George Mason University
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George Mason University

S-CAR Activity Recap - May 2018

May 24, 2018


After April’s busy month, the end of the Spring semester closed with two significant awards, including Tatsushi Arai being name a UN Peace Envoy and one journal article and one book chapter by Douglas Irvin-Erickson. Twenty-two newspaper articles and five TV interviews predominantly focused on the upheavals in the Middle East. One focused on Nelson Mandela's grandson Siyabulela Mandela, a Visiting Scholar at S-CAR.  A few of the news articles and one radio show focused on national school issues including the latest high school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.  

Susan Hirsch and Richard Rubenstein were on hand to inaugurate a new School for the Study and Practice of Conflict Resolution at the University of Malta, providing the keynote presentations and public lectures framing its future vision. They are also on the Governing Board for the new school.  Several other public presentations occurred including Daniel Agbiboa providing a public lecture at Vilnius University in Lithuania. Karina Korostelina led a panel of S-CAR community members at the Association for the Study of Nationalities 26th Annual Conference in New York city.  Sixty Vigny Nimuraba defended his dissertation on May 29, 2018.

On May 5, 2018, Professor Dennis Sandole passed away after a long battle with cancer. His funeral was held May 12, 2018. Dennis Sandole was hired in 1981 as the first dedicated faculty member of S-CAR when it was the Center for Conflict Resolution. He will be dearly missed.

Karina Korostelina organized an S-CAR Faculty Conference at Point of View, showcasing current faculty research.  The event was renamed the 1st Annual Dennis Sandole Memorial Research Conference. The sessions were livestreamed and graduate students participated as discussants.

Awards and Honors

Tatsushi Arai, PhD '05, was name a United Nations Peace Envoy. He was selected from 400 international applicants to join a small multi-national team of mediation experts who are named UN "Peace Envoys to the World". 

Carlos E. Sluzki, M.D., Professor Emeritus at S-CAR, received the Distinguished Career in Sciences award from the Washington Academy Of Sciences on May 11, 2018.

Academic Publications

Book Chapters

Douglas Irvin-Erickson contributed a “Forward by Douglas Irvin-Erickson” in A Rhetorical Crime: Genocide in the Geopolitical Discourse of the Cold War, by Anton Weiss-Wendt. Published by Rutgers University Press, May 10, 2018.

Journal Articles

Daniel Agbiboa published an article "Eyes on the street: Civilian Joint Task Force and the surveillance of Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria" in the Intelligence and National Security Journal, May 24, 2018. 

S-CAR in the News

Visiting Scholar, Siyabulela Mandela was reference in an article by Lenore Adkins, about "African and Caribbean Countries Score Big at Embassy Chef Challenge" on May 24, 2018 for the AFRO news.

The African Defense Forum Staff quoted S-CAR PhD '18 Ernest Ogbozor, in "A study of Boko Haram’s public communications offers hints on its strategy" that was published on the DefenceWeb website, on May 28, 2018.

Mohammed Cherkaoui, PhD ’12, assessed “Trump’s Withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal: Security or Economics?” for an article published by Al Jazeera, on May 10, 2018.

George Dwyer, Affiliate Research Faculty at S-CAR, reviewed a conference about "Public Journalism and Deliberative Democracy: Exploring the Role of Narrative" for the S-CAR News, on May 5, 2018. 

Ibrahim Fraihat, PhD ’06, contributed a subsection on “The Middle East’s New Battle Lines - Qatar” for a publication by the European Council on Foreign Relations, on May 1, 2018.

Jason Miller, MS ’10, was quoted in an article by John Gehring about “Traditional Disobedience: Renewing the Legacy of Catholic Activism” in Commonweal Magazine, May 22, 2018.

John Dale Grover, MS student, gauged that the “Trump-Kim Summit Unlikely to Bring Full North Korea Denuclearization -- but War Can Be Avoided” on Fox News, on May 11, 2018.

Walid Jawad, MS ’08, wrote two articleor the Al Arabiya News Channel, one on “Santa Fe, Texas: Another ‘Terrorist’ School Shooting” on May 20, 2018 and a second article on May 28th, 2018 on "The US-North Korea Summit: Deeper into the twilight zone".

Talha Kose, PhD ’09, published two articles in the Daily Sabah, “French Touch May Not Help Stabilize the Middle East”, May 5, 2018 and “Consequences of Trump’s Decision to Withdraw U.S. from Iranian Nuclear Deal” on May 11, 2018.

