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December 2012
A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear Friend,

Dr. Linda Johnston, President

The International Peace Research Association Foundation Board met in Japan several times during the biennial IPRA Conference. We had a lot of work to do and the Board members spent many hours working together to make decisions which will move the Foundation forward. As President, I am very grateful to have such a dedicated and hard-working Board. While I was at the conference, someone mentioned to me that they would not want to serve on the IPRAF Board because we work so hard. I took that as a compliment! And I am especially grateful that members of IPRA see the amount and quality of work we do.

As a Board, we have decided to hire another Fundraiser. Our last Fundraiser, Christie Roberts, was very successful. This was and continues to be a vital step for the Foundation. We will continue to seek contributions and will focus in the future on possible bequests from IPRA members. Those persons already in the peace research community are most likely to be our major contributors in the future, because they already understand the necessity and importance of the work we do. They are also the people who see the long term benefits of the work the IPRA Foundation supports.

At the next IPRA conference in Turkey, we plan to support a gathering of and presentation by Senesh Fellows and Small Peace Research Grant recipients. This will represent the first time we have gotten these scholars together to present the results of their research.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FORMER DOROTHY MARCHUS SENESH FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENT

Amira Awad Osman, Ph.D.

AMIRA's PICTURE

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) Foundation is proud to congratulate Amira Awad Osman, a former recipient of the Dorothy Marchus Senesh Fellowship, for her recent success in completing her degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Peace Studies.

Her research project was on “The Dynamics of Livelihood and Gender Relations in Sudan: The Case of Displacement Camps in Khartoum.” The abstract of her dissertation is as follows:

“This study investigates livelihood patterns and gender arrangements during displacement. The main focus is on the experience of internally displaced persons at Al-Salam and Mayo displaced persons’ camps at the outskirts of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.

The study uses an integrated gender conceptual framework, which encompasses Moser’s triple role framework, practical and strategic gender interests and Kabeer’s social relations framework, as well as agency and empowerment concepts and finds that, at places of origin, people were mainly dependent on farming and rearing of animals to earn a living. However, differences existed between regions. This way of livelihood was associated with ‘traditional’ gender arrangements, where men were the main breadwinners with no clear reproductive roles. By contrast, women’s main roles were primarily reproductive. Then war, drought and famine affected people’s livelihoods and led to displacement.

 

At the displacement camps, more women than men were able to develop illegal and legal livelihood strategies. These new livelihood patterns upset the old gender patterns and led to emergence of new gender arrangements. Moreover, displaced women were able to build relationships within their gender and to form tajammu’at (women’s groups).

The NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) which were active in the displacement camps tended to perceive the displaced as powerless victims, but in practice, displaced women had become social agents and were able to demonstrate empowerment, resilience, and ability to cope with displacement conditions.”

A Little About Dr. Amira Awad Osman

Amira Awad Osman holds a Ph.D. in Peace Studies and a Diploma in Research Methods from the University of Bradford, UK. She also holds double Masters in Rural Development and in Gender and Development, respectively. Prior to entering her Ph.D. Program, Dr. Osman lived in Egypt and Sudan where she received her BA in Agricultural Science and an a Diploma in Statistical Research. She was also a former Council Member of the International Peace Research Foundation (IPRAF).

Dr. Osman is a Co-founder of the Gender Centre for Research and Training (GCRT) in Sudan. Her research areas include, but are not limited to, gender, peace building, civil society, internal displacement and refugees. She published three articles in the field of peace studies and conflict resolution. These articles include the “Sudanese Women in Civil Society and their Roles in Post-Conflict Reconstruction,” “Good Governance and the Right of the Displaced in Sudan,” and “Women in Arab Civil Society: A Case Study from Sudan.”

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FORMER SMALL PEACE RESEARCH GRANT (SPRG) RECIPIENT FOR HER RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Karenjot Bhangoo Randhawa, PhD

 

KAREN PIC

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) Foundation is also proud to congratulate Dr. Karenjot Bhangoo Randhawa, a former Small Peace Research Grant (SPRG) recipient, for publishing her recent book titled Civil Society in Malerkotla, Punjab: Fostering Resilience through Religion.

In Civil Society in Malerkotla, Punjab: Fostering Resilience through Religion, Karenjot Bhangoo Randhawa explores the direct role that religion plays in conflict and peace that has often been difficult to isolate. This study extends previous work on peace and conflict resolution by looking at a town which has witnessed many outbreaks of violence in the past but still holds peace as the norm.

The former princely state of Malerkotla, Punjab is a place where riots did not occur during Partition. In this unique Muslim majority town, there are four distinct religious groups that live in close proximity to each other. Yet, the overall pattern of peaceful plurality in the town has resulted in the transcendence of violence even when the threat looms close by. The unique case of Malerkotla, Punjab provides an opportunity to look more closely and critically at Sikhs and their relationship with Muslims in India.

