Academic Course Calendar - International Peace Studies with specialization in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies - 2017 - 2018

Courses and Teachers
2017 - 2018 - International Peace Studies with specialization in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies
Course listings are continously updated with new information
Courses Teacher Credits # Weeks Dates
UPEACE Foundation Course
Mandatory
Alonso Muñoz
(Costa Rica)
Heather Kertyzia
(Canada)
Jan Breitling
(Germany)
Manish Thapa
(Nepal)
Mayumi Yamada
(Japan)
Mihir Kanade
(India)
Miriam Estrada-Castillo
(Ecuador)
Ross Ryan
(Canada)
3 credits
3 weeks
21 Aug-08 Sep 2017
8:45am - 11:45am At Council Room
Introduction to International Peace Studies, from War to Peace
Mandatory
Jerry Sanders
(United States)
3 credits
3 weeks (NOTE: One double session on Thursday 5 October – 8:45 a.m.-4:15 p.m.)
18 Sep-06 Oct 2017
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Classroom #2
The United Nations System and UPMUNC (Part I)
Mandatory
José Riera-Cézanne
(United States)
Mihir Kanade
(India)
2 credits
2 weeks
11-25 Oct 2017
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Council Room
Media: Theories and Practices
Mandatory
Ross Ryan
(Canada)
3 credits
3 weeks
30 Oct-17 Nov 2017
1:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. At Classroom #3
Strategic Nonviolence Resistance
Mandatory
Maciej Bartkowski
(Poland/United States)
3 credits
3 weeks (NOTE: including three double sessions -on Thursday 30 Nov, 07 and 14 Dec - 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.)
27 Nov-14 Dec 2017
1:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. At Council Room
The Kurds between Past and Present Genocides in Iraq: Fresh Hopes or New Tragedies?
Optional
Mohammed Ihsan

2 credits
2 weeks
15-26 Jan 2018
At Classroom #3
Ethical Media Production and Peace Journalism
Mandatory
Saumava Mitra
(India)
3 credits
3 weeks
15 Jan-02 Feb 2018
1:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. At Classroom #4
Tools for Conflict Resolution and Transformation
Mandatory
Balázs Kovács
(Hungary)
3 credits
3 weeks
7-27 Feb 2018
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Council Room
Research Methodology
Mandatory
Ross Ryan
(Canada)
3 credits
3 weeks
5-23 Mar 2018
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Council Room
Gender and Media
Mandatory
Heather Kertyzia
(Canada)
2 credits
2 weeks
2-13 Apr 2018
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Classroom #2
Working in Conflict and Post-Conflict Areas - Field Training
Mandatory
Ross Ryan
(Canada)
2 credits
1 week
16-20 Apr 2018
8:45 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. At Council Room
Terrorism and Conflict: Issues and Perspectives
Mandatory
Manish Thapa
(Nepal)
3 credits
3 weeks
2-22 May 2018
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Council Room
The United Nations System and UPMUNC (Part II)
Mandatory
Ross Ryan
(Canada)
1 credits
1 weeks
28-30 May 2018
8:45 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. At Council Room
Reporting and Representing Distant Suffering
Mandatory
Saumava Mitra
(India)
3 credits
3 weeks
4-22 Jun 2018
1:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. At Classroom #5
Graduation Project: Thesis (8 credits) or Internship (8 credits) or Capstone (5 credits)
Mandatory
UPEACE Resident Faculty

8 credits
-
25 Jun-31 Dec 2018
Research Methodology (I Part)
Mandatory
UPEACE Resident Faculty

1 credits
1 week
26-30 Nov 2018
8:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. At Council Room



