The Sié Center hosts workshops throughout the year that complement its research programs. These workshops bring in subject-matter experts from around the world to collaborate and exchange ideas on a specific topic.
Shaping the State through the Social Contract in Situations of Conflict and Fragility
January 15 – 17, 2014
The Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-affected Countries research project at the Sié Center, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, will co-sponsor, present key project findings, and engage in policy dialogue with expert development practitioners at an upcoming conference in Glen Cove, New York. The meeting titled, "Shaping the State through the Social Contract in Situations of Conflict and Fragility" brings together practitioners from across the UN system, as well as international NGOs, development partners, and civil society groups, experts from the global south, academia and policy research centers to: 1) clarify the relevance of the Social Contract as an approach to guide responses in fragile and conflict affected contexts; 2) agree on principles that can guide a Social Contract approach; 3) identify implications of the Social Contract approach for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, and; 4) define methodologies and indicators to measure progress and results in this area of work. The practitioners' meeting will provide a unique opportunity for a community of development and peacebuilding actors to question assumptions on how the international community links peacebuilding and state-building processes in conflict-affected contexts.
Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-affected Societies Project: Authors' Workshop at the International Peace Institute
October 18, 2013
The Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-affected Societies research project at the Sié Center hosted a Case-Study Author and Specialist Review Symposium at the International Peace Institute in New York. The Religion and Social Cohesion project is a six-country analysis of how international development partners interact with religious communities and actors in fragile states in efforts to build social cohesion. As the field research phase of the project came to a close, the symposium brought together the case study authors, along with outside experts from the International Peace Institute and the UN Development Program, among others, to move toward integrating the research findings for the forthcoming book project and policy report.
The Role of Non Violent Strategies in Violent Contexts
October 10–12, 2013
"The Role of Non-Violent Strategies in Violent Contexts" was a two-day conference to be held at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies exploring how non-violent groups in violent environments affect security outcomes. Non-violent actors—particularly local civilians, NGOs, and transnational corporations—affect stability in conflict zones and the prospects for post-conflict development and governance. The conference analyzed the behavior of these actors as a group so as to better inform U.S. efforts to shape security environments, reduce asymmetric violence, and create conditions for long-term peace and stability.
The New Power Politics: Networks, Governance, and Global Security
March 1-2, 2013
The workshop series "The New Power Politics: Networks, Governance, and Global Security" examined how various associations of state and non-state actors addressing security issues might be thought of as networks or governance systems. Participants were an international group of scholars focused on a wide range of contemporary security issues, and each participant was responsible for a paper addressing the interaction between networks, governance and power. The final papers will be published as a special issue of a journal or as an edited volume at a top-tier university press.
The "New Power Politics" workshop was held in two parts; the first meeting on this topic was held March 31, 2012 at the International Studies Association Annual Conference in San Diego, California. In March 2013 the second part of the workshop was held at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center at the University of Denver.
The "New Power Politics" workshops were led by Deborah Avant, Sié Chair and Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center, and Oliver Westerwinter, lecturer at the European University Institute. Support was provided by the International Studies Association and the One Earth Future Foundation.
Symposium on Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries
October 4-6, 2012
The Symposium convened the Steering Committee for a new research project of the at the Sié Center, "Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries." This research project explores the relationships and linkages between development assistance and religious actors and organizations in order to build a more rigorously derived knowledge base on how "informal" group participation in national dialogues, development policy-making, and project implementation affects social cohesion and peace and development outcomes.
With the global development agenda increasingly focused on aid effectiveness in conflict-affected, or "fragile," states, peacemakers and donors have learned that they must include in peace processes and indeed strengthen through development aid "informal institutions" in order to improve service delivery; in this pursuit, "social cohesion" is needed to more effectively strengthen the state as a long-term strategy to facilitating peace and fostering development. However, working with religious leaders and organizations has been problematic. Such leaders may legitimize illiberal views contrary to international human rights; strengthening faith-based service delivery may weaken the state; and the inclusion of externally identified religious leaders in dialogue does not automatically lead to more cohesive societies.
This project explores how development and peace practitioners manage the dilemmas that emerge in working with religious leaders and organizations and ascertains how development assistance policies and programs can more effectively involve them in the pursuit of development and conflict-mitigating social-cohesion outcomes in countries emerging from war. Under what conditions can engaging religious leaders and organizations in development and peacebuilding programming in conflict-affected countries foster "social cohesion" as a prerequisite to peace and development?
The project builds on a prior Luce Foundation-supported research, education, and policy program that produced in part the recently published volume Between Terror and Tolerance: Religion, Conflict, and Peacemaking (Georgetown University Press, 2011).
The project is led by co-principal investigators Fletcher Cox and Timothy D. Sisk of the Korbel School, with project administration led by Jennifer Wilson.
Transparency and Governance of Private Military and Security Services
May 30-June 1, 2012
The workshop "Transparency and Governance of Private Military and Security Services" was held May 30 - June 1, 2012 at the Sié Center. The workshop was held in cooperation with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and part of an ongoing series of workshops aimed at enhancing the information available about private military and security services and their regulation. In addition to unveiling a new web portal developed by the Sié Center—the Private Security Monitor—the workshop focused on recent developments in governance of the private security sector and the various roles that different participants in the governance process play. Many have recognized that the clients purchasing private security services—whether states, international organizations, corporations or non-governmental organizations—are often also attempting to "govern" the industry. The workshop explored this and other issues surrounding efforts to regulate private military and security companies.