George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Faculty Research

Seeking Paths to Engage with the World

Nearly 40 years ago, S-CAR faculty defined, shaped, and started leading the field of peace and conflict studies. Through multidisciplinary, cross-cutting research our faculty present solutions and ways forward in varied and complex conflicts. Philanthropy offers faculty the resources to share their expertise, expand their reach, and make a difference in the global community. 

We invite you to explore some of the ways to invest in our faculty’s success.

Prevention of Mass Violence

A core principle of conflict resolution is the prevention of mass violence among groups defined by race, religion, or nationality. The giving priorities below foster prevention, while enhancing the knowledge, practices, and policies of conflict prevention. 

  • Early warning indicators: A program team of doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers and faculty draw from extensive analysis of the causes and consequences of violent conflicts. This results in an integration of approaches to genocide prevention and identity-based conflicts with the potential for research in conflict prone countries and a deployment system.
  • Practitioner in residence: Reconciliation is designed to foster positive relationships among groups seeking to heal the wounds of violence, addressing past grievances, and promoting a shared vision of the future. A practitioner in residence will identify lessons learned from past reconciliation, assess similar efforts, and eventually serve as an expert-advocate for reconciliation.
  • Arlington community building: We are focused on building authentic connections within Arlington—bringing schools, police, community groups, courts, youth leagues, and religious organizations together. With support for MS student scholarships, we can strengthen and increase the conflict resolution tools for all these groups and create greater collaboration.
Role of History in Conflict and Post-Conflict Societies

In many societies, history is politized, used to define the exclusion of groups—such as immigrants, refugees, minorities—and to justify violence against them. In post-conflict societies recovering from violence, issues of dealing with the past are delicate and often involve reconciling with memories of victimization, racial injustice, slavery, and genocide. Even in periods of stability, history forces society to confront issues from its past that are regularly avoided. That said, history can also be an effective tool for youth empowerment, reconciliation between groups, the creation of national unity and restorative justice. 

This working group seeks funds to:

  • Revise the curricula and media representations of history, trainings for historians and history teachers with a post-doctoral position or doctoral student leading workshops.
  • Collaborative programming with museums, national parks, and other spaces of civic engagement around issues of renaming and removals—these programs will focus on youth empowerment.
  • Collection and curation of oral histories and a preservation of living histories of conflicts for the prevention of mass violence with a post-doctoral position or doctoral student. 
  • Host an Activist in Residence (AIR) to move from narrative change to transformation. A two-month summer program will give an AIR space and time to address the issues facing the communities they serve, while strengthening the community’s commitment to social justice. Open to activists of all backgrounds, including educators, artists, and community advocates. 
Transitioning Justice Hub

Transitioning Justice aims to enhance inquiry, engagement, and learning about justice in its many forms as a core consideration in the study of peace and conflict. We are informing the public debate about the nature of a just society through partnerships with practitioners and affected communities. Transitioning Justice highlights: 1) urgent questions about the adequacy, utility, fundamental fairness, and sustainability of approaches to justice in the current moment and 2) historical and contemporary social movements aimed at reforming justice institutions, practices, and understandings (Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, rule of law promotion, truth-telling, reparations, prison abolition initiatives, community-based alternative dispute resolution) to achieve social justice.

Ways to support the Transitioning Justice hub:

  • Scholarships for doctoral and master’s students pursuing justice-related topics
  • Scholarships for incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and justice-involved students 
  • Development of courses/degrees to be delivered in jails, prisons, and detention facilities
  • Paid internships for students with Transitioning Justice partners (Arlington County, Fairfax County, school districts, NVMS, Human Rights NGOS, government agencies, etc.)
  • Development of training models for police de-escalation and restorative justice
  • Support for integrated transitioning justice learning communities as a model for violence affected cities
  • An annual conference
  • An award to recognize leaders of the field
  • Transitioning Justice Lab for Engagement with Partners to serve as a site for incubating and fostering partnerships.
Publications