The Department of Peace and Conflict Studies promotes interdisciplinary research and teaching on the causes of conflict and the conditions affecting resolution and transformation. Research projects and other activities focus on attaining positive peace in just societies with plentiful resources for non-violent responses to conflict.
The expertise of staff and guest contributors includes peace journalism, transitional justice, genocide studies, human rights, reconciliation, non-violence, the United Nations and the psychology of peace.
Our long-established Distance Learning Program offers a globally recognised postgraduate degree without requiring students to relocate – we offer a combination of online study and brief trips to Sydney for intensive units.
Graduates in Peace and Conflict Studies have gone on to navigate careers in a range of organisations including aid agencies and international non-government organisations, media and government.
The Sydney Peace Foundation awards the annual Sydney Peace Prize – Australia's only international prize for peace. Previous recipients include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein, Professor Noam Chomsky, the founders of Black Lives Matter, Patrick Dodson and Joseph Stiglitz.
We are also connected with a range of private sector and government organisations including UNICEF, the World Bank and Oxfam.
Peace and Conflict Studies focuses on the interconnections between peace, conflict, justice and human rights. From conflict transformation after mass violence to the role of the media in peace building, Peace and Conflict Studies explores the intellectual and practical challenges of attaining peace with justice.
Our interdisciplinary research and teaching examines the causes of conflict and the conditions that affect conflict resolution and peace. Research topics have included disarmament, human rights and corporate responsibility, Aboriginal night patrols, non-violent policing, the effects of racism on Lebanese youth in Western Sydney and justice and reconciliation in Rwanda, Cambodia and East Timor. Our current grants and projects include:
Peace journalism challenges popular media representations of conflict based on some of the most influential theories from research in peace and conflict studies. These include the typologies of peace (positive and negative) and violence (direct, structural and cultural) devised originally by Johan Galtung, one of the founders of the field.
We are focused on understanding concepts of justice and reconciliation in different cultural contexts and conflict settings. Our main focus is on how communities pursue justice and reconciliation in peacebuilding after mass violence, and especially after genocide.
We analyse and assess the various transitional justice processes and mechanisms such as war crimes tribunals, truth commissions and traditional reconciliation rituals in terms of how they address the needs and expectations of local communities recovering from mass violence and how they contribute to sustainable peacebuilding.