Richard Rubenstein

Richard Rubenstein
Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Affairs
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J.D., 1963, Harvard Law School
M.A., 1961, Oxford University
Honours School of Jurisprudence (Rhodes Scholar)
B.A., 1959, Harvard College
Magna Cum Laude in History and Literature


Richard E. Rubenstein is University Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Affairs at George Mason University, holding degrees from Harvard College, Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar), and Harvard Law School. A former lawyer, political scientist, and director of S-CAR, he is the author of eight books about various types of violent social conflict and the possibilities of resolving them nonviolently. Rubenstein teaches grad and undergrad courses on conflict theory and speaks publicly on issues of peace and social justice.   

Awards and Honors
Residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Bellagio, Italy
Richard Rubenstein was awarded a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Bellagio, Italy, for four weeks in March and April 2009. Rubenstein will use the residency to work on his...
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Committee Chair

In Progress
Titlesort icon Semester
The purpose of the course is to develop our understanding of violent structural conflicts and the possible methods of...
Explores how people translate underlying grievances into collective action. Examines how groups organize, frame, and...
Explores role of religious ideas, practices, and organizations in conflict, war, peace making, and conflict...
Topics vary; they are announced each academic year.
Taken in last semester of master’s student course work. Assists in developing students’ own theories of conflict and conflict...
Examines major theories of conflict causation and motivation. Emphasizes need for theories to inform processes of conflict resolution. Weaves...
Capstone course in which students reflect on what they have learned, integrating knowledge from course work and...
Examines causes, sources, and origins of  group violence with particular attention to group violence of...
Terrorism is a significant factor in conflict worldwide, yet the underlying causes and conditions that give rise to terrorist activity are often...
Covers conflict at mezzo level, introducing theories of social harmony and conflict, drawing on sociology, social...
Covers deeply rooted, intractable, or protracted social conflicts around core issues of identity, including race,...
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Title Published Date
May 08, 2012
Richard Rubenstein explores both the rhetoric that sells war to the public and the underlying cultural and social factors that make that sales pitch so effective. Through analysis of discourses that have led to wars, the author offers a new way to think about the...
Category: Book Chapter
March 26, 2012
In Chapter 2 “The role of civilians in American war ideology,” Richard Rubenstein examines the reasons why Americans go to war in the past two centuries. He shows how past American military campaigns have been shaped by normative beliefs regarding why...
Category: Book Chapter
September 28, 2010
What makes Americans fight? Why do the professed first citizen of the free world so often accept armed conflict as a political measure, and how do we justify those choices to ourselves? When is war the right decision?From the American Revolution to the end of...
Category: Book
June 25, 2009
Popular justifications for war in the USA have long been based on normative values embodied in America's civil religion, including a sacred right of self-defense. Over time, these justificatory rationales have been adapted and expanded to generate public...
Category: Journal Article
June 25, 2009
This special issue of Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict (DAC) grew out of a conference convened in 2005 at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) of George Mason University to celebrate Professor Christopher Mitchell’s imminent elevation to...
Category: Journal Article
September 09, 2008
Category: Book Chapter
September 01, 2008
Category: Book Chapter
September 01, 2008
Category: Book Chapter
November 13, 2006
In ancient Judea, Jeremiah and Isaiah advised kings and priests and watched the great armies of the ancient Near East sweep across the desert, threatening and overtaking their tiny country with its burgeoning faith. Across centuries a new view emerged based on...
Category: Book
September 20, 2004
Europe was in the long slumber of the Middle Ages, the Roman Empire was in tatters, and the Greek language was all but forgotten, until a group of twelfth-century scholars rediscovered and translated the works of Aristotle. His ideas spread like wildfire across...
Category: Book
August 13, 2003
Category: Book Chapter
August 01, 2003
Category: Book Chapter
July 10, 2000
The story of Jesus is well known, as is the story of Christian persecutions during the Roman Empire. The history of fervent debate, civil strife, and bloody riots within the Christian community as it was coming into being, however, is a side of ancient history...
Category: Book
January 01, 1996
The two public lectures contained in this working paper were presented by Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution faculty member Richard E. Rubenstein at the University of Malta. "Conflict Resolution and Political Power" was presented in Valletta...
Category: Papers & Reports
September 22, 1994
Samuel Huntington's theory on how to craft a new paradigm capable of revealing the principal sources of conflict and collaboration in a rapidly changing international system is criticized. It is argued that destructive conflict between identity groups can be...
Category: Journal Article
June 01, 1994
Readers opening the New York Times on the morning of February 7, 1909, saw the headline: Police and Reds Both Hunt Azeff. "Where is Azeff?" the report began. "Who will get to him first? Who will be his executioner, the Russian police or the...
Category: Book
January 01, 1994
What is "the news" about? International conflicts and communal wars. Religious upheavals and racial disorders. Political debates and family disputes. Arrests, shootouts, strikes, layoffs, feuds, fistfights...and lawsuits (always lawsuits). From page one...
Category: Papers & Reports
April 01, 1993
Immediately following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi troops in August 1990, many scholars and practitioners in the field of conflict resolution went on record opposing military action by United States or United Nations forces to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi...
Category: Papers & Reports
September 01, 1989
"Group Violence in America: The Fire Next Time?" is the second working paper of the Center for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.Both writings will come as a surprise to those who think of conflict resolution as being...
Category: Papers & Reports
September 01, 1988
In a calm, level-headed analysis, Rubenstein offers a powerful rebuttal to many assumptions about terrorism. He maintains that terrorist acts are often the responses of frustrated people to American-sponsored oppression that is intended to protect U.S. imperial...
Category: Book
January 25, 1988
Category: Journal Article
February 01, 1973
Category: Book
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Title Published Date
January 15, 2016
Poverty, inequality and global conflict are issues that remain under-prioritised, said President of Malta Marie-Louise
Category: Newspaper Article

