Currently viewing the tag: "World Peace Foundation"
In her final post today about the World Peace Foundation, Bridget Conley-Zilkic, the WPF Research Director and Assistant Research Professor at Fletcher, invites Fletcher students to become involved in the work of WPF. The first post, which described WPF’s history, appeared two weeks ago, and the second post, describing the World Peace Foundation’s current work and mission, appeared last Wednesday.
If you are interested in the work of the World Peace Foundation (WPF), there are a number of ways that you can get involved with us. You can take our classes — Alex de Waal is teaching a course on African Politics in Fall 2013 and Bridget Conley-Zilkic is teaching on Mass Atrocities in Spring 2014. Or you can attend our events, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on twitter (@WorldPeaceFoundation), and explore our website.
Access short, insightful essays by WPF staff and other global experts on our areas of thematic concern on our blog, Reinventing Peace. Among the essays are series on reclaiming activism, ending mass atrocities, conflict mediation, new wars, and more.
If you are reading this as an enrolled Fletcher School student (master’s-level or PhD) you can also participate in our annual student seminar competition. Each year we invite proposals from Fletcher students for a two-day seminar to be held on campus in February 2014. WPF seminars offer a rare opportunity for leading experts to engage in incisive, collegial, and sustained dialogue on the pressing problems of our day. The student competition enables Fletcher School students to frame an issue and interact with leading global experts on the topic of their choosing.
Past winning topics include “Western Advocacy in Conflict” (2012-2013) and “Drug Trafficking and Organized International Crime: Re-Framing the Debate.” (2011-2012).
The deadline for submitting a proposal is October 10, 2013. Full information about the competition is available on our website.
WPF also hires two research assistants to help with our work for each academic year. While the 2013-2014 positions are filled, look for new opportunities in the coming year. We also have a number of research projects that you can get involved with. This Fall 2013, we’ll be continuing our project on mass atrocity endings, which students can work on as an independent study.
Take a closer look at our website for more details, stay in touch with us, and we hope to meet you as the semester begins in September.
In the second of three posts about the World Peace Foundation, today Bridget Conley-Zilkic, the WPF Research Director and Assistant Research Professor at Fletcher, describes the Foundation’s current work and mission. The first post described WPF’s history, and the final post will appear next Wednesday.
Understanding that the nature of armed conflicts is today different from what originally challenged peace activists over a hundred years ago when the World Peace Foundation was founded, how can a century-old mandate be relevant today?
The first task is to embrace the historical legacy and recognize that the work of peace is precisely that — the hard work of building coalitions, taking chances, and transforming what was accepted as fact into new possibilities. What was once called “peace activism” may have new professional life as security studies, peacebuilding, conflict mediation, development, or peacemaking; but at heart, this work shares a common belief that a collective effort can make the world less violent. And there is evidence that it is working.
Secondly we must ask, how is the work of peace different in our time? Rarely is war today composed of two national armies facing each other across a well-defined battlefield; and peace is rarely understood as achieved with the ink on paper of a signed agreement. In fact, defining when a conflict is ended, or ended enough, is a struggle of enormous political import today. Recognizing that the challenges are different because war itself is different, we must ask, how should we redefine peace for the next hundred years? Do we have the right concepts and tools? Are we asking the right questions?
To rise to this challenge, the WPF seeks to provide intellectual leadership for peace in line with its exceptional characteristics:
- The combination of a century-old history and a commitment to visionary thinking;
- Intellectual independence and flexibility, not constrained by external funding;
- Educational mission as manifest in our presence in The Fletcher School, Tufts University;
- Connectedness to policymakers.
The WPF program rests on three pillars: research, policy and education. Our research program aims to be innovative and provocative, marrying commitment to rigorous, interdisciplinary research with creative questioning in order to spark new conversations about we might understand and respond to the challenges of armed conflict today. Methodologically inductive, all of our programs are founded on analysis into the questions of the nature and causes of violent conflicts and mass atrocities, and how they are ended. We move from evidence and analysis to engagement with policy and theory. Among our projects are: New Wars, New Peace; How Mass Atrocities End; and How Conflicts End.
