Kroc Grad Students and Profs Produce Special Edition of Journal

Author: Kristi Flaherty

“From its origins, peace studies has advocated a trans-disciplinary approach to scholarship, a normative orientation to purpose and a practice-relevant understanding of knowledge…the task of peace studies requires the capacity to think our way into new forms of action and to act our way into new forms of thinking.”

This excerpt comes from the opening paragraph by editors John Paul Lederach and George A. Lopez of the 2016 – 4 issue of the International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution. Each author of the seven articles is a student in the Kroc Institute’s entering Ph.D. class of fall 2013, now in their fourth year. Ph.D. students include Leo Guardado (theology & peace studies), Jesse James (political science & peace studies), Kathryn Lance (psychology & peace studies), Angela Lederach (anthropology & peace studies), Leslie MacColman (sociology & peace studies), and Dana Townsend (psychology & peace studies). A co-author of one article is Kuldeep Niraula (Kroc M.A. ’15).

In many ways, the opening lines summarize the logic and substantive approach of the Kroc Institute doctoral program, as does the theme of the Journal issue, "the dynamic interdependencies of practice and scholarship."

Special thematic issues of journals are common in academe, but it is rather unique that a peer-reviewed journal would accept an entire set of essays from doctoral students. But the thematic focus and each of the individual essays grew out of the first year doctoral seminar with Lopez in 2013 in which the class wrote a joint paper on strategic peacebuilding. Then their second year course with Lederach, "strategic peace building: a practice relevant doctoral seminar" produced the first drafts of the articles. Their shared thematic approach, combined with their own individual research that tackled the dynamic challenges of research and practice, led to seven articles, reviewed and revised, and revised again for publication.

The articles’ themes range from the relationship of liberation theology to peace studies, to the relationship between peace studies and the work of documentary filmmakers, to artists working in conflict zones, and comparing scholar activists in Native Studies with those in Peace Studies. They also concern the challenge of conflict transformation in security sector reform, the guiding principles of ethical peace research, and how the mainstreaming of gender in all aspects of peacebuilding via UN Security Council resolution 1325 provides new opportunities for scholar and practitioner engagement. Reference:

Contact: George Lopez,