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The Best People For The Worst Places

From the end of World War II through the end of the 20th Century approximately 3.3 million people were killed in intrastate conflicts and over 16.2 million were killed in intrastate civil wars! Most people read those numbers, shake their heads, and move on to the next item. A very few people stop and decide that they must devote their lives to modify this proclivity of our species to kill each other on an incomprehensible scale for generally indefensible reasons.

For these people, however, there have been few institutions in which to study large-scale dispute resolution as an applied academic discipline. However, in the last few years Rotary International, through its Foundation, has established and funded two formal peace studies programs for dedicated young professionals any where in the world who desire academic training in conflict resolution on national and international levels.

The first of these programs is the World Peace Fellowship program located at six Centers for International Studies in partnership with the following prominent universities:

  • Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA (joint Center)
  • International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
  • Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England
  • University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

These Centers promote research, teaching, and publication about worldwide conflicts and strategies to promote effective conflict resolution. Each year approximately sixty students come from around the globe and, through interaction with the faculty and each other at the several Centers, are able to develop a deep appreciation for the historical, religious, economic and cultural bases for conflict and to develop an area or field in which they can utilize their unique skills to systematically reduce conflict in a given setting. Each Center has its own curriculum focusing upon conflict resolution, international relations, international development policy, journalism, environmental studies, public health, economics, education and public administration.

Each Rotary World Peace Fellowship is a grant of $60,000 (US) for a Masters level program of one or two years. Competition for this fellowship is on an international basis and originates with nomination by a Rotary Club. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with at least three years work experience in a relevant field. They must be proficient in more than one language and demonstrate leadership skills along with a history of commitment to international peace and understanding.

The second Rotary peace program is the Peace and Conflict Studies Program. This certificate program awards approximately $6,000 -$11,000 (US) to mid-level professionals with a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of work experience to attend a three-month intensive program in mediation and conflict resolution at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Sessions are from January – March or July – September. The sessions of up to thirty participants include both academic learning and practical fieldwork locally.

Those of us engaged in mediation of individual conflicts may well be aware of individuals who would be interested in applying for one of these unique educational opportunities. If so, we ought to make them aware of these outstanding international conflict resolution programs.

Further details on the World Peace Fellowship program can be found on-line at:

Details on the Peace and Conflict Studies Program can be found on-line at:

Additional information on these conflict resolution studies programs is also available from the author.


Richard Barron

Richard Morley Barron is a 1971 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School who has been engaged in civil litigation in federal and Michigan courts for over thirty years in the Flint area. He has mediated cases ordered into mediation by the courts as well as being privately retained… MORE >

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