Peace Building & Rethinking Conflict

May 19-28, 2017

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland and Belfast in particular have been a site of political and religious struggle and violence over several decades between republicans and loyalists, Protestants and Catholics. The people of Northern Ireland tend to describe the current situation now as “post-conflict”, although the signs of The Troubles are everywhere present. Murals, peace lines and walls, and segregated neighborhoods result in an ingrained sectarianism. Many people have made significant efforts to bring about a sense of peace and the healing of these divisions to Northern Ireland, which have been expressed politically in the Good Friday Agreement. Yet, the work of rebuilding confidence and trust in the community and individuals remains an important task.

This travel seminar will embed you in an environment of conflict and conflict resolution, a setting that is actively involved in healing and creating new relationships between people, neighborhoods, and communities. The goal of this program is for you to leave Northern Ireland with a strong sense of the difficulties that communities and individuals face in building peace in the midst of conflict as well as practical tools you can use in your own work to bring about positive change in conflicted situations. Gary Mason is designing the program in Belfast. There will be required reading in advance of the program to help you prepare.

The quality and intensive nature of the program is such that students may be able to construct a course for credit at their institution. We will provide a detailed schedule and basic syllabus for all participants. Students may use this in discussion with their advisers about receiving credit for this program or constructing a course.

A detailed schedule and reading list will be provided to paid registrants on March 15. Participants may begin by reading the following (click the link to go to Amazon: “Making Sense of the Troubles: The Story of the conflict in Northern Ireland” by McKittrick and McVea.