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George Mason University

Programs and Projects

List of Programs and Projects

Dialogue and Difference

S-CAR’s Dialogue and Difference Project brings students, faculty, staff, and community members together to discuss current controversial and important issues.

Associated faculty

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Experiential Learning Project

Linking Theory to Practice: Conflict Analysis and Resolution Pedagogy builds the capacity of the interdisciplinary field of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CAR)  to play a key role in improving undergraduates’ ability to apply theory to practice in CAR courses, in general education, and beyond the classroom. The project consists of three initiatives in curricular innovation, each involving development, testing, and dissemination:

  • Initiative 1: Design introductory course materials in CAR, particularly experiential learning activities suitable for general education.
  • Initiative 2: Create a model for intensive service learning activities in domestic and international contexts.
  • Initiative 3: Promote best practices in designing CAR curricula to enhance students’ ability to link theory and practice, including models for strengthening partnerships between two- and four-year institutions and better aligning curricula across those institutions.

Through wide dissemination of curricular materials, approaches, models, and best practices, the project is designed to have significant, positive sustainable impact on educators and institutions locally, regionally, and nationally.

Principle S-CAR Faculty

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Insight Conflict Resolution Program (ICRP)

The ICRP seeks strategies to transform the social and cultural conflicts that: divide communities; create barriers to opportunity; and perpetuate social and economic injustice.

People often make decisions based on information that's filled with perceptual and factual errors. Because they feel threatened, they aren't open to new ideas, which makes it hard to learn and change. Insight practice tries to defuse those perceived threats, giving people the opportunity to question their beliefs and decisions, which can direct them toward a peaceful solution in tense situations.

Areas of interest include:

Associated S-CAR faculty

  • Jamie Price, Founding Director of ICRP and Research Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution

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Parents of the Field of Peace and Conflict Studies

This project was conceived to visually record the recollections and views of scholars and practitioners who initiated the field of conflict analysis and peace research. Professor Emeritus Christopher Mitchell and late S-CAR graduate Johannes (Jannie) Botes (University of Baltimore) conceived of and undertook the work of visiting, recording, and curating the memories and wisdom of an ever-growing index of luminaries associated with the genesis of our field.

The product of their labor, produced with assistance from S-CAR, the University of Baltimore, and a Hewlitt Foundation grant, is an archive of nearly 40 scholars, practitioners, and theorists whose work has shaped our nascent discipline since the 1950s. Interviews conducted over several years across the globe have been transcribed, lightly edited, and made available for public use via our website. Each interview stands as a unique resource in itself, but as a collection, the Parents of the Field project is an unparalleled historical document; it chronicles the development of a new scholarly approach to social problems, one centered not around disciplinary pillars but a commitment to practical, constructive change.

In addition to a description of the project, you can also find a complete list of interviewees on our site.

Associated S-CAR faculty

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Project on Contentious Politics (PCP)

The PCP is an interdisciplinary group of scholars seeking to understand contentious political movements that involve actors, processes, or goals that are outside the realm of everyday politics. These movements include:

  • Strikes
  • Civil rights activities
  • Human rights violations
  • Stolen elections
  • People’s power movements
  • Coup attempts
  • Ethnic riots
  • Civil wars
  • Revolutions
  • Genocides

The PCP organizes workshops, hosts lectures and discussions, and seeks to advance the work of scholars and graduate students working on these questions.

Topics of discussions include:

  • Historical roots of contemporary armed conflict
  • Conducting fieldwork in challenging environments
  • Censorship in post-Mubarak Egypt
  • Election violence in Africa

Associated S-CAR faculty

  • Thomas Flores, Co-Director of PCP and Assistant Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • Terrence Lyons, Co-Director of PCP and Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution
  • Agnieszka Paczynska, Co-Director of PCP and Associate Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution

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Program for the Prevention of Mass Violence

Why does mass violence occur?  This program is a hub for researchers, theorists and practitioners seeking to examine the outbreak of mass violence and how such violence can be prevented.  We seek to understand, explain and intervene in conflicts involving mass violence, from the perspective of the politics of identity:  religious, ethnic, nationalistic and racial.

Program Directors

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Sudan Task Group

The Sudan Task Group (STG) is committed to peace in Sudan through programs that entice and empower the people of Sudan to build positive relationships and a common vision for the future. 

Associated S-CAR faculty

Daniel Rothbart

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Zones of Peace

Zones of Peace is a working group consisting of faculty, students and alums, focused on researching local peace communities who try to find a way of surviving peacefully in places wracked by insurgencies and civil wars, such as the Philippines, Colombia, Northern Ireland or Indonesia's Aceh Province. The ZoP Group focuses on peacemaking and peacebuilding, especially on local people's efforts to estabish areas or regions that can serve as a sanctuary — an "island of peace" — from the surrounding violence that arises from civil wars, ethnic conflicts and secessionist movements.

Principle Faculty

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Centers and Publications