Innsbruck School of Peace Studies
Since 2002, the Innsbruck School of Peace and Conflict Studies has been developed by Wolfgang Dietrich and his team at the UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. On January 1, 2017 a Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies was established at the University of Innsbruck's Faculty for Social and Political Sciences, which has a mandate for conducting Peace and Conflict Studies Research and is home to the Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies, with its UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies and its MA Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation.
- 1 Research and Publications
- 2 Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies
- 3 References
- 4 Sources
Research and Publications
The Innsbruck School of Peace and Conflict Studies became famous for its unique approach to peace research with the key phrase “transrational peaces” and with its specific and tough training method in the sense of John Paul Lederach's elicitive conflict transformation”. Both principles are applied in practice and developed further in the frame of the MA Program for Peace Studies. The UNESCO Chair promotes further research in these fields and the publication of the respective results, in the following book series:
- Many Peaces Trilogy (Palgrave) by Wolfgang Dietrich: Interpretations of Peace in History and Culture (Vol. 1), Elicitive Conflict Transformation and the Transrational Shift in Peace Politics (Vol.2) and Elicitive Conflict Mapping (Vol 3, in translation).
- Elicitivas (Verlag Springer, featuring Juan José Albert Gutiérrez (translated by Matthias Gossner) and Winfried Wagner.
- Masters of Peace (LIT, Verlag Springer), featuring the works of Samrat Schmiem Kumar, Katya Buchleitner, Paula Ditzel Facci, Paul Bukuluki, Natalia Lozano Mancera, Alicia Dueck, Catalina Vallejo Piedrahíta, Noor Jdid, Kathleen McGoey, Billene Seyoum Woldeyes, Sophie Friedel, Adham Hamed, Morten Frederiksen, Heela Najibullah and Jennie Sandstad.
Furthermore, a series of edited Volumes has emerged in the framework of the Innsbruck School: Key Texts of Peace Studies (Die Kommende Demokratie Series, LIT) Palgrave Handbook of Peace Studies (Palgrave) Transrational Resonances (Palgrave)
Norbert Koppensteiner, a Dietrich-student and program coordinator at the MA Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation, is another important representative of the Innsbruck School of Peace and Conflict Studies. In his book The Art of the Transpersonal Self he draws on findings of humanistic and transpersonal psychology. His work can be seen as a critique of some of Modernity’s founding principles like truth. Koppensteiner argues that the autonomous and self grounded subject, morals or solvability of conflicts have become sites of contestation and debate. He suggests to re-think some of those categories being debated in (post)modernity by invoking transpersonal and transrational transpositions. Asking about the continued possibilities for subjectivation, Koppensteiner sketches the outlines of an art of living for a subjectivity perceived as constantly emergent and in transformation, a subjectivity that dares to embrace conflict as part of its transpersonal relational becoming and that emerges through an ongoing transformation of the self understood as an aesthetic (Apollonian) and energetic (Dionysian) practice. The strictly relational understanding of peaces and conflict that Koppensteiner proposes is one of the central ontological assumptions of the Innsbruck School of Peace Studies.
Other important representatives of the Innsbruck School of Peace Studies are Josefina Echavarría (Research and Publications Coordinator), Daniela Ingruber (Coordinator MA Program), Jennifer Murphy and Andreas Oberprantacher. Each academic year leading international scholars of Peace and Conflict Studies visit the UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies and its MA Program at the University of Innsbruck.
Transrational Peace Philosophy
The Innsbruck School of Peace Studies is based on Wolfgang Dietrich's transrational approach to Peace Studies and is outlined in his Many Peaces Trilogy. Spanning continents as well as disciplines, Dietrich presents a panorama of diverse interpretations of peace in world history and culture. In a journey through time and space, Dietrich outlines the so-called five families of peace - energetic, moral, modern, post-modern and trans-rational. He stresses the importance of combining rationality and reason with human properties such as emotion and spirituality in applied peace work. This ontological assumption indicates a paradigm shift and proposes a new epistemological understanding of peace, which is at the heart of the Innsbruck School's peace philosophy.
Elicitive Conflict Transformation
Elicitive Conflict Transformation was first introduced to the field by John Paul Lederach in 1995 and is the applied method of transrational peace philosophy. Drawing on the debate on multi-track diplomacy, Lederach initially distinguished between three levels of conflict:
- Top Leaders
- Middle-Range Leaders
Wolfgang Dietrich draws on Lederach's systemic approach to conflict and developed a multi-layered model of conflict analysis. Furthermore, he systematizes elective conflict transformation techniques in three main groups:
- Voice Oriented Approaches to Conflict Transformation; e.g. non-violent communication after Marshall Rosenberg and Theme-Centered Interaction after Ruth Cohn.
- Body-oriented approaches to conflict transformation; e.g. Theatre for Living after David Diamond, Butho- and Five Rhythms Dance, after Gabrielle Roth
- breath oriented approaches to conflict transformation; e.g. Holotropic Breathwork after Stanislav Grof and Sylvester Walch.