Ruth Marcus, on May 3, 2018, examined the situation Simona Sharoni, PhD ’93, experienced when “She Called His Elevator Joke Offensive. He Called Her Complaint ‘Frivolous.’ Who’s Right?” Ruth Marcus is a columnist for The Washington Post.

Buzz McClain wrote three articles about the S-CAR community for Mason University News.  He interviewed Siyabulela Mandela, for an article about how "Nelson Mandela's grandson working toward PhD at Mason's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution" on May 10, 2018. He published an article on May 16, 2018, about Josephine Neulen, an S-CAR Minor undergraduate student for his "Graduation profile: Her poster on European populism turned into a book deal".  Lastly, he interviewed Dean Kevin Avruch and referenced Zhang Wang, PhD ' 05, about Tatsushi Arai, PhD '05, who received the honor of "Mason conflict analysis grad Tatsushi Arai serves as UN 'peace envoy for the world'", an article published on May 24, 2018. 

Christopher Mitchell  wrote about "Dennis Sandole: A personal memoire" for the S-CAR News, published on May 18, 2018.

S-CAR News staff posted two articles for the S-CAR News, one "In Memoriam: Dennis Sandole"  on May 7, 2018, and the second,  "Melanie Greenberg gives keynote address at S-CAR's degree celebration" on May 18, 2018.

Susan Hirsch was the subject of a newspaper article/interview titled “When Laws Don’t Apply To Everyone, It Is A Classic Case Of Tyranny” written by Kevin Schembri Orland for The Independent (Malta), on May 13, 2018.

Lisa Schirch, PhD ’99, weighed “Rethinking Mennonites’ Approach to Israel and Palestine” in an article for The Mennonite, on May 14, 2018.

Yerevan Saeed, PhD student, wrote one article for the Washinton Institute Fikra Forum on "Kurdish opposition parties lost in May 12th election: Does fraud explain it?" on May 23, 2018 and was quoted by Paul Iddon in Rudaw, "Would a Kurdish speaker in Iraq’s parliament change Kurd’s fortunes in Baghdad?" on May 13, 2018.

Mushfique Wadud asked S-CAR Research Professor Gregory StantonWhy the Term ‘Genocide’ Avoided for Rohingyas” for the Prothom Alo (Bangladesh) news, published on May 10, 2018.


Television and Radio Presentations


Mohammed Cherkaoui, PhD ’12, was a guest panelist on an Al Jazeera Inside Story assessing “Where Does the Middle East Conflict Go from Here?” on May 14, 2018.

Ibrahim Fraihat, PhD ’06, was invited to speak on four TV episodes.  The first two segment, both on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story, focused on “What’s next for Lebanon?” on May 8, 2018 and “The Burning Frustration of the Palestinian People” on May, 18 2018. The other two segments were on Al Jazeera, “ما وراء الخبر-حين تؤيد البحرين ضربات إسرائيل في سوريا” on May 11, 2018 and “تم نقل السفارة” on May 14, 2018.

Yerevan Saeed, PhD student, was interviewed on Voice of America Kurdish Edition. The title of the segment was "یەریڤان سەعید باس لە سیناریۆکانی پاش هەڵبژاردنەکان لە عێراق دەکات", on May 25, 2018.


Janine Gaspari, BS student, and a student representative of Transparent GMU, talked about “When Private Donations To Public Universities Come With Strings Attached,” on Washington D.C.’s NPR’s Kojo Nnamdi Show on May 9, 2018.


S-CAR Events, Presentations, and Public Lectures

Daniel Agbiboa provided a public lecture entitled "Dying to Save: How Youth are Fighting Terror in West Africa," at the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University, Lithuania, May 17, 2018. He also presented a paper entitled "Beyond the Abyss: Urban-Rural Assemblages and the Surveillance of Boko Haram in Northeastern Nigeria" at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Migration: Vulnerability, Protection, and Agency, in Oslo, Norway,  May  25, 2018. Additionally Daniel Agbiboa was invited to deliver a 3-week intensive course on African Studies, the first of its kind, to the cadets of International Relations at the Lithuania Military Academy in Vilnius, from May-June, 2018.

Susan Hirsch delivered a public lecture titled “The Call for Rule of Law: A Feminist Approach to Peace and Social Inclusion” at San Anton Palace at the invitation of the President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society in Malta on May 17, 2017.