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COURSE DESCRIPTION

The UPEACE Foundation Course provides a critical and concise introduction to the broad field of “Peace Studies” for students in ALL UPEACE programs. It initially addresses key conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of the origins and development of peace studies as an interdisciplinary area within the fields of international relations and political economy. Based on a critical analysis of policies, strategies, institutions, organizations and movements, the course then examines a range of core issues, dimensions, perspectives and paradigms for understanding the root causes of conflicts and violence and constructive strategies to address them and build peace in contemporary global, international, regional, national and local contexts. The core concepts include militarization, disarmament and arms control; human rights violations and promotion; gender inequalities, gender-based violence and gender mainstreaming; structural violence, human security, development and globalization; environmental sustainability; corporate social responsibility; international law in conflict and peacebuilding; cultural and religious identities; media’s role in conflict and peacebuilding; strategies of nonviolence; and peace education. This Foundations course will be essential in catalyzing the awareness, understanding and motivation of UPEACE students in diverse academic programs to relate, ground and intersect their specific areas of academic and practitioner interest with core theoretical, conceptual and analytical ideas in peace studies.

This course will present a comprehensive and critical overview of key conceptual and theoretical ideas, themes and alternative paradigms in International Peace Studies, including a conceptual grounding in the interrelated fields of international relations/security, conflict analysis, resolution and transformation, militarization and disarmament, and the related roles of international organizations.  The core themes and concepts outlined above will be introduced through a historical and comparative analysis of traditional and critical approaches to international peace and security encompassing the dominance of hegemonic peace following the second world war; the ascendance of liberal peace at the end of the cold war; and the emergence of cosmopolitan peace at the turn of the 21st century. Students will examine the work of  several theorists and analysts in various disciplines and interdisciplinary fields including political science, international relations and political economy to understand how each of these orientations has added a new revisionist understanding of peace and security, reinterpreting old orthodoxies to meet the demands of changing circumstances and new challenges.

The pursuit of an elusive peace for humanity has been one of the major driving forces for the establishment of international organisations throughout History. The struggled for maintenance of peace and peaceful settlement of disputes have been the most important aim of most Humanity. Two world wars have been needed, however, to institute finally an international organisation committed itself essentially “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”  The United Nations emerged in 1945 as a stronger and wiser international organisation resolved to avoid the circumstances that led to the failure of its predecessor, the League of Nations.

After 70 years of its foundation, the historical, socio-political and economic development circumstances of the world have changed and with them, the UN has evolved towards a contemporary new architecture reflected in the adoption of an organisational philosophy able to respond to the current necessities of the world particularly on the subjects related to pacific settlement, collective security and development. One of the most important changes relates to the new criteria about Peace. In the world of former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Mon “Building peace is about much more than ending war. It is about putting in place the institutions and trust that will carry people forward into a peaceful future. We often have a limited window of opportunity in which to do this.”

This course serves as a specialized introduction to the field of media and peace studies and establishes the historical context and thematic focus that will be developed throughout the IPS-MPCS programme. Key concepts from journalism, communications, and media studies are reviewed and evaluated in light of their contributions to our understanding of peace and war, and discussed in the context of 21st century media networks and technologies. Course content addresses contemporary concerns related to propaganda and conflict escalation, censorship and freedom of speech, privacy and surveillance, as well as the potential for greater cross-cultural exchange, collective problem-solving, global civic engagement, and individual empowerment through open access to information. Participants are also equipped with practical tools for critical analysis and media literacy.

In a world still beset with militarized violence and multiple other forms of conflicts, a meaningful question is whether nonviolence can be an effective strategy for resolving these conflicts. This course seeks to provide a critical understanding of the growing movements and communities of people using principles, concepts and methods of nonviolence in addressing conflicts and challenging political violence/repression and economic, social and cultural injustices to build a culture of peace in diverse societies. Drawing on the ideas and philosophies of various nonviolence advocates as well as  national and local case studies, a comparison of these strategic nonviolent movements  will clarify  reasons for their success and/or failures and their possibilities and challenges in bringing about political and social transformation.  In sum, the course  seeks to provide some key conceptual and practical insights on the role of strategic nonviolent resistance in peacebuilding.

