In recent years there has been a push toward an IPCR curriculum with a strong emphasis on practical skills. The program now offers several courses each semester that allow students to gain these professional skills. Our faculty believes in the importance of training students with the skills that are necessary to become leaders in peacebuilding. IPCR bridges theoretical knowledge with real skills that can be applied in practice. Students are also encouraged to take Skills Institutes and must participate in the Graduate Practicum Program, both of which provide extensive real world skills in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
Skills Institutes provide an opportunity for participants to acquire skills in conflict resolution and other related topics, which can be utilized in both professional and personal lives. These intensive training courses combine skills to work with conflicts that have international, community and public policy dimensions.
Skills Institute Objectives:
To introduce students to cutting edge practical skills outside of SIS.
To connect students with practitioners as a way of promoting networking between students who are looking to expand their contacts, and practitioners who may be in a position to hire interns or employees.
To provide students with a hands-on, interactive experience. The skills institute program is designed specifically to explore further the practical applications that complement theory taught in our program.
In Fall 2015, IPCR will be offering three Skills Institutes: Mediating History, Media Relations in Conflict Zones, and Nonviolent Action. More information can be found here.
The Graduate Practicum Program is a way students build concrete skills that prepare them for the job market. Second-year master's students are given a chance to work with organizations and government agencies to cultivate program management, policy analysis and research skills in a team with peers and leading groups in the field. Led by faculty in weekly sessions, students also engage in workshops in order to further their practical presentation and writing skills. These diverse offerings give IPCR students unique opportunities to engage with peers and connect with experts in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.
This past semester, Professor Hrach Gregorian led a practicum titled "Transformation, Peacebuilding, and Development" which focused on key aspects of contemporary peacebuilding; specifically on building the social infrastructure necessary for a more durable peace in conflict-ravaged societies. The three groups in the course engaged with the Alliance for Peacebuilding, Search for Common Ground and Partners Democratic Change, respectively.
In Fall 2015, Professor Gregorian will be leading a practica called "Transformation and Peacebuilding." Stay tuned for more information about student practica projects for Fall 2015.
Fall 2015 Skills Institutes
SIS.639.001 - Mediating History, September 19-20, 2015: Instructor Phil Gamaghelyan
Competing interpretations of history play a central role in many inter-state and intra-state conflicts today. Conflict resolution practitioners, however, do not always posses the skills necessary for addressing history directly and constructively. Drawing upon recent studies in collective memory, critical historiography and discourse analysis, as well as the extensive experience of working with historical narratives in conflict settings, the course will introduce the participants to practical methods that help transform the role of history from one that perpetuates conflict into one that helps resolve it through building better understanding of the conflict dynamics, mutual identity needs and alternative ways forward.
SIS.639.002 - Nonviolent Action, October 3-4, 2015: Instructor Daryn Cambridge
This participatory skills-based course is designed to provide a multi-disciplinary perspective on nonviolent, civilian-based movements and campaigns that defend and obtain basic rights and justice around the world - from Zimbabwe to West Papua, Mexico to China, and throughout the Middle East-North Africa region. Those who participate in this course will be able to define civil resistance; debate the role of civil resistance in generating political, social, and economic change; list several nonviolent, civil resistance movements throughout history; identify and apply strategic principles that help civil resistance movements succeed; analyze conflicts from a nonviolent conflict perspective; and experiment with different theories of power, violence, and nonviolence.
SIS.639.003 - Media Relations in Conflict Zones, November 7-8, 2015: Instructor Stefo Lehmann
This course will provide a foundation to enable students to develop productive media relationships during overseas humanitarian, reconstruction and peace-building interventions. Students will learn how to prepare for interviews, plan and conduct press conferences, design a message development plan and deliver effective responses during media engagements, culminating in video-recorded performance exercises by each students. The course also covers crisis and reputation management, communication models and provides an overview of the public affairs posture of major international participants in overseas relief operations.
Spring 2015 Skills Institutes
SIS.639.001: Capacity-Building for Peace and Security, January 31, 2014 & February 1, 2015: Instructor Nadia Gerspacher
SIS.639.002: Art and Post-War Healing, February 21-22, 2015: Instructor Hrach Gregorian
SIS.639.003: Nonviolent Action in the Middle East, April 11-12, 2015: Instructor Mubarak Awad
Please click here for the Spring 2015 skills institute announcement.
Fall 2014 Skills Institutes
SIS 639.001: Media Relations in Relief Operations: September 5-7, 2014: Instructor Stefo Lehmann
SIS 639.002: Gender-focused Peacebuilding: September 19-21, 2014: Instructor Yves-Renee Jennings
SIS 639.003: An Introduction to the Practice of Restorative Justice: October 24-26, 2014: Instructor Tarek Maassarani
SIS 639.004: Advocacy for NGO's: November 14-16, 2014: Instructor David Alpher