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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Mershon Center for International Security Studies

John CarlarneEsther Gottlieb

Principal Investigators: John Carlarne, International Studies Program, and Esther E. Gottlieb, Office of International Affairs

The field of peace studies and conflict resolution is only about 60 years old, but in that time it has evolved to ask researchable questions about non-violent approaches to resolving international conflict, and developed shareable information resources to show how education programs can promote peace and reconciliation.

In this project, Carlarne and Gottlieb capitalize on the field’s accumulated knowledge by creating an online data portal designed to document peace education training curricula and materials from around the world. Networks for shared learning about education and leadership are important because many communities in the world struggle with similar problems and can benefit from learning about each other’s experiences.

This portal will be the first step in developing a comprehensive one-stop resource tool that combines information about information about global research, education, and peace-building programs that affect community, national and international peace and security. The repository will form the core resource for lifelong peace leadership education.

The role of education in peace building and conflict resolution has been well documented. By consulting case studies, education modules, and experiments in peace building, users can learn how education complements and promotes the reconciliation process. Having access to a repository of case studies can provide leaders with options for the use of nonviolent methods in the face of conflict.

The objectives of the Peace Education and Training Repository (PETR) are to:

  • provide resources for lifelong learning
  • include a broad range of philosophical, belief-based and cultural perspectives
  • draw resources from around the world, not just the "global North"
  • provide free resources, open to all users in a variety of languages and formats
  • attract participation from practitioners, researchers and policy makers alike.

To build this unique resource, Carlarne and Gottlieb have engaged a graduate assistant, Lee Heward, to find and scan a wide range of peacebuilding resources previously unavailable for public use. These resources include materials from the archives of Chadwick Alger, who devoted 50 years of his research to peace and its promotion.

The Alger archives are being used to develop a prototype repository that will free and open to all. Carlarne and Gottlieb plan to use this seed project as the basis for seeking external funding from business and philanthropic foundations, and to involve their students in the creation and development of the full repository.

Effective leadership requires key knowledge, skills and abilities, especially in peace work, which is often carried out at the grassroots level under difficult circumstances with few resources. The Peace Education and Training Repository will provide a way to keep the hard-won lessons and insights gained by peace practitioners, researchers and policy makers from being lost to history.