Peace and Conflict Studies

The Department of Peace and Conflict Studies is an integrated grouping of programmes that affiliate, interrelate and synergize around core themes and perspectives in conflict analysis and the challenges to peacebuilding. The programmes share a common goal of providing a critical understanding and analysis of root causes of conflicts and violence in diverse local, national, global and societal contexts, while specifically focusing on various dimensions, strategies, sectors, institutions and levels of conflict resolution and transformation to build a peaceful world. 

The Department offers the following Master of Arts Programmes:

  • MA in Gender and Peacebuilding (GPB)
  • MA in International Peace Studies (IPS) 
  • MA in  International Peace Studies with specialization in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies (IPS-MPCS)
  • MA in Peace Education (PE)

Over the past several years, alumni have drawn upon the knowledge, skills, vision and commitment gained from these programmes to serve effectively and creatively in a wide range of peacebuilding-related roles in their societies and in the wider international community.


Resident Faculty


Gal Harmart (Israel)

Head, Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies, Assistant Professor, and Academic Coordinator Gender and Peace Building Programme and Peace Education Programme

Dr. Gal Harmat holds a PhD in Gender Analysis of Peace Education and Dialogue encounters from Nitra University (Slovakia) and a M.A. in Gender and Peacebuilding from the UN-Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. She was a professor in conflict transformation, peace education and gender and Co-Director of the Social Justice and Peace Education Teachers Training Program, Kibbutzim Teachers College in Tel Aviv, Israel. He has also been teaching in the World Peace Academy (University of Basel), the European Peace University (Austria), and the Arts and Social Change College in Israel. As a Gender and Peacebuilding Specialist, she has extensive experience in training, conflict analysis, dialogue facilitation, capacity building, peace education, research, gender empowerment and gender mainstreaming since 1998 in various countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, and West and South East Asia. Her consultancies include intergovernmental organizations (e.g. OSCE, UN Women, UNDP, and the Council of Europe), and various international and regional NGOs (e.g. Non Violent Peace Force, Friends of the Earth Middle East; Peres Centre for Peace).


Manish Thapa (Nepal)

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies and Academic Coordinator International Peace Studies Programme and International Peace Studies with specialization in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies Programme

Dr. Manish Thapa is Resident Professor of International Peace Studies at UPEACE. He is one of the founding members of Department of Conflict, Peace & Development Studies at Tribhuvan University Nepal (2007-2015). He is also currently Visiting Professor at the Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw, Poland and Senior Research Fellow at Center for Europe – University of Warsaw- Poland. He received his Post Doctorate in International Relations from the University of Warsaw, his Doctoral Degree in International Studies from University of Tokyo, Japan and Masters Degree in Peace & Conflict Studies from European Peace University, Austria. He has served as Research Fellow in several universities and institutes in Europe and North America such as the University of Warsaw; Department of Peace & Conflict Research, Uppsala University; Brown University; McGill-Echenberg Human Rights Fellow & Jeanne Sauvé Scholar, McGill University; Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. His publications include 6 books and numerous journal articles and book chapters including "Foreign Policy in the Global South: Anti-Westernism, Rhetoric and Identity” -(Co-editor), London: Routledge 2016 (Forthcoming - In Press); “International Relations in Asia: Great Powers and Institutions-(Co-Editor), London: Routledge 2017 (Forthcoming - In Press).


Ross Ryan (Canada)

Instructor, Liaison, Media, Peace and Conflict Studies Specialization and Editor, Peace and Conflict Monitor and Peace and Conflict Review

Ross Ryan holds degrees in political science and literature from McMaster University, Canada and the M.A. degree in environmental security from the University for Peace, Costa Rica. He is chief editor of the Peace and Conflict Monitor and managing editor of the Peace and Conflict Review, as well as instructor in the department of peace studies and liaison officer of the media, peace and conflict studies specialization. He is currently working on a research project entitled “Information Technology, Civic Engagement, and the Cyber-Ethnography of Peace Movements”.


Mirian Vilela (Brazil)

Executive Director, Earth Charter International Secretariat and the Earth Charter Center on Education for Sustainable Development

Mirian is also the coordinator of the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was an Edward Mason Fellow and a B.Sc. with focus on International Trade. She is currently working on a Doctorate on Education focusing her research on education for sustainability. She has participated in several annual meetings of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, as well as Preparatory Conferences to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Johannesburg Summit itself and the Rio+20 Conference.