This course introduces students to the struggles of Kurds in the context of genocides committed against
them in the past as well as in the current ongoing conflict against ISIS. It explores the Kurdish national
movement  and  its  prospects  and  challenges.  At  the  end  of  the  course,  the  students  will  have  an understanding of the history of the Kurds in the Middle East with specific emphasis on the Kurds of Iraq from the birth of Kurdish nationalism to the present day. The first session will offer an overview of the history of the Kurds and their relation with the succeeding Iraqi governments. The second session will cover the history of genocides in Iraq against the Kurds and other minorities exploring the causes and the consequences for the political and social stability of the area. The third session will focus on the heritage that this culture of violence has created in the area and the genocides committed by ISIS. The fourth session will discuss the future of Iraq and the Kurds in the context of the Middle East. The last session will explore which is the future of Iraq as a country after the liberation of Mosul and the new balance of power born from the end of the war with ISIS and the definitive collapse of the order established in 1916 with the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

This course examines theories of media ethics and their relationship to contemporary media production. Lectures and course materials explore and question concepts such as objectivity, neutrality, and truth, as well as various “alternative” ethical paradigms that value “immersion” and “advocacy” on the part of media professionals. In this context, the concept of peace journalism is introduced and analyzed in depth. Participants will learn to recognize, analyze, and practice Peace Journalism, and discuss its potential for creating an informational context conducive to peace and supportive of peace initiatives and peacemakers, without compromising the basic principles of good journalism.

Designed as an advanced workshop, this course provides a conceptual, theoretical and analytical understanding of, as well as practical skills in conflict analysis, negotiation, resolution and transformation essential in peacebuilding within and between states. Drawing on examples of complex conflicts involving nation-states, non-state groups, communities and citizens, students will examine various frameworks and tools for analyzing those conflicts, including the drivers, processes of escalation and conditions for de-escalation. The course will also provide basic knowledge, tools and skills in the vital strategy of negotiation in managing and resolving conflicts. It focuses on how the process of conducting diplomatic negotiations and other informal processes aimed at managing inter-state and intra-state conflicts have an impact on the outcomes of those conflicts, laying the foundations for outcomes ranging from stable peace to further escalation of violence. The workshop will also introduce students to various types and strategies of mediation as an important means of alternative conflict or dispute resolution. In the concluding sessions, students will examine the differences between conflict resolution and conflict transformation which focuses especially on addressing the root causes of conflicts, transforming and building long-term relationships with grassroots and community empowerment and fostering reconciliation.

The central goal of this course is to provide the students with a critical understanding of research methodologies used in the social sciences, particularly those that are relevant to peace and conflict studies and peace-building. Students will also get an introduction into the field of peace education as a tool for various research fields in peace studies. Initially, students will explore conceptual and theoretical perspectives underlying various paradigms in research methodology, including modern and post-modern as well as quantitative and qualitative approaches. Informed by post-positivist concerns, the course will raise students’ awareness of their relational and ethical position vis-à-vis their research. Drawing on examples of studies in diverse conflict and peacebuilding contexts, students will also be introduced to the design and conduct of a research study including a range of specific research methods such as surveys, interviews, content analysis, case-studies, participatory action research, evaluation research, ethnography, and feminist and indigenous approaches. The orientation, process and potential of these approaches to enact change towards social justice will be examined. Drawing from several exemplars, some ethical considerations, accountability, strengths and limitations for making a difference in terms of social justice will also be discussed. Throughout the research process, ethical issues will be emphasised, especially gender equity and rights of subordinated groups.

As we have established in previous courses, media (in both its traditional and “new” forms) shapes our past, present, and future, and contributes in significant ways to the escalation of conflict and to practices of peace building. Here, we emphasize the gendered aspects of these processes.

In this course, we approach the media as a space for the negotiation of gendered identities, and interrogate the politics of representation from a multi-cultural and trans-disciplinary perspective. Our gender-focused analysis will address both the content of media messaging, and the wider social context of media production, activism, and advocacy. The agency of women in the media industry and the integration of gender in media NGOs will be considered in detail. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to engage with feminist critiques of media and communication studies, and to add their voices to contemporary debates on media, power, and gender.