All three types of approaches to conflict share a strong reference to systems theory and hence a strictly relational understanding of conflicts.
Elicitive Conflict Mapping
Elicitive Conflict Mapping is a brand-new tool that has been developed at the Innsbruck School of Peace Studies. By bringing together the theoretical and academic building blocks of the Innsbruck School of Peace Studies in a didactical format, with special emphasis on the graphic components, ECM aims to support those in search of:
- Understanding and clarifying the conflict episode
- Visibilizing the conflict parties
- Viewing the conflict dynamics at different levels and through different layers
Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies
In January 2017 the Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies was inaugurated at the University of Innsbruck's Faculty for Social and Political Sciences. The Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies consists of the UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies, which is the rooftop for a large number of research and cooperation projects and the MA Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation.
UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies
The UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies of the University of Innsbruck was established in June 2008 as a consequence of the systematic research on the interpretations of peaces and the unique approach to peace studies as developed by Innsbruck’s MA program for Peace Studies since 2001. The agreement has been signed between the UNESCO, represented by its Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, and the University of Innsbruck, represented by its rector Karlheinz Töchterle.
In the light of the excellent results achieved and confirmed by the positive evaluation of the report on its activities, UNESCO renewed in February 2015 the 2008 agreement concerning the UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck until June 2019.
According to the agreement the main purposes of the UNESCO Chair are:
- the promotion of an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation in the field of peace studies;
- the facilitation of collaboration between high-level, internationally recognized researchers and teaching staff of the University and other institutions in Austria, in Europe and North America, and other regions of the world;
- the reinforcement of the existing network of cooperating partners through further regional, as well as international, cooperation;
- the enhancement and complement of the already existing on-line teaching methods;
- the exchange of professors, researchers, and students with other universities within the framework of UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme.
The MA Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Studies
Founded in 2002, the MA Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation has become a leading Masters Program, training the next generation of Peace and Conflict Studies scholars and Conflict Workers. In its didactical approach the program follows a relational approach to conflict of elective conflict transformation, which is conveyed to the students in theory and practice. After the successful completion of an MA thesis students are awarded the academic title Master of Arts (120 ECTS Credit Points). The first UNESCO Chairholder Professor Wolfgang Dietrich is the third academic director of the MA Program, following Prof. Anton Pelinka and Prof. Alan Scott in this function.
Unit for Peace Studies Alumni Network
Established in 2008, a vast amount of alumni initiatives have emerged within the active network of graduates from the MA Program in Peace and Conflict Studies. Amongst others this includes the Innsbruck Academic Festival of Many Peaces, the Many Peaces Magazine, the Peace Fund and the Many Peaces e.V..
Many Peaces Festival
The Innsbruck Academic Festival of Many Peaces is an international peace and conflict studies conference, facilitating a dialogue amongst scholars engaged within the field of transrational peace philosophy, as well as practitioners, within the field of elective conflict transformation. The 1st Innsbruck Academic Festival took place between August 9 and 14 2015 at the Grillhof Seminar Center in Innsbruck, Austria.
Many Peaces Magazine
The Many Peaces Magazine was conceptualized and launched in 2014 by Adham Hamed, Mayme Lefurgey, Paul Lauer and Isabelle Guibert. It was created as an outlet to showcase the work of alumni, students, cooperation partners and friends of the Master of Arts Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation and the UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies located at Universität Innsbruck, Austria. The magazine is published twice a year, in January and July of each year. The Many Peaces Magazine team has changed and developed over the past volumes and is currently coordinated by a team spread out over three continents and features authors and stories from around the globe. Many of the articles, stories and contributions that can be found in the magazine relate to the field of Peace Studies in some way, but more specifically to the fields of Transrational Peace Philosophy and Elicitive Conflict Transformation.
List of Volumes
- A Magazine for Many Peaces (1/2015)
- The Art of Living Sideways: Skateboarding and Peaces (2/2015)
- Joking for Peaces: Theatre in Conflict Transformation (1/2016)
- Revolutionary Moments (2/2016)
- Gender and Peace Building (1/2017)
- Healing and Conflict Transformation (2/2018)
- Peace Education (1/2018)
- Violence and Peace Work (2/2018)
Peace Studies Fund e.V.
An alumni run initiative raising funds for scholarships for peace and conflict studies scholars from the Global South. For more information please visit their website: www.peacestudiesfund.org
Many Peaces e.V.
An alumni run initiative organizing workshops on applied methods of elicitive conflict transformation, as developed at the Innsbruck School of Peace Studies.
- UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies (2014): MA Program, available at URL: http://www.uibk.ac.at/peacestudies/ma-program/, last accessed November 19, 2014.
- Koppensteiner, Norbert (2014): Norbert Koppensteiner: Home. Available at URL: http://koppensteiner.wissweb.at, last accessed November 19, 2014.
- UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies (2014): Elicitive Conflict Mapping Available at URL: http://www.uibk.ac.at/peacestudies/ecm/, last accessed November 19, 2014.