The WPF’s policy engagement is integrated with its research, in two senses. First, our policy engagement provides materials for innovative research. Second, our policy engagement in turn derives from the research directions of the WPF program. Leveraging the WPF’s unique access to political leaders and institutions, the programs aim to bring the qualities of innovation and creativity to its support of political processes for peace. Our focus is on the world’s most difficult places, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Given Executive Director Alex de Waal’s extensive ties to the African Union and African leaders, working with these key actors will be a strong focus for the WPF. We aim to widen our engagement with African peace processes. Further, the WPF will engage with policies to end mass atrocities, and to increase public advocacy for peace.
An international public intellectual conversation is needed to respond to the challenges of new threats to peace and the requisite new vision of world peace. The WPF education programs are designed to catalyze such a conversation. We aim to influence emerging international leaders through the student body of The Fletcher School, engage other institutions across the world working with graduate students in international affairs and peace studies, and disseminate key ideas to the broader public. The WPF’s educational programs are a long-term investment in the next generation’s leadership. Our educational efforts combine teaching courses within The Fletcher School and supervising students conducting research, expanding to engage with the wider Tufts community, alongside an externally-focused program of public education using lectures, events, the media and publications, and our blog and social media.
Tagged with: World Peace Foundation
Sitting in the Admissions Office, it can be difficult to gain real knowledge of all that’s going on at the School. And whatever I don’t know much about, I usually don’t write about. So I was lucky that the World Peace Foundation agreed to write a series of blog posts to describe their very interesting work. Here is the first post, written by Bridget Conley-Zilkic, the WPF Research Director and Assistant Research Professor at Fletcher. Two more posts will appear on the coming two Wednesdays.
One of the most fragile books on the shelves at Tufts University’s Tisch Library must surely be Jonathon Dymond’s excessively titled piece An Inquiry into the Accordancy of War with the Principles of Christianity and an Examination of the Philosophical Reasoning by Which It is Defended with Observations on the Causes of War and Some of Its Effects (1834), donated to Tufts Library in 1861. Its cover is a time-worn blue and gold; its pages have already faded from yellow to light brown. Is it possible that the founder of the World Peace Foundation (WPF), Edwin Ginn, pulled this same book off the shelves when he was a student at Tufts in 1858-1862? And would Ginn be proud to know that the foundation he created in support of world peace in 1910 came “home” in a manner of speaking to Tufts University’s The Fletcher School in 2011? For Ginn was not only a Tufts almnus and trustee, his name also graces the library at The Fletcher School, founded by his donation.
A self-made man and publisher of educational textbooks, Ginn was part of an emerging international movement at the turn of the last century that traced its conceptual roots to Immanuel Kant’s notion of “perpetual peace” based upon a “league of nations.” While not all were pacifists, many participants in the movement believed that advancing international commerce, democracy, law, and diplomacy would provide the building blocks for a definitive era of global peace.
The WPF was established in lines with this approach for the purpose of:
“…educating the people of all nations to the full knowledge of the waste and destructiveness of war and of preparation for war, its evil effects on present social conditions and on the well-being of future generations, and to promote international justice and the brotherhood of man, and generally by every practical means to promote peace and good will among all mankind.”
Edwin Ginn died on January 21, 1914. He did not live to witness the horrors of World War I, let alone those of World War II. But since his time, two of the three pillars of world peace that he identified have been constructed: inter-state cooperation through the United Nations and other bodies, and mechanisms for the lawful and nonviolent resolution of international disputes. By contrast, his third goal of disarmament has not been achieved.
Meanwhile, especially in the last half century, the number and intensity of violent conflicts has fallen, and their nature has changed. Today, war is often pursued by non-state actors, including informal globalized networks, and most violence takes place within countries, with blurred boundaries between armed conflict, crime and the enforcement of government will. These shifts in the trends of warfare deeply challenge the conceptualization and work of peace; a fact that animates the program of the World Peace Foundation today.
Beginning in 2011, with the move to The Fletcher School, Alex de Waal was brought on board as the executive director, and soon thereafter he hired Bridget Conley-Zilkic as research director and Lisa Avery as administrative assistant. The WPF today aims to provide intellectual leadership on issues of peace, justice and security. We believe that innovative research and teaching are critical to the challenges of making peace around the world, and should go hand in hand with advocacy and practical engagement with the toughest issues. As the Foundation enters its second century, our underlying theme is reinventing peace for the globalizing world.
In our next blog essay, learn about our on-going projects.
Tagged with: World Peace Foundation
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