Media is both an influential tool of socio-political and structural change, and an authoritative force for maintaining the status quo, and it is therefore essential to understand the full implications of its gendered dimensions.

This course is intended as a practical field exercise in conflict situations, as well as an academic seminar. The students will receive a basic training on how situations of stress or crisis influence them in a mental, physical, and professional ways. A series of scenarios drawn from contemporary conflict situations are presented to the participants as they simulate the work of journalists, NGO personnel and members of international organisations.

The course will focus on terrorism and related forms of political violence from a comparative and global perspective.  It will look at definitions, the prevalence of terrorism, techniques, the choice of targets, the effects of the media, and sources of support.  The course will also look at different types of terrorist organizations including ones that are primarily seeking to attain ideological objectives, groups with an ethnic or nationalist agenda, organizations with religious motivations, and those groups with a mixture of motives that are difficult to disentangle.  A portion of the course will also look at governmental support of local terrorist groups that target citizens of their own state.  In addition, it will look at counterterrorism and counterinsurgency techniques, including the effects that such activities can have on civil liberties. Finally, the relative success or failure of terrorist groups in achieving their objectives will be evaluated as part of the process of determining what the future is likely to hold.

The UPEACE Model United Nations Conference (UPMUNC) is a graduate-level simulation of the real United Nations Organization, its most important specialized agencies, and other associated organizations. UPMUNC provides a common platform for UPEACE students and participants from several other universities to discuss international affairs and to gain a greater understanding of the procedures of the United Nations. Participants become familiar with key global issues by becoming part of the international decision making process to resolve them, and in so doing, are given an opportunity to apply their skills in negotiations, public speaking, and diplomacy.

This course will focus on how conflicts and crises are conveyed in and through various media and by various actors and trace the concomitant role such ‘coverages’ i.e. representations and mediations, of human suffering has in creating conditions of global humanitarian and humane responses. Based on the body of research on portrayals of ‘distant suffering’ through audio-visual, visual and text-based media while drawing upon theoretical works of Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Edward Said, Judith Butler, Barbie Zelizer, Lille Chouliaraki and Stuart Allan among others, this course will bring socio-semiotic understanding of media’s ‘messages’ into critical contact with how media depicts war and conflict for global audiences.

The course will also broaden the understanding of media to include not only news and other commercial and mainstream media but also humanitarian communications by international community organizations, international NGOs and other donor or charity-funded organizations as well as digital representations of conflicts and crises produced by local citizens and activists. Students will not only learn how commercial media distorts representation of conflicts and crises, reifies stereotypes and biases and creates ‘worthy’ and ‘unworthy’ victims but also how such representations are also present in humanitarian and activist communications. Furthermore, the students will engage with counter-flows to such biases and stereotypes in media representation which are emerging[1] in an increasingly complex global media system dependent on digital technology and globalized, de-centralized production systems.

The Graduation Project is a concluding academic requirement intended to be a comprehensive and capstone outcome of the student educational performance. It is a higher academic exercise that enables the student to demonstrate the ability to identify a problem, determine an academic objective to address it and utilize an appropriate methodology to attain such objective. The Graduation Project is also intended to demonstrate the student’s ability to write and critically develop a professional and scholarly report. The Graduation Project can be fulfilled through one of the following modalities:

  • Thesis: 8 credits
  • Internship: 8 credits (3 months)
  • Capstone: 5 credits*

Graduation Project Guidelines with detail information of each modality will be provided by your Academic Department.

