What does the field of peacebuilding practice look like? 
What are the potential career pathways for a strategic peacebuilder?
Where do I fit in?  

This graphic — developed by John Paul Lederach, professor of international peacebuilding, and Katie Mansfield, M.A. '08 — illustrates the main components and subcomponents of the field of peacebuilding and their relationship to each other.

A printable pdf version of this graphic is available here.   

The inner circle highlights the three major areas of strategic peacebuilding: 

1) efforts to prevent, respond to, and transform violent conflict;

2) efforts to promote justice and healing; and

3) efforts to promote structural and institutional change.  

The outer circle highlights sub-areas of practice and career focus within those three areas. For each of these sub-areas, a variety of individual career pathways emerge.  For example, the following are career pathways taken by Kroc Institute alumni (many careers could be included in multiple categories): 

Restorative Justice

  • Addressing historical and ongoing harms against indigenous people
  • Community-based restorative justice 
  • National restoration processes (addressing historical structural harm)
  • Prison system reform 

Transitional Justice

  • International Criminal Court or tribunals 
  • Justice to address mass atrocity and human rights
  • National and local justice processes 

Trauma Healing  

  • Child soldier reintegration 
  • Collective community healing 
  • Refugee resettlement and services 
  • Trauma therapy and counseling/social support
  • Victim support and reparations 

Humanitarian Action  

  • Crisis health care and social services
  • Human rights protection and monitoring 
  • Humanitarian advocacy and law
  • Humanitarian emergency response 
  • Information management for relief operations
  • Public health work related to structural and physical violence 

Government and Multilateral Efforts  

  • Civil-military relations 
  • Demobilization and disarmament 
  • Diplomacy
  • Intergovernmental organizations 
  • Peace processes 
  • Policy analysis and implementation
  • Post-conflict reconstruction      

Nonviolent Social Change 

  • Active nonviolence
  • Community organizing, mobilization or social action/movements
  • Issue-based educational campaigns
  • Media/journalism/writing 
  • Minority and marginalized empowerment and civil rights advocacy 

Dialogue / Conflict Resolution Strategies  

  • Arts-based approaches to social transformation
  • Conflict monitoring and early warning
  • Cross-cultural contact programs
  • Inter-faith, inter-ethnic, and intercultural dialogue 
  • Language interpreting or teaching 
  • Local peacebuilding institutes and training 
  • Mediation or dispute settlement 
  • Reconciliation 
  • Violence prevention or resolution 


  • Adult and civic education
  • Applying gender lenses to peace and conflict
  • Building peaceable schools
  • Educational reform initiatives
  • Investigating cultural and structural violence
  • Leadership development and training among historically disadvantaged groups
  • Service learning 
  • University-based peace studies/ peace education/ peace research 
  • Vocational schools 


  • Economic development 
  • Gender equality work
  • Housing and urban development/redevelopment 
  • Human and social development 
  • Local and international development 
  • Microfinance and small business development 
  • Strengthening democratic institutions and participation 
  • Sustainable development, sustainable agriculture  

Dealing with Transnational and Global Threats  

  • Corruption and organized crime 
  • Cultural and structural violence
  • Economic and social injustice 
  • Environmental degradation and climate change 
  • Gender exclusion and gender-based violence 
  • Genocide and mass violence 
  • Human rights violations 
  • Human trafficking  
  • Imperial domination 
  • Nuclear and small arms proliferation
  • Poverty, hunger and homelessness
  • Terrorism 
  • War    

Law: Advocacy and Solidarity  

  • Family law and domestic violence protection
  • Human rights law
  • Immigration law, immigrant services and education 
  • Indigenous cultural preservation, solidarity and rights 
  • International law and policy work 
  • Labor and employment law/protection 
  • Land issues
  • Migrant justice, migration and human trafficking  
  • Work with youth: Child protection, rights, services