November 16, 2015
Friday’s terror attacks on Paris have shaken the world. To understand what happened and why—as well as what
Category: Newspaper Article

November 13, 2015
Public lecture atThe President’s Foundation for Wellbeing of Society, Verdala Palace, Malta, 16 October 2015There
Category: Newspaper Article

August 21, 2015
Despite the deluge of articles, tweets, photos, and jokes about Donald Trump, there has been very little discussion of
Category: Newspaper Article

March 26, 2015
What’s the first best weapon to combat terrorism?Good jobs-lots of them.What’s the second best weapon?
Category: Newspaper Article

March 2015
Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated film American Sniper (2014), the most profitable war movie ever made in the
Category: Newsletter Article

September 11, 2014
Then we speak with Richard Rubenstein, University Professor of Conflict Resolution and Public Affairs at George
Category: Radio Broadcast

April 30, 2014
Category: Television Appearances

See video
February 19, 2014
How likely are Western powers to retract their 'Assad must go' statements? Could we again see the possibility
Category: Television Appearances

September 23, 2013
Once again, with the United States on the brink of war with Syria, the public debate is focusing on the wrong issues.
Category: Newsletter Article

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Title Event Datesort icon
Peace journalism is a critical part of supporting peace education. Peace journalism provides new narratives to counter the overwhelming stories of violence and fragmentation among communities in Darfur. These narratives can provide examples of communities solving disputes in peaceful ways and
January 30, 2016
Please join the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution for an informal discussion with Johan Galtung.  The event will be interactive, with discussion focused on the recent attacks in Paris to the situations in Syria, Ukraine, Palestine/Israel, the South China Sea, and elsewhere. The focus
November 20, 2015
Dissertation Defense: Michael English The Peace Reform In The Field Of Power: The National Peace Academy Campaign And The Establishment Of The U.S. Institute Of PeaceFriday, November 6th11:00am - 1:00pmMetropolitan Building Room 5183 Committee:Chair: Prof. Richard Rubenstein Prof.
November 06, 2015
Watch the video on C-SPAN hereRSVP HereThis is part of an event series sponsored by the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution to dis
September 23, 2015
Proposal Defense - Saba KidanePost-Conflict Regime Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa:  the case of Eritrea and NamibiaMonday, August 311:00pm - 3:00pmConference Room 5183 Committee: Juliette R. Shedd, Assistant Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, PhD, Committee-ChairRichard
August 31, 2015
The Nexus between U.S. Foreign Policy and Conflict Resolution or Protraction:The case of North KoreaTuesday, July 21st1:30pm- 3:30pm Conference Room 5183This study analyzes the connection between U.S. foreign policy and its mechanisms for either the resolution or protraction of conflict using
July 21, 2015
Agora Conference: Polarized Conflicts Between PartiesWednesday, April 8th1:00pm - 4:00pmResearch 163, FairfaxRSVP HereAgora is excited to announce its first conference focused on the polarized conflict between parties in the U.S. As a student organization focused on academic excellence, dialogue,
April 08, 2015
Dissertation Defense: Michael LoadenthalThe politics of the attack: a discourse of insurrectionary communiquésWednesday, April 1st2:00pm - 4:00pmConference Room 5183Committee Members:Professor Rich RubensteinProfessor Leslie DwyerProfessor John DaleFollowing the new millennium, and the massive
April 01, 2015
Martin Luther King Jr. Event SeriesCommunity Healing: Pain and HopeWith Dr. Mary Wade and PhD Student Nawal RajehFacilitated by Prof. Richard Rubenstein Friday, January 23rd, 201512:30pm - 2:00pm Metropolitan Building Room 5183*Light lunch will be provided<
January 23, 2015
Join in a discussion of new ideas with experts on terrorism, insurgency, narratives of violence and conflict resolution.Many people have pointed out the costs associated with a violent military campaign against al Qaeda, Islamic State, and other violent organizations now operating in the Middle
November 17, 2014
Title Event Datesort icon
Presentation to SALT advocates and Virginia legislators (RICHMOND ROUNG-UP FORUM) Dr. Richard Rubenstein of George Mason University on 03.22.2014 in Vienna, Virginia 
March 22, 2014
Some of the conflicts most difficult to resolve are those generated by failing or dysfunctional social and political systems. How can the systems that generate structural violence, crime, ethnic struggles, and war be changed to eliminate endemic violence? This brown bag discussion will function
April 09, 2013
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