IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

…and don’t forget the Aussies!

There are several places to study peace and conflict resolution in Australia (John Burton was from Australia, after all).  Here is one at the University of Queensland:  the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, or as it is known in our acronym afflicted world ACPACS .  ACPACS is:  “A centre of research and practice excellence in the areas of conflict analysis, prevention and management, mediation and conflict resolution, peace-building and development and post-conflict reconstruction.”

The “About” page sums things up nicely:

“The Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (ACPACS) at the University of Queensland operates on sites in Brisbane and Melbourne. It is a young, dynamic and progressive Centre and has already gained a considerable global reputation as a Centre of Excellence in the theory, research and practice of conflict analysis and resolution.

ACPACS is a centre of research and practice excellence in the areas of conflict analysis, prevention and management, alternative dispute resolution, peace-building and development and post-conflict reconstruction. The Centre is located within the Institute for Social Science Research at The University of Queensland.

The Centre is one of the largest providers of conflict resolution education and training in Australasia. It offers a comprehensive range of postgraduate programs to students and practitioners, and provides Professional Development workshops and courses for relevant areas of government, commerce and industry, and service providers.

ACPACS is cross-disciplinary and the only Centre in Australia to bring together:

* Peace and conflict studies
* International politics and development
* Alternative dispute resolution, mediation and law

The functions of the Centre are to:

* conduct research into the causes of international and national conflict; international security, nonviolent modes of conflict resolution and sustainable peace-building with special reference to the Asia-Pacific region;
* deliver high quality postgraduate programs and provide knowledge and practical skills in nonviolence, mediation, conflict resolution, peace-keeping and peace-building in the contemporary global context;
* provide advanced level short courses and training for government and non-government organisations engaged in peace-keeping, peace-building, development activities, humanitarian intervention, and work in conflict contexts; and
* offer expert advice to public and private sector organisations on issues concerned with conflict and its resolution, and specifically the role of the judicial and governance sectors in the achievement of structural stability and  peace.
* advance the understanding and knowledge of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes by conducting comparative research and state-of-the-art training in negotiation, mediation, cross-cultural conflict resolution and facilitation.”

There is more here than might at first meet the eye.  It is quite ambitious to “house” alternative dispute resolution people (often lawyers) and people who work on the ground in post-conflict peace building in the same place.  Some feel, for instance, that lawyers have kind of hijacked conflict resolution for their own ends (such as settling cases out of court because it takes too long to get into a court room).  However, if one views conflict as one problem with many manifestations, the ACPACS approach makes sense.

Anyhow, there are many kinds of information on this site including publications on various subjects for download, so take some time to click around.

IGbarb says:  More grease to your elbow mate(s)!

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May 22, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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