International Peace Studies

Overview

In recent years, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies has made considerable progress toward becoming an internationally recognized center of knowledge and expertise on the causes of violent conflict and paths to peace in the 21st century.

Kroc is a champion of strategic peacebuilding, which it defines as “the creation and nurturing of constructive relationships—across ethnic, religious, class, and racial boundaries—for the purpose of transforming structures and social, political, and cultural dynamics that promote discrimination, inequality, hatred, war, and other forms of deadly violence.”

This concept of dedicating intellectual, spiritual, and material resources to communities striving for peace gives shape and direction to the institute’s many initiatives spanning research, undergraduate and graduate education, and public service.

From an institutional standpoint, strategic peacebuilding resonates with the Catholic intellectual and ethical traditions at the heart of Notre Dame, embodying the ideals of a preferential option for the poor, solidarity with victims of injustice, and concern for the common good, not the interests of partisan or ideological factions.

Kroc’s commitment to strategic peacebuilding encompasses the principle of subsidiarity, as well. This means that the institute calls on governments, international institutions, and transnational organizations to empower, rather than subordinate, local communities in efforts to build sustainable and just peace.

By enhancing the scale, scope, and excellence of its research, the Kroc Institute aims to emerge as the nation’s preeminent peace and justice educator and assume the responsibilities for the future of the field of peace studies that such a position entails.

The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies has made considerable progress toward becoming an internationally recognized center of knowledge and expertise on the causes of violent conflict and paths to peace in the 21st century.

View Strategic Plan News

Goals

The Kroc Institute has identified three overarching goals as part of its strategic planning process, each of which advances one or more of the five University-wide goals:

1. Become a recognized world leader in research on the causes of violent conflict and strategies for building peace

University Goals Supported

  • Goal I: Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors
  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • Goal V: Engage in external collaboration that extend and deepen Notre Dame's impact

Strategies

  1. Enhance understanding and the effectiveness of peace processes via the continued development of the Peace Accords Matrix, an interactive database created and maintained by the Kroc Institute that features comparable data on comprehensive peace agreements signed since 1989
  2. Build peace through the inter-religious scholarship and public discourse facilitated by the institute’s “Contending Modernities: Catholic, Muslim, Secular” project
  3. Reform the institutions and methods of peacebuilding to better meet the challenges of a globalized era, focusing on initiatives related to sanctions and security; Catholic approaches to peacebuilding; international norms and institutions; reconciliation, religion, and transitional justice; and policy studies

2. Extend and enhance graduate education in peacebuilding and peace research

University Goals Supported

  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten

Strategies

  1. Develop the Ph.D. in peace studies, which was launched in 2008 and comprises five distinct yet related interdisciplinary degrees, into the premier doctoral program in the field and one of the best at Notre Dame
  2. Revise the M.A. in light of the new Ph.D. program’s focus on research, such that the former becomes more specialized and provides training for those interested specifically in professional peacebuilding careers
  3. Foster substantive interaction between doctoral and master’s students, as well as undergraduates, through select courses, extracurricular programs, and research opportunities

3. Lead peace studies and peace research into the mainstream of U.S. higher education, political discourse, and policymaking

University Goals Supported

  • Goal I: Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors
  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • Goal V: Engage in external collaborations that extend and deepen Notre Dame’s impact

Strategies

  1. Support faculty initiatives (e.g., publications, symposia, policy briefs) that build a case for integrating peace research into the formulation of U.S. foreign policy as well as the policies and practices of other national governments, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, religious bodies, and multinational corporations
  2. Respond to requests from the Catholic Church for training and strategic advising that will enhance its capacity for peacebuilding in conflict areas
  3. Convene an annual Summer Institute for Faculty in Peace Studies to bring together teams of academics who want to launch a peace studies program at their institution, strengthen or develop a new dimension of an existing one, or move an established program to the next level of design and rigor
  4. Maximize the impact of the professional peacebuilders trained at Kroc by cultivating a robust alumni network

Learn more about the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies by visiting kroc.nd.edu.