Who we are
At the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR), the whole community of faculty, students, staff alumni and partners is committed to the development of theory, research, and practice that interrupt cycles of violence. S-CAR is an innovative academic resource for people and institutions worldwide. It comprises a community of scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, practitioners, and organizations in the field of peace making and conflict resolution. S-CAR is a Commonwealth Center for Excellence, recognized for its leadership in the field and its world-renowned faculty.
S-CAR is committed to:
- Advancing the understanding of deeply rooted conflicts between individuals, groups, organizations, and communities in the United States and all over the world through research, teaching, practice, and outreach
- Carrying on a systematic and ongoing study of the nature, origins, and types of social conflicts
- Developing the requisite processes and conditions for the productive resolution of conflicts
PHILOSOPHY OF CONFLICT
The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution views conflict as a normal product of human interaction, neither good nor bad. S-CAR recognizes that the effects of conflict can be positive or negative. Our work attempts to maximize the creative renewing positive qualities of conflict while minimizing the destructive distorting negative ones. We describe conflict as a dynamic system in which events and understandings constantly restructure and re-interpret the past, present and future. Our objective is more resilient social, institutional and global relationships; able to handle routine conflicts more efficiently and able to weather serious conflicts which might destroy more rigid structures.
STATEMENT OF INTENT
S-CAR has anchored itself, theoretically and practically, on applied ethics, a normative value framework that far surpasses, in complexity, the traditional ethical framework of “neutrality.” At S-CAR, we use “reflective practice” as the method by which we grow as human beings and as theorists, researchers, and practitioners; it refers to the process by which persons learn, with others, from reflection on their experience.
Over the years, S-CAR faculty have used “reflective practice” to develop theoretical frameworks and research methodologies to explore the root causes of conflicts, publishing books and articles that are used widely across other academic programs. S-CAR has also innovated in terms of clinical training. We created the Applied Practice and Theory (APT) program, a year-long course in which a cohort of students work in and with the community on the resolution of a conflict. This hands-on field experience is a central component of the S-CAR curriculum.
In doing so, our work aims to remove barriers between theory and practice, and to create a field characterized by “praxis.” S-CAR’s work is consciously directed toward the creation of a new academic field and profession—not so much a “multi-disciplinary” but a “trans-disciplinary” effort to understand and contribute to the solution of serious social conflicts.