*NOTE: Students who choose Capstone as Graduation Project must take an extra 3-credit course according the following options:

  • One additional course (face to face modality), which means taking 2 parallel regular master courses (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) if approved by the student's MA Programme Coordinator
  • One additional 3-credit course or two additional 2-credit courses (online modality), which means taking 2 or 3 parallel courses (one face-to-face master course and one 3 credit course or two 2-credit courses approved by the student's Programme Coordinator) before June 2018
  • One additional 3-credit course or two additional 2-credit courses (online modality) extended from June 2018 until December 2018 (the online course or courses must be approved by the student's Programme Coordinator)

The central goal of this course is to provide the students with a critical understanding of research methodologies used in the social sciences, particularly those that are relevant to peace and conflict studies and peace-building. Students will also get an introduction into the field of peace education as a tool for various research fields in peace studies. Initially, students will explore conceptual and theoretical perspectives underlying various paradigms in research methodology, including modern and post-modern as well as quantitative and qualitative approaches. Informed by post-positivist concerns, the course will raise students’ awareness of their relational and ethical position vis-à-vis their research. Drawing on examples of studies in diverse conflict and peacebuilding contexts, students will also be introduced to the design and conduct of a research study including a range of specific research methods such as surveys, interviews, content analysis, case-studies, participatory action research, evaluation research, ethnography, and feminist and indigenous approaches. The orientation, process and potential of these approaches to enact change towards social justice will be examined. Drawing from several exemplars, some ethical considerations, accountability, strengths and limitations for making a difference in terms of social justice will also be discussed. Throughout the research process, ethical issues will be emphasised, especially gender equity and rights of subordinated groups.



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FACULTY

Alonso Muñoz is Instructor in the Department of Environment and Development at the University for Peace, where he coordinates the Master of Arts (MA) degree in Responsible Management and Sustainable Economic Development (RMSED). He holds a BSc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Costa Rica and a Msc. in Business Administration. He has worked in the private sector as a consultant and as an entrepreneur, and has volunteered on various national and international projects regarding peace education, migration, environmental impact of systems and Social Enterprises. He is a novelist, a blogger, a peace advocate, an entrepreneur and passionate about social and environmental development.

Balázs Áron Kovács currently serves as the programme manager of forumZFD, a German NGO working in the field of conflict transformation. He is in charge of forumZFD’s programme in the Philippines. Earlier he taught international relations at Webster University Thailand and peace and conflict studies at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica and the Philippines. Balazs received his PhD degree in 2017 from the University of New England, Australia, in peace studies/politics and international studies. His research focuses on local-level peace-building, state theory, and state-society interactions of the violent kind.

Resident Professor and Academic Coordinator of Peace Education Programme
Heather Kertyzia is currently Resident Professor and Academic Coordinator of Peace Education Master Programme at the University for Peace. She is also an assistant professor of Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding at California State University Dominguez Hills. She focuses on peace education, working with teachers in participatory action research to create more peaceful secondary schools. As a former secondary school teacher, Heather understands the importance of the local community in building more socially, economically and environmentally just educational spaces. As an interdisciplinary student and scholar, she has worked with communities throughout the Americas, with a recent focus on partnering with local grassroots organizations in Nicaragua.

Jan Breitling is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Development at University for Peace. He holds a BSc. in Tropical Forestry, from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, and a MSc. in Environmental Sciences from WUR Wageningen University and Research Center, The Netherlands. His research interests include root causes of deforestation and Global Environmental Change, and Environmental Governance, specifically market based approaches addressing biodiversity conservation and Climate Change.

Jerry W. Sanders is retired from the University of California, Berkeley where he served as Professor and Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies.  Dr. Sanders’ teaching and research interests include cosmopolitan and critical peace theory; globalization and governance; human security and peacebuilding; militarization and geopolitics; and neo-conservatism in American political culture and foreign policy.   He is the author of Peddlers of Crisis: The Committee On The Present Danger and The Politics of Containment (South End Press, 1983), a co-founder of the World Policy Journal, and a contributing author to the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace (Oxford University Press, 2010).   Dr. Sanders is also founder and director of  The Summer Peace Institute in Human Security and Peacebuilding Practice at the UN-mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica), in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley.  In addition to his academic writings, he has published articles in World Policy, The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, and  Mothers Jones.   Dr. Sanders received the Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley (1980) and served as a community development Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia (1967-69).   He has also taught abroad in Spain, Mexico, Sweden, and Argentina. 

