Ph.D. in Peace Studies & Anthropology

Botlen Anthro Page

What are the cultural, social, and historical contextual dimensions of structural and violent conflict? How does an ethnographic focus create the possibility for better crafting conflict transformation?

The Peace Studies and Anthropology doctoral program at the University of Notre Dame equips students with the theoretical and methodological tools of anthropology to answer these and related questions. The use of ethnographic and historical methods creates an in-depth understanding of the realities of situations as they occur on the ground and in local contexts, and make important contributions to understanding conflict and peace processes as they are experienced on the ground. A Ph.D. in Peace Studies and Anthropology has potential policy and aid implications as well as scientific and humanistic implications.

Two Academic Traditions

The joint degree program allows students to focus on their particular ethnographic project while embedding them in the theoretical and historical traditions of both anthropology and peace studies. Students' dissertation work will be informed by both perspectives, while potentially including aspects of our ever-evolving understanding of peace studies, with emergent foci in subjects such as climate change and social movements.

The Peace Studies and Anthropolgy program trains scholar-teachers and embraces potential practitioners. Students will design their own research programs, incorporating the methodological elements they deem, in coordination with their advisers, most relevant to the task at hand. In conducting dissertation research, students will immerse themselves within the cultural and social context of their project, learning the local language as relevant, living within the community in which they work, and developing an ethnographically informed perspective.

Faculty Contact: Catherine Bolten, Associate Professor of Anthropology & Peace Studies

Student & Alumni Testimonials

The anthropological methods and theories I’m learning are enriched by the interdisciplinary and engaged lens that peace studies offers. Analyzing the complexities of violent conflict with peers in multiple disciplines and using diverse methods and bodies of literature has expanded my capacity for innovation, given me broad perspective, and contributed significantly to my professional development as a budding scholar and engaged practitioner.” — Angela Lederach, Ph.D. student in peace studies & anthropology

"The dual PhD program in anthropology and peace studies offers a truly unique opportunity to engage multiple scholarly perspectives and thus generate innovate approaches to both theory and practice.  I’ve benefited enormously from the opportunity to ground my inquiries in anthropological methods and theories, while maintaining my focus on the conflict-themed research topics that will drive my long-term career.  Our interdisciplinary environment offers a rare gift to graduate students by allowing us to engage committed scholars who approach some of the world’s most pressing research topics in methodologically diverse ways." — Kristina Hook, Ph.D. student in peace studies & anthropology