Notre Dame Student Peace Conference

Peace Con 2016

The annual Notre Dame Student Peace Conference, which takes place during the spring semester, attracts undergraduate and graduate students from across the U.S. and abroad who want to change the world and who are committed to rigorous, multi-disciplinary academic work on peacebuilding. Students present original research and showcase innovative peacebuilding practices.  

Recent student peace conferences:  

2019, Expanding Circles: Peace in a Polarized Age?

In the world today, we see an increase in displaced peoples, rising global powers, mass shootings, political divisiveness, and organized protests. The conference explored what inclusive approaches to peacebuilding look like in today’s divided social, political, and international systems. 

Keynote Speaker: Delaney Tarr, Founding Member of March For Our Lives

Session topics included: 

  • The Role of Migration in Peacebuilding
  • Peace Education
  • Sustainable Development, Sustainable Peace
  • Resurrecting Religion: Religion as Nationalist and Political
  • Bridging the Divide: A Guide on Polarized Discourse

2018, Toward Justpeace: Exploring the Intersections of Justice and Peace

Conference attendees sought understanding of how themes of justice can heal hurts of the past, promote positive peace in the present, and guide actions in the future. Discussing how the principles of justice and peace interact with each other is pertinent for conversations about conflict and violence in communities and societies around the world, as well as in the United States.

Keynote Speaker: Alexis Templetona 24-year-old activist known for her protest work during the 2014 Ferguson Uprising

2017, "Pathways to Peace"

This conference sought to challenge existing misperceptions of peace and peacebuilding as idealistic by highlighting the specific building blocks and strategic actions that make creating pathways to peace possible.

Paper presentations included: 

  • “A Gendered Approach to Violence and Security in Refugee Camps”
  • “Visions of Peace in the Colombian Countryside”
  • “Global Peace Through Personal Innovation: Peacebuilding and Engineering”
  • “Overcoming Genocide: The Power of Grassroots Peacebuilding in Bosnia and Herzegovina”
  • “Discrimination and the Statelessness Crisis”
  • “Conflict Resolution and Religion in Indonesia: The Role of Religious Peacemakers”

2016, "Members of the Mosaic"

Participants in this conference explored the diversity of unique perspectives and experiences that each person or group brings to the process of peacebuilding and discussed how the relationships between these contributors form a unified mosaic of approaches necessary to confront modern day issues.

Sample of papers presented:

  • “Modern Sovereignty: The World War against Terrorism”
  • “Human Rights versus Human Dignity: A Study of Traditional Cultures in Chile and England”
  • “Strategic Peacebuilding: Lessons from Post-Apartheid South Africa”
  • “Agents for the Vulnerable: Examining the Roles of Local and International Actors in the Global Migrant and Refugee Crisis”
  • “Foreign Policy through Medical Internationalism in Cuba: 1959–Present Day”
  • “The Role of the Imagined 'Fifth Province' in the Northern Ireland Troubles”
  • “Gamification for Strategic Peacebuilding: Applying Elements, Mechanisms, and Dynamics of Game Design to Peacebuilding Process”

2015, "Persisting Challenges, New Frontiers"

This conference examined longstanding challenges to peace, such as nuclear weapons, along with more recent threats such as the rise of religious fundamentalism and environmental crises.

Selected papers presented: 

  • Ecology, the Environment & Strategic Peacebuilding
  • Persistent Conflict in Central & Eastern Europe 
  • Islamic Approaches to Peacebuilding
  • Arts-Based Peacebuilding with Diasporic Communities
  • Significance of Upcoming Elections in Burundi and Rwanda

2014, "Building Peace: Integrating Two Decades of Progress"

Student participants addressed post-Cold War peacebuilding efforts and explored how those efforts can inform future peacebuilding strategies. 

Selected papers presented: 

  • Curing Conflict: An Analysis of Peacebuilding through Health
  • Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery: Addressing an International Human Rights Crisis
  • Engaging Veterans of the Global War on Terror as 21st-Century Peacebuilders 
  • The Future of Nuclear Disarmament
  • Tweets and Likes: Collective Action in the Age of Social Media

2013, "Fusion: Where Theory and Practive Meet"

This conference explored the integration of peacebuilding theory and practice, addressing how these complementary aspects of peacebuilding enrich one other.

Selected papers presented:

  • "Peacebuilding and the War on Terror: The U.S. Drone Program"
  • "When it Comes to Kosovo, Are Serbs All Speaking the Same Language?"
  • "Women and Government in a Post-Conflict Society"
  • "Exploitation of Children in Resource Conflicts: Implications for Policy and Intervention" '
  • "Tensions along the Nile: Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding"
  • "Political Participation among Indigenous People: The Achi and Ixil of Guatemala"

2012, "Strategies of Peace: Transforming Conflict in a Modern World"

Student participants focused on strategic peacebuilding, the Kroc Institute's pioneering approach to peace, examining how processes at local and global levels can foster peace. 

Selected papers presented: 

  • "Women's Human Rights in Iraq: A Peacebuilder's Perspective"
  • "Transcending Differences: A Project to Foster a Culture of Peace in School"
  • "Climate Change and Strategic Peacebuilding"
  • "Do We All Agree? Exploring Group Perspectives on Reconciliation in Post-Apartheid South Africa"
  • "Drugs and Peace Duration"
  • "Engineering the Future: Nation-building Opportunities Presented by the Arab Spring"

2011, “Partnering for Peace”

This conference highlighted how individuals and organizations collaborate to promote peace through civil society, education of youth, empowerment of women, and partnerships.  

Selected papers presented:    

  • “Partnership Between the Government of Uganda and Peacebuilding Grassroots Organizations: A Case Study of Kyembogo Farmers’ Association”
  • “Integrating Health Systems into Nation Building: Utilizing Outside Health Systems to Help Build Peaceful, Healthy Countries” 
  • “The Role of the Civil Society Organizations in Enhancing the Christian-Muslim Relations in Bethlehem”  
  • “Interreligious Dialogue as a Peacebuilding Tool in Mindanao”  
  • “Negotiating Peace in Guatemala: A Critique of United Nations Intervention”
  • “Participation, Peace, and Palestine: The Role of Women”