Professor José Riera-Cézanne is Adjunct Professor in the Department of International Law at UPEACE as well as an international consultant (United Nations and non-governmental organizations). He joined UPEACE in 2017 following 32 years of distinguished service with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), most recently as Special Adviser to the Assistant UN High Commissioner for Refugees (Protection), Mr. Volker Türk. Professor Riera-Cézanne is a seasoned expert in multilateral consultations and negotiations relating to refugees and other populations who are of concern to UNHCR and to the United Nations, as well humanitarian issues more broadly. He brings to UPAZ his in-depth knowledge of international refugee law and protection issues; international humanitarian law and norms relating to the protection of the world’s growing number of internally displaced persons; international law relating to statelessness and nationality; human rights law; international migration and efforts to improve global governance of international migration and refugee flows; international migration and human rights; comprehensive refugee response frameworks as called for in the United Nations General Assembly’s New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of 2016; climate change and its ramifications for migration, displacement and planned relocation of affected populations; humanitarian accountability; evaluations of humanitarian assistance; fund raising from Governments, Foundations and others; and the UN’s cooperation with faith-based actors in development and humanitarian interventions. Professor Riera-Cézanne holds degrees from Yale College (BA cum laude, SY ’77), Columbia Law School (JD ’81), the Parker School of Foreign and International Law (Certificate in Foreign and International Law ‘81). He has also worked towards a doctorate from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, and studied at The Hague Academy of International Law (Private international law and Public international law). His principal area of academic research is documenting the impacts of climate change on human mobility and identifying effective adaptation strategies and State policies to promote them. He has lectured in a number of universities over the years, including the NATO School, (Germany) the University of Washington (USA) and the University of Groningen (Neth.). Lectures and presentations Contribution to the United Nations Global Compact on Refugees: Lessons from the 1989 International Conference on Refugees in Central America (CIREFCA), UNHCR-organized meeting on “Towards a global compact on refugees”, Thematic discussion 1 on Past and current burden- and responsibility-sharing arrangements, Palais des Nations, Geneva, 10 July 2017 Recent Developments in International Governance of International Migration and Refugee Flows: The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, Lecture at the University of Washington, Faculty of Geography and Migration, 27 February 2017 (Unpublished – available upon request) The UN’s Cooperation with Faith-based Actors: Recent Developments, Lecture at the University of Washington, Faculty of Geography and Migration, 27 February 2017 (Unpublished – available upon request)

Dr. Maciej Bartkowski is Senior Director for Education & Research at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), which is an independent, non-profit educational foundation based in Washington DC (USA) that develops and encourages the study and use of civilian-based, nonmilitary strategies aimed at establishing and defending human rights, democratic self-rule and justice worldwide. Dr. Bartkowski works on academic programs for students, faculty, and professionals, curricular development, and global academic and educational outreach and research in the growing field of civil resistance studies. He has taught or lectured on strategic nonviolent conflict, movement's mobilization, nonviolent actions, civil resistance and democratization at various academic institutions around the world, including George Mason University, John Hopkins University (adjunct faculty), Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Amsterdam University, University of Basque Country and Deusto University in Bilbao, Central European University in Budapest, Cambridge University, Rosario University in Bogota, SAIS program in Bologna, Honk Kong University, Euro-Mediterranean University in Slovenia, Collegium Civitas in Poland, Cairo University in Egypt and UPEACE.. His numerous publications on nonviolent movements, strategic nonviolent conflict and civil resistance include, Rediscovering Nonviolent History. Civil Resistance in Liberation Struggles and Nation-Making (Editor, Lynne Rienner, 2013), chapters in Understanding Nonviolence: Contours and Context (Hallward & Norman, Polity Press, 2014), and (coauthored) "Myopia of the Syrian Struggle: Key Lessons" in Future of Authoritarianism (Atlantic Council, 2014). He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and M.A. in International Relations and European Studies from Central European University in Budapest, completed his undergraduate work at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and speaks fluent English, Polish and Russian, as well as some Ukrainian and German.

