Cover_-_180px_zonder_info
Rss

International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution


About this journal  
Issue 1, 2016 Expand all abstracts
Editorial

The Dynamic Interdependencies of Practice and Scholarship

Keywords peace research, scholar-practitioner, peacebuilding, peace education
Authors John Paul Lederach and George A. Lopez
Author's information

John Paul Lederach
John Paul Lederach is Professor of International Peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame and Senior Fellow, Humanity United.

George A. Lopez
George A. Lopez is Hesburgh Chair of Peace Studies Emeritus at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame.
Article

From Liberation Theology to (Liberationist) Peace Studies

Practice, Reflection and the Generation of Scholarship

Keywords liberation theology, theory, practice, peace studies, religion
Authors Leo Guardado
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article illustrates liberation theology’s evolution and method and argues that its approach to bridging the gap between theory and practice serves as a complement and challenge for conceptualizing the dynamic and fluid relationship between scholarship and practice in peace studies. The 1971 publication of A Theology of Liberation made Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez one of the most influential scholars and theologians of the 20th century, but the process that led to this publication rests upon the day-to-day reflective practice of its author. Gutiérrez’ commitment to pastoral practice, especially among poor communities, raises questions about whose and what kind of knowledge is privileged in the academy, about the possibility of sustainably sourcing wisdom from local communities and about the necessity of scholars to locate themselves within the realities and among the communities they study. Given the affinity between liberation theology’s inductive method and the elicitive approach in some currents of peace studies, the article places its emphasis on the convergent contributions of Gustavo Gutiérrez and John Paul Lederach and draws information from personal conversations with both authors. As a whole, the article contributes to the bourgeoning and necessary dialogue between peace studies and theology.


Leo Guardado
Leo Guardado is a PhD student in the joint programme in Theology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include liberation theology, human displacement and the role of church communities for building justice and peace.
Article

Documentary Filmmakers

Bridging Practice and Scholarship in Peacebuilding

Keywords documentary, film, peacebuilding, narratives, storytelling
Authors Dana Townsend and Kuldeep Niraula
AbstractAuthor's information

    In settings characterized by violent conflict, documentary filmmakers serve as a conduit between local experiences and the broader public. Highlighting these experiences requires filmmakers to immerse themselves in a context, digest scholarly findings, interview local sources and organize information into an accessible storyline. Those who utilize this craft often draw from established research or collaborate with scholars to ensure the narrative resonates with people and represents verified events. At the same time, their films contribute to the practice of peacebuilding through a participatory process that focuses on storytelling and community healing. This article explores the dual role of documentary filmmakers by positioning them as potential bridge-builders between practice and scholarship in peacebuilding. Specifically, it looks at the way filmmakers navigate between these realms by countering hegemonic narratives, introducing marginalized voices, contextualizing conflict and sharing stories with a wide audience – while also reflecting on the way their own identities and viewpoints influence this process.


Dana Townsend
Dana Townsend is a PhD student in Psychology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research focuses on the impact of political violence on youth’s psychological functioning as well as the ways that youth engage with memories of violence and utilize narratives to position themselves in their social worlds. She is also interested in the use of digital storytelling for community engagement, healing and reconciliation.

Kuldeep Niraula
Kuldeep Niraula is a PhD student in Conflict Resolution at George Mason University and graduated with an MA in International Peacebuilding from the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. His MA Thesis, “Addressing the Neglect of Local Peacebuilding Practices through Documentaries: A Case Study of Everyday Gandhis” analyses the possibilities and challenges of using documentaries to share local perspectives of peace with a wider audience.
Article

The Moral Imagination Embodied

Insights from Artists Navigating Hybrid Identities in Scholarship and Practice

Keywords community art, peace studies, arts-based peacebuilding, practice, theory
Authors Kathryn M. Lance
AbstractAuthor's information

    The field of conflict engagement is riddled with tensions and challenges, such as the ‘science-practice crisis’ or the ‘scholarship–practice divide’. Using interviews and an inductive, interdisciplinary approach and following the framework of The Moral Imagination, this article aims to deconstruct this core tension of ‘scholarship or practice’. It does this from the perspective of individuals often overlooked in our field: artists. This study included interviews with three specific artists who work along the practice–scholarship spectrum. Even though these artists engage in both scholarship and practice, they do not simply define themselves as ‘scholars’ or ‘practitioners’. Instead, they navigate their identities and work in-between these two terms. While practicing, researching and teaching they exemplify – and also move beyond – the ‘both/and’ approach. Using an inquiry-based, inductive approach to glean insight from these artists gives them voice and opens up a space for their views on the relationship between scholarship and practice. Paying special attention to how artists make sense of their location(s) along the aforementioned spectrum unearths fresh perspectives on the debate while furthering our understanding of the nexus between scholarship and practice


Kathryn M. Lance
Kathryn M. Lance is a PhD student in the joint programme in Psychology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research focuses on youth resilience and means of addressing trauma in divided societies and conflict settings. She is specifically interested in the effects of arts-based peacebuilding and the relationship between the arts, resilience and trauma healing.
Article

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 as a Medium for Scholar/Practitioner Engagement

