Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre at the University of Iceland has received a grant from the Nordplus Higher Education programme to develop intensive courses in peace and conflict studies. The first one-week intensive course will take place in Tromsö, Norway, in spring 2020, the second one in Tampere, Finland, fall 2020, and the third and final one will take place in Iceland spring 2021. The courses mark the first step in the development of a masters programme in peace and conflict studies at the University of Iceland.
The project, People, Communities and Cities in Peacebuilding: An Inclusive and Intersectional Approach to Peace Studies (InPeace), designs innovative intensive courses in peace studies, building on unconventional and critical approaches to peace processes. It draws on femininities, masculinities and intersectionality, allowing for improved understanding of conflicts in the current state of affairs.
Sub- and non-state actors are increasingly relevant internationally, exemplified by sanctuary cities in the US, social movements like #metoo, various insurgencies in Afghanistan, IS in Iraq/Syria, or maoist movements in India. This phenomenon emerges simultaneously with increased nationalism and extremism, where populist parties and politicians have gained in global prominence. Many of these actors represent “grassroot” movements, reflecting the political interests of people who have otherwise not felt represented by the state. In response, renewed approaches in peace and conflict studies are needed, focusing on peacebuilding “from below”, acknowledging gender and other categories, understanding “the local” in peace processes, and sub/non-state actor roles as either spoilers or supporters of peace.
The InPeace project creates an innovative network of university-based peace institutes in the Nordic region, strengthening the position of Nordic universities in peace research and education. InPeace develops new teaching material through three intensive courses in Tromsø, Tampere, and Reykjavík.
The project is coordinated by Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre, in collaboration with Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI) at the University of Tampere and the Centre for Peace Studies (CPS) at UiT - The Arctic University of Norway.
Pia Hansson, Director of Höfði Reykjavik Peace Centre, Auður Örlygsdóttir, Project Manager at Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre, Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir, Associate Professor in Political Science, and Guðrún Sif Friðriksdóttir, PhD student in Anthropology at the University of Iceland, will coordinate it on behalf of Höfði Reykjavík Peace Centre and the University of Iceland, in cooperation with professors from the partner universities.