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Center for Sustainable Development and International Peace

Center for Sustainable Development & International Peace

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Henry Luce Foundation Grant to the University of Denver to Advance Understanding of Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries

PRESS RELEASE (April 10, 2012)
(Denver, CO)––Dean Christopher Hill of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver announced today that the School's Center for Sustainable Development and International Peace has been awarded a $400,000 grant by the Henry Luce Foundation.

The award allows the Center to conduct a two-year research and policy-dialogue initiative that will advance understanding of the impact of religion on development and peacebuilding efforts in conflict-affected countries around the world.

Read the full press release on our research and publications page.

Research Program, 2012-2015

In 2012, SDIP will launch a new research program on the “Scarcity, Conflict, and Governance in Fragile States.”

The research, education, and policy-dialogue program will evaluate how countries vulnerable to intrastate conflict and extreme deprivation can improve their governance to reduce local, regional and global dynamics of energy, water and food shortages.

The program reflects the interdisciplinary expertise the Center brings to critical global issues and its outreach activities. Each track features a research component, and graduate-level education and training initiatives within the Korbel School. Tracks also will help students apply research and class findings to U.S. and global policies. We’ll focus particularly on global governance to manage the complexities of international interdependence.

  • Track 1: From Scarcity to Violence? Evaluating Causal Drivers and Escalatory Dynamics
  • Track 2: Food Security in Fragile States: Governance, Nutrition and the MDGs
  • Track 3: Migration in Conflict-Affected States
  • Track 4: Global Governance and Domestic Statebuilding: Meeting Challenges, Realizing Opportunities

Religion, Conflict and Peacemaking

The Center just finished a three-year integrated research, policy and education project on the role of religion in deeply divided societies and its linkages to inter-religious peacemaking

The research is published in the book Between Terror and Tolerance: Religious Leaders, Conflict, and Peacemaking (Timothy D. Sisk, ed.; Georgetown University Press, 2011). The volume explores the research question: Under what conditions do religious leaders justify or catalyze violence along identity lines that divide contemporary societies, and under what conditions do they lay the foundation for, advocate, and sometimes mediate for peace?

The book features thematic chapters on religion, nationalism, intolerance, Shi’a-Sunni relations, and case studies by leading scholars on Egypt, Israel and Palestine, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Tajikistan. The concluding chapter presents integrated research findings and draws the implications for policies and programs of the United Nations and international non-governmental organizations in seeking to promote and enhance the capacity of religious leaders to promote tolerance and coexistence.

Purchase a copy of Between Terror and Tolerance: Religious Leaders, Conflict, and Peacemaking from Georgetown University Press. Otherwise, check your institution's library.

We consulted others on how the research findings connect with the United Nations’ work in preventing conflict and peacemaking. Symposia on the project were held in New York as dialogues organized to bridge research and policy in November 2008 and December 2010.

The education component of the project is the publication of six course syllabi on the linkages among religion, conflict and peacemaking in six areas: religion and human rights, religion and the state, religious organizations and the eradication of extreme poverty, religion and peacemaking, religion and peacebuilding, and religion and the environment. You can download the curriculum materials.