around the world.

Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research: The CHRDR supports the community of teachers, students, researchers, and law and social justice advocates working in the multidisciplinary sphere of human rights. The Center pursues three programmatic directions: building research collections, supporting and engaging in human rights education efforts, and developing events and collaborations related to human rights documentation and research. The Center is the official repository for the archives of major human rights organizations such as Amnesty International USA, the Committee of Concerned Scientists, Human Rights First, and Human Rights Watch. The Center was established in 2005 and is based in the Columbia University Libraries and Information Services.

Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) has been at the very forefront of feminist action and scholarship since its founding in 1971. BCRW promotes women’s and social justice issues in the local spheres of the Barnard College community and academic and activist networks in New York City, as well as having a voice in national and transnational feminist organizing and research. Our publications, including the webjournal S&F Online and the report series New Feminist Solutions, build on the conversations started at our events, and advance cutting-edge feminist theory and practice. All of our materials, including podcasts and videos of many of our events, are available at our website,

Columbia University Partnership for International Development (CUPID) is a student-led effort across Columbia University to facilitate multidisciplinary dialogue, awareness, and action on international development. Recognizing the University’s excellence in this field, CUPID serves as a channel for individuals interested in international development to take advantage of the University’s wide-ranging human and institutional resources in their academic, extracurricular, and professional endeavors.

Conflict Resolution Working Group (CRWG) at SIPA provides a forum at SIPA to examine and discuss diverse approaches taken to addressing some of the world’s most complex conflicts. The group organizes events and opportunities for students to gain practical, hands-on training in various conflict resolution techniques and methodologies. They also engage students with professionals and organizations that are dedicated to and working towards promoting conflict transformation.

Humanitarian Affairs Working Group (HAWG) at SIPA seeks to bring together all students interested in Humanitarian Affairs as well as draw connections to other humanitarian issues critical to the understanding of aid, development, security, and human rights. Through expert panels, workshops and other dynamic events at Columbia, we combine the knowledge and expertise of students and faculty with the perspectives of experienced practitioners from the humanitarian sector to create a space for healthy debate and discussion around the most pressing issues in humanitarian aid today.

Center for Research on Environmental Decision Making (CRED) CRED is an interdisciplinary center that studies individual and group decision making under climate uncertainty and decision making in the face of environmental risk. CRED’s objectives address the human responses to climate change and climate variability as well as improved communication and increased use of scientific information on climate variability and change.

The Center for Institutional and Social Change engages in collaborative action-research projects with institutional and community leaders involved in initiatives undertaken to advance full participation and public problem solving. We work with researchers, institutional and community leaders, educators, students, policy makers, and foundations seeking to have collective impact. The Center also develops collaborations across multiple institutions to develop concepts, share knowledge, expand organizational capacities, and support broader policy change.

The Working Group on Peace, Conflict and Education was established in 2012 by a group of professors at Teachers College, Columbia University, who are deeply committed to peace and human rights education and education in conflict- and crisis-affected areas. Through programming, research, and international partnerships, we hope to be able to collaborate with scholars, students and practitioners in this field to learn from each other’s initiatives. Visit to interact with a wide range of practitioners and scholars in the field this Fall. Find us on Facebook.

Social Justice House at Barnard College (SJH) is a new house created out of Barnard College’s Special Interest Housing program.

Foundation for Global Collaboration and Peace (FGCNP) is a nonprofit that aims to inform, engage and connect the global community by serving as a resource center for Participatory Peace, in order to promote equality, inter-community communication, cross-cultural collaboration, peaceful conflict resolution and global peace building.

Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) is a center within the Earth Institute at Columbia University. CIESIN works at the intersection of the social, natural, and information sciences, and specializes in on-line data and information management, spatial data integration and training, and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment.

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