Head, Dept. of Peace and Conflict Studies, Resident Professor and Academic Coordinator of International Peace Studies Programme and International Peace Studies with specialization in Media, Peace and Conflict Studies Programme
Dr. Manish Thapa is Head of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies and Resident Professor of International Peace Studies Master Programme at the University for Peace. 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. 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 2017 (Forthcoming - In Press); "From Bullet to Ballot – Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in Nepal: Lessons Learned and Unlearned" (Editor), London: Routledge 2017 (Proposal accepted); “Internal Conflicts & Peacebuilding Challenges" (Editor), New Delhi: K W Publishers 2016 and "India in the Contemporary World: Polity, Economy and International Relations" (Co-editor), London: Routledge 2014.

Mayumi Yamada (Ph.D.).
Resident Professor and Head of Doctoral Programme

Dr. Mayumi Yamada is Resident Professor and Head of the Doctoral Programme of the UN Mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) in Costa Rica. Prior to joining UPEACE, she worked as the Recovery, Reintegration & Peace Building Officer of United Nations Mission in South Sudan. During the December Crisis 2013 in South Sudan, she remained as a life-saving staff, directly managing one of the biggest Protection of Civilians sites by supporting humanitarian assistance. Before joining UNMISS, she worked with UNDP Offices in Kazakhstan (Semipalatinsk: ex-nuclear testing sites), Maldives, Lao PDR and Solomon Islands, and the UN Centre for Regional Development (Disaster Management Planning Unit). She holds a Ph.D. Degree in Sustainable Development from Imperial College London, UK. She is originally from Kobe (Japan), who survived from the Great Hanshin- Awaji Earthquake in 1995.

Dr. Mihir Kanade (India) is the Academic Coordinator of UPEACE, the Head of its Department of International Law, and the Director of the UPEACE Human Rights Centre. He holds an LL.B. from Nagpur University (India) and a Master degree and Doctorate from UPEACE. He is also an adjunct faculty at Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio (Spain), Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal), and Long Island University (United States). His principal area of academic research and study is International Law, Human Rights and Globalization, covering several themes within that interface including trade and investment, sustainable development, forced migration, indigenous peoples’ rights, public health, amongst others. He has extensive experience in training staff of inter-governmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as professionals, in the field of human rights. He acts as an advisor to several human rights organizations and corporations on issues related to international law and human rights. He serves on the International Advisory Board of the International Bar Association on the topic of Business and Human Rights. He also leads a project of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on promoting the Right to Development. Prior to his pursuit in academia, Mihir practiced for several years as a lawyer at the Bombay High Court and at the Supreme Court of India.
Dr. Miriam Estrada-Castillo (Ecuador) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Law. Prior to joining UPEACE, Dr. Estrada-Castillo worked as the Senior legal and political officer in the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). Prior to that position, she has worked with the UN system in various capacities, including as the International Prosecutor General, UN Peacekeeping Mission for East-Timor (DPKO), Expert and Vice-Chairperson of the Monitoring Committee of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Chief of Field of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Latin America Regional Adviser on Gender, Human Rights and Culture of Peace for UNESCO. She has also worked as the President of the Ecuadorian Supreme Court of Juvenile Justice and as the Minister of Social Affairs in Ecuador. In her academic life, she worked recently as the Director of Master Degree Courses on Gender and the Law and Children in Armed Conflict, Lund University, Sweden. She is a Visiting Professor of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) and has also taught courses as a Visiting Professor at the Australian National University. She is the author of the Ecuadorian Law on Violence against Women and of the first Legislation for Minors and Family in the country.

Instructor, Liason, 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”.

Saumava Mitra did his PhD from University of Western Ontario, Canada. His doctoral research was on the working conditions and image production of Afghan photojournalists who cater to global audiences. His abiding interest is in understanding the nuances of representations conflicts and crises and he has explored this topic from various angles in his previous research publications. He was recipient of an Erasmus Mundus scholarship from the European Union during his Master’s program in Journalism which he pursued in Denmark, Netherlands and the UK. Before his research career, he worked in international journalism and international development in India, Netherlands, Tanzania and Kenya.

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