Susan Hirsch attended the launch of the Centre for the Study and Practice of Conflict Resolution at the University of Malta on May 22, 2017, on the Msida campus of the University of Malta. The new Centre was established with the assistance and partnership of S-CAR. Susan Hirsch and Rich Rubenstein are members of the Centre’s Governing Board.  Susan also presented a talk titled “Linking Theory to Practice: An Overview and Critique of Conflict Resolution Education” at a conference on new directions in Conflict Resolution held on May 23, 2018 in honor of the Centre’s launch. 

Sarah Federman, PhD ’15, led a workshop on “Conflict Resolution In Action: Learning Double-listening, Externalization, and Circular Questioning” on May 6th 2018 at Old Saint Paul's Church in Baltimore, MD.

Karina Korostelina, Gul Mescioglu Gur, PhD ‘17 and Molly Tepper, PhD candidate, presented a panel at the Association for the Study of Nationalities on May 4th, 2018 at Colombia University in New York, NY. Karina Korostelina spoke about the “Dynamic of Social Boundary and Intergroup Violence: Comparative Analysis of Violence in Central Asia and Ukraine”. Gul Mescuioglu Gur presented on the “Historical Narratives and Boundary Shifts: Negative Conflict Transformation and Failure in Turkish-Kurdish Peace Process”, and Molly Tepper’s paper was about “Mitigating “Far Right” Mobilization: Expanding Nationalistic Boundaries in Canadian Communities through Multiculturalism”.

Richard Rubenstein gave the inaugural lecture at the University of Malta's new Centre for the Study and Practice of Conflict Resolution on the subject "A Global Context for Malta's New Peace Centre" on May 21, 2018.

S-CAR 1st Annual Dennis Sandole Memorial Faculty Research Conference at Point of View

Karina Korostelina organized a conference on May 7, 2018, consisting of five panels of S-CAR faculty presenting their research. PhD students and candidates were invited to be discussants while other graduate students attended as audience members. The event was recorded and livestreamed. (Note- to see the session recordings, click on the panel titles).

First Panel- Political conflicts and social justice

Conference introduction and welcome by Dean Kevin Avruch
Chair: Karina Korostelina; Discussant: Gbenga Dasylva and Molly Tepper

Richard Rubenstein: “Radical Lives: Leaders and Lessons of the Peace and Justice Movement, 1967-1975”
Tehama Lopez Bunyasi: “White Privilege Attitudes and the 2016 Election”
Arthur Romano: “The Truth Telling Project”


Second Panel- Public opinion and dominant discourses in conflict dynamics

Chair: Tehama Lopez Bunyasi, Discussants: Elena Cirmizi and Lauren Kinney

Solon Simmons: “Narrative Profiling: How to take the Other’s Suffering Seriously”
Sara Cobb: “Narrative Intersections of “Hate” and Gender”
Mara Schoeny: “Historic Discourses in Conflict”

Third Panel- Local actors: production of knowledge and agency

Chair: Daniel Rothbart; Discussant: Emily Sample and Chukwuma Onyia

Karina Korostelina: “Neighborhood Resilience in the Conditions of Chronic Urban Violence: Social Identity Approach”
Daniel Agbiboa: “Understanding the Interface between Community Vigilantism and State Counter-terrorism Operations in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin”
Pamina Firchow: “Reclaiming Everyday Peace: Local Voices in the Politics of Measurement and Evaluation after War"

Fourth Panel- Understanding social processes

Chair: Solon Simmons; Discussant: Umed Partov and Sandra Tombe

Juliette Shedd and Brant Horio: “Agent Based Models and Public Opinion Processes”
Thomas Flores: “Who's the Boss? Political Leadership and Sovereign Debt Ratings"
Douglas Irvin-Erickson: “The Verdict on Sexual Violence and War Crimes Prosecutions in Cambodia and the ICC: Justice Denied and Reconciliation Subverted”

Fifth Panel- Advancing conflict resolution practices

ChairMara Schoeny; Discussant: Angelina Mendes and Margarita Tadevosyan

Daniel Rothbart and Susan Allen: “Systemic Compassion in Conflict Resolution”
Marc Gopin: “Modern Philosophical and Scientific Analysis of Compassion as a Foundation for Pro-Social Behavior: Experimentation with Application and Practice in War Zones”
Patricia Maulden: “Reconciliation as Praxis: Localized Actions and the Politics of Knowledge”

S-CAR Dissertation Defenses

Sixty Vigny Nimuraba- "Ethnic Identity Shift in Burundi" on May 29th, 2018.

Centers and Publications