Conflict to Peace Lab

Conflict to Peace Lab

Fun Facts

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Who We Are


The Conflict to Peace Lab (C2P) is a new research initiative at Ohio State that brings together extraordinary people and partners to catalyze extraordinary change in the communities we serve.

By combining the expertises and perspectives of scholars, policymakers, local partners and funders, we work to encourage communities toward peaceful solutions. We identify the underlying causes of conflict and develop evidence-based evaluations of policy and intervention models that support international peacemaking, peacebuilding, and social cohesion programs in communities affected by war and political violence.

Housed in the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State, C2P is guided by compassionate and solution-oriented scholarship, along with people who share a commitment to alleviating violence, stabilizing fragile societies, and developing positive peace.

We believe in the power of collaboration. Our team is composed of researchers and practitioners from diverse backgrounds but who are united in passion and purpose. C2P works with partners on the ground in a spirit of innovation and co-creation to produce valuable research and support and develop the design and evaluations of innovative peace practices.

Because every community is unique, social cohesion cannot be achieved with a one-size-fits-all model. We honor the populations and partners we work with by prioritizing conflict sensitivity and cultural appropriateness to develop tailored approaches to project design and evaluation. By working closely with our embedded partners, we can take care to produce knowledge that is useful to local communities, accessible to practitioners, and actionable for policymakers.


The Management Team

Christopher Gelpi

Director, Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Co-Director, Conflict to Peace Lab

Christopher F. Gelpi is director of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Chair in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, professor of political science, and co-director of the Conflict to Peace Lab at The Ohio State University. His primary research interests are international militarized conflict and strategies for conflict resolution. He is currently engaged in research on American popular attitudes about military force and terrorism, on modeling international conflict behavior in the laboratory, and on the impact of peacebuilding interventions on the development of social cohesion.


Teri Murphy

Co-Director, Conflict to Peace Lab

Teri Murphy has been actively engaged in conflict intervention and peacebuilding in international contexts for the past 25 years. As a scholar-practitioner, her applied research/practice has taken place in Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Turkey and several countries in Africa. Her particular focus has been on transitional justice processes and the intersection of peace, human security and development. Teri recently helped launch the C2P Lab at Ohio State and serves as one of its co-directors.


Austin Knuppe

U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security Fellow

Dickey Center for International Understanding

Dartmouth College

Austin is Postdoctoral Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security at the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College. Starting in autumn 2020, he will be an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Utah State University. He received his PhD in political science from Ohio State in May 2019. His research interests include post-conflict statebuilding, Middle East politics, and the study of religion in international politics.

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What We Do


The number of societies affected by political violence has risen steadily over the past decade. Over this same period, the number of deaths resulting directly from political violence has increased to more than 100,000 every year. This violence has even broader impacts on vulnerable communities in fragile states through the spread of sexual violence, famine, forced migration and disease.

C2P partners directly with communities affected by politically motivated violence to identify, evaluate and support the design of peacebuilding interventions that are effective, culturally sensitive and responsive to community needs. To accomplish this goal, we work alongside local organizations and INGOs to identify and embed peace processes and indicators into programmatic frameworks.

We take a mixed methodological approach to evaluating peacebuilding interventions, giving us a comprehensive and dynamic view of the implications of the programs on the communities they serve. Rigorous quantitative and qualitative analysis allows our partners to leverage data in their work to further strengthen their interventions and to instruct future policy considerations. Central to our approach is the creation and sustainment of relationships with local partners— requiring commitment to mutual respect, learning and understanding among all our stakeholders.

Peacebuilding does not end in the field. In addition to our work in conflict-affected communities, we continue to support our partners through presentations, co-authored policy reports, and peer-reviewed publications. We use the lessons from our research and collaborations to develop better tools and facilitate more effective peacebuilding in the future.  

  • Collaboration. We bring together scholars, policy makers, practitioners, local development partners, and donors — who are creative, dedicated and committed to alleviating violence, stabilizing fragile societies and developing positive peace
  • Respect. We are thoughtful partners who prioritize conflict sensitivity and cultural appropriateness in all the areas we work, coordinating closely with local partners and responding to cultural and political conditions.
  • Innovation. We lead by identifying and designing innovative approaches in our research, programming and evaluations of vulnerable, fragile and conflict-affected areas, navigating access and security. 
  • Usefulness. We generate knowledge that is actionable to local communities, accessible to policy makers and practitioners, and compelling to the scholarly community.

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Current Projects

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Get in Touch


How we work

We have diverse backgrounds in policy and practice, in academia and in the field. We also act in various roles to produce actionable outputs that are tailored to the specific needs of the partners we support—and, most importantly, the communities we serve. Our individual and programmatic strengths include:

  • Identifying an issue or research area
  • Building a network of scholars, local partners, donors, and policy makers
  • Gaining insights into the culture, history, and conflict context of proposed sites
  • Sharing frameworks, methodologies, and perspectives across academic disciplines
  • Developing joint proposals to address an identified problem or opportunity, including a work plan and research budget
  • Engaging in immersive field work over an extended period
  • Convening with stakeholders for analysis, synthesis, and reflective learning
  • Amplifying, scaling, and/or extending successful interventions to new settings
  • Modifying and transitioning unsuccessful interventions into effective engagements
  • Reporting findings to communities, partners and stakeholders
  • Publishing findings in peer-reviewed scholarly outlets

We are constantly growing. As our projects and our team continue to expand and develop our skillsets, so too does our ability to engage in effective research, analysis, and peacebuilding. If you are a researcher or an academic interested in the work we’re doing or have ideas for how we can partner on a new project, we’d love to hear from you and explore opportunities for collaboration.


Our partnerships are at the core of our work. We believe that the pursuit of peace is most successful when we bring together our institutional and personal strengths to innovate. C2P begins every engagement with a conversation about how we can establish an effective and mutually beneficial relationship that delivers equitable solutions to all involved.

If you are interested in working together, email Teri Murphy at to begin our conversation. 


For media inquiries, please contact Christopher Gelpi at


The C2P lab is housed in the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University.

Mershon Center for International Security Studies

The Ohio State University

1501 Neil Ave.

Columbus, OH 43201

Phone: 614-292-1681

Fax: 614-292-2407