Keywords gender, United Nations, theory, practice, peacebuilding
Authors Danielle Fulmer
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article demonstrates how international policy frameworks provide space for iterative engagement between peacebuilding scholars and practitioners. I focus on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which prioritized gender mainstreaming in all stages of peacebuilding. This analysis is based on a review of documents and literature that trace the trajectory of UNSCR 1325 from a variety of perspectives, and informal field interviews with practitioners working at the nexus of gender and peacebuilding. UNSCR 1325 was the product of practitioners who felt that gender was central to peace and security in practice and supported their views with theory. The process of drafting and implementing UNSCR 1325 simultaneously legitimized practitioner projects to incorporate women in peacebuilding and narrowed their scope, prompting critique and research from scholars and scholar-practitioners. The ensuing debates reveal how international policy frameworks can provide a space for iterative and productive discourse between scholars and practitioners by reaffirming shared normative objectives and making the contributions and limitations of both theory and practice visible. Scholar-practitioners can expand the frequency, quality and impact of interactions in this space by acting as intermediaries who circulate between and bridge the worlds of scholarship, policy and practice.


Danielle Fulmer
Danielle Fulmer is a former PhD student in the joint programme in Sociology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include local–global collaborations to transform gender norms and the role of intermediary actors in grassroots social movements.
Article

Security Sector Reform in Theory and Practice

Persistent Challenges and Linkages to Conflict Transformation

Keywords security sector reform, conflict transformation, scholarship, practice
Authors Leslie MacColman
AbstractAuthor's information

    In less than two decades, security sector reform (SSR) has crystallized as an organizing framework guiding international engagement in countries affected by violent conflict. SSR is a normative proposition, grounded in democratic governance and human security, and a concrete set of practices. As such, it represents an exemplary case of the dialectic between scholarship and practice and an outstanding vantage point from which to interrogate this nexus. In this article, I explore the dynamic interplay between theory and practice in SSR. In particular, I show how the basic tenets of conflict transformation – present in the first generation of scholarship on SSR – were sidelined in SSR practices. Practical experiences led to strong critiques of the ‘conceptual-contextual’ divide and, eventually, to a second generation of critical scholarship on SSR that has begun to coalesce. I conclude by noting the parallels between recent scholarship on SSR and the insights captured in earlier work on conflict transformation.


Leslie MacColman
Leslie MacColman is a PhD student in the joint programme in Sociology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include governance, police reform and criminal dynamics in urban neighbourhoods.
Article

Scholarship as Activism in the Field of Native Studies

A Potential Model for Peace Studies

Keywords native, indigenous, activism, practice, peace
Authors Jesse James
AbstractAuthor's information

    Native studies is a field in the United States in which many scholars count themselves as activists both in scholarship and practice because their central focus is service to the American Indian community. This interdisciplinary field provides an interesting contrast to peace studies, a similarly interdisciplinary field that, while normatively committed to the study of peace, consists primarily of research that often does not similarly commit the researcher in service to conflict-engaged communities. This article utilizes first-person interviews and evaluates Native studies scholarship through the lens of activism as a potential model for practice-relevant scholarship in peace studies. The concept of scholarship itself as a peace practice is premised on the consideration of both teaching and publishing as forms of activism, here exemplified by Native studies scholars. When acts of scholarship themselves are considered activism and thus practice, the distinction between scholarship and practice is blurred, presenting a challenge to the binary categorizations that have allowed the academy to privilege the knowledge of scholars over that of practitioners. I argue that the experience of Native studies scholars may offer insight for the construction of a framework for peace studies that accounts for scholarship as activism, and in so doing, is better able to evaluate and include both scholarship and practice.


Jesse James
Jesse James is a PhD student in the joint programme in Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, and the role of international law in assertions of Native and indigenous rights.
Article

Reflexivity, Responsibility and Reciprocity

Guiding Principles for Ethical Peace Research

Keywords ethics, peace research, peacebuilding practice, research methodology, reflexivity
Authors Angela J. Lederach
AbstractAuthor's information

    The application of peace research to settings of violent conflict requires careful attention to the ethical dimensions of scholarship; yet, discussions about the ethics of peace research remain underdeveloped. This article addresses a critical gap in the literature, outlining a framework for ethical peace research broadly encompassed in three guiding principles: responsibility, reciprocity and reflexivity. The first section provides an overview of the ethics of peace action and research, introducing key contributions that practitioner-scholars have made to the ethics of peacebuilding. In the second section, I explore how the guiding principles of reflexivity, responsibility and reciprocity offer a flexible framework for engaging in everyday ethical research practices. I conclude with preliminary recommendations to encourage further conversation about the ethics of peace research, offering ideas for future action.


Angela J. Lederach
Angela J. Lederach is a PhD student in Anthropology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include youth and community-based peacebuilding, gender, social and environmental justice, displacement and migration. She is currently conducting participatory research in Colombia alongside the Proceso Pacífico de Reconciliación e Integración de la Alta Montaña, a social movement comprised of campesinos (peasant farmers) who were forcibly displaced as a result of the armed conflict. Her research is specifically focused on the social-political, ecological, and ethical dimensions of retorno digno (dignified return) in rural Colombia.