Brandeis University, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
To visit the Heller School website, click here.
There Can Be No Development without Peace
Alan B. Slifka Professor and Director of the graduate program in Coexistence and Conflict
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
As the Alan B. Slifka Chair of the graduate programs in coexistence and conflict, how do you define your mission?
There are still too many violent conflicts in the world. Our humanity cannot accept this indignity. Our responsibility is to bring lasting peace in conflict-affected areas, but how? We need a new generation of professionals who can leverage the strategies and skills that have proven effective. In a nutshell, peace-leading is the mission of our school. Our programs aim to wage peace globally and locally, by preparing peacemakers to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts. Our students and our alumni become agents of change, from conflict to coexistence.
How do you see your role as a professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management?
Every faculty member at the Heller School is a bridgemaker between theory and practice. We go to the field not simply to study it, but to advance the cause of social justice. Personally, on the theoretical side, I have developed worldwide programs in research and education to further responsible leadership. On the practical side, I have been involved as a mediator, locally in Burundi and the Congo, and globally as facilitator of the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.
How do you build peace?
Peacebuilding involves transforming a conflict-affected society and achieving peaceful coexistence. We start with the social reality, then we analyze it, extract the best practices, and learn from failure. We then bring these experiential theories to our students, who return as reflective practitioners to the field. In this way, more finely tuned practices emerge, which in turn further a more sustainable peace.
What will a student learn from your programs?
Our students, who are 80 percent international, spend one year in residence at Heller. They study with experts in the fields of conflict strategies, dialogue and mediation processes, civil society movements, race relations, international politics, human rights, and ethnic conflict. Students then spend three months in the field, in governmental, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental organizations. This fieldwork is more than an internship; it links theory and practice. Students enter an organization, audit their courses of action, and assess the results. Our future graduates’ observations help conflict practitioners and then bring stronger, more informed skills and strategies back to the Heller community, through their field thesis and the capstone.
What about the dual degree with the program in sustainable international development?
There is no development without peace, and no peace without development. That is why Heller offers the unique option of a dual master’s degree with the program in sustainable international development. Through an additional year in residence, students develop the skills necessary to undertake and engage in development and aid work under conditions involving violent conflict.
Where do the alumni of your programs work?
Our graduates work with organizations as diverse as the UN High Commission for Refugees in Kosovo; the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan; the UNDP Crisis Prevention and Recovery Program, USAID Democracy and Governance Program in Southern Sudan; the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) in Rwanda; the EastWest Institute for Stability and Development in Serbia; and the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia in Tajikistan.
Jump to another Graduate School Forum: The Changing Face of International Affairs Education page:
- Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)
- Harvard Kennedy School
- Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Vienna School of International Studies
- Tufts University, The Fletcher School
- Duquesne University, Graduate Program in Global Leadership
- The Johns Hopkins University, The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
- University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies
- The New School, Graduate Program in International A¬ffairs
- Ritsumeikan University, Graduate School of International Relations
- University of San Francisco, Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) Program
The Changing Face of International Affairs Education
Leigh Morris Sloane
Harvard Kennedy School has put the G in International Affairs: International & GLOBAL Affairs
Think Global, Act Global: International Environmental Management
Preparing a Leader for How the World Really Works
Preparing Global Leaders
Problem-Solving in the Era of Globalization
David J. Jhirad
Study with Academics, Practitioners, and Policymakers
Media and Education for Global Change
Past and Present, Theory and Practice: Aiming for Interdisciplinarity in the Study of International Relations
Establishing a Global Community
Back to Sponsored Section Index