As a case study, this work captures the overall pattern of Sikh-Muslim interaction in a town that can transcend conflict and make peace the norm. Randhawa uncovers how religious associations, expressions and activities have helped to build social capital and stabilize peace. This book also emphasizes interreligious understanding, cross-cultural awareness, and conflict transformation, and discusses how interfaith communities can work together to bridge understanding in order to prevent violence.

A Little about Dr. Karenjot Bhangoo Randhawa

Karenjot B. Randhawa has completed a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, a Master’s in Sociology and Dispute Resolution, and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Victoria. She has earned recognition as a successful Practitioner, Researcher, and Facilitator in the field of cross-cultural conflict resolution.

Her contributions in academia and the public sector in the U.S., Canada, and India have been significant, as she has continually supported and guided open discourse to explore social conflict, multicultural relations, and conflict resolution methodologies. Dr. Randhawa has excelled in multiple teaching and mentorship capacities, as she specializes in designing and delivering cross-cultural and conflict resolution trainings for a variety of public and private groups in the United States and internationally including healthcare organizations, university administration, social service programs and county departments.

Dr. Randhawa has conducted facilitations for city planning processes, immigrant rights policy initiatives and dialogue around racism and discrimination after the 9/11 attacks. In addition to her contributions in teaching and research, Karenjot has positively impacted the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Services (now the Center for Civic Mediation), where she served as Director of Mediation, Training and Evaluation for four years.

Karenjot contributed as a key resource to the community by successfully augmenting the mediator evaluation program, in addition to defining and implementing innovative processes and procedures to improve critical training programs in schools and community. She mediated in court mediation programs in Vancouver and Los Angeles and handled cases in the areas of construction, employment, civil harassment and family.

Not only is she currently serving as a mediator on the Los Angeles Superior Court Panel and a member of California’s State Bar Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, but also she teaches Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University. Her core areas of focus include cross-cultural conflict resolution and the role of religion in conflict and civil society.

Dr. Randhawa is the author of many books and articles. Her most recent is “Civil Society in Malerkotla, Punjab: Fostering Resilience Through Religion (Lexington, 2012). She is also a co-author of “Conflict Across Cultures: A Unique Bridging Experience.” (Nicolas Brealey Publishing, 2006); and Religion and Human Security: A Global Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Here is how to get this book at a discounted price:.

ISBN 978-0-7391-6737-3 2012 140 pages Regular price: $55.00 / After discount: $44.00

 

Special 20% OFF discount offer!*
To get discount, use code LEX20AUTH12 when ordering
*May not be combined with other offers and discounts, valid until 8/31/13

 

ABOUT THE 2012 IPRA CONFERENCE IN JAPAN

The 2012 IPRA conference that took place in Mie, Japan, from November 24-28, reunited 222 scholars and professionals in the field of conflict resolution and analysis who came from all over the world. Of all the people who attended the conference,  7 came from South America, 19 from Oceania, 23 from Africa and Middle East, 28 from Europe, 42 from North America, and 101came from Asia. It is very important to note that out of the Asian participants, 74 were either Japanese or residents of Japan. Kudos to our host country!

 As Rachel Trueblood, the IPRA Foundation Treasurer General, points out, this conference was a complete success.

Ms. Trueblood writes: “Thanks to the excellent work of the 2 Secretaries General, Jake Lynch and Katsuya Kodama, a spotlight was placed on the need within IPRA for a strong, active, vital, participatory IPRA Council.  In the past, for example, some of the elected Council representatives were not even paid-up IPRA members.  By working together during the Conference with some IPRA Foundation board members on the spot, a system was created for the first time to check whether newly nominated Council representatives were indeed IPRA members (those current on their dues.)  This system ensured that a legal IPRA Council was duly elected.

Additionally, the same system allowed us to ensure that only IPRA members (those current on their dues) were allowed into the second, longer IPRA administrative business meeting to vote on all voting issues.  This system was a collaborative effort of dedicated individuals, and allowed everyone to feel confident that the process was fair.

Jake Lynch declined to run for Secretary General a second time.  Two members came forward proposing to be Co-Secretaries General and ran unopposed.  The two new Co-Secretaries General are Nesrin Kenar from Turkey and Ibrahim S. Shaw from U.K.  The next IPRA Conference will be in 2014 in Turkey, and it will be the 50th Anniversary of IPRA’s existence.

Attendees at the IPRA Conference were especially grateful for the graciousness and hospitality showered upon us by Katsuya Kodama (Conference organizer) and his wonderful staff.  They prepared three sumptuous receptions for us with all manner of wonderful food.  The first included a fantastic performance of Gagaku (Ancient Japanese Court Music) with Kangen (Gagaku Instrumental Music played on ancient instruments) and Bugaku (a stylized, elaborately costumed ritual dance accompanied by Gagaku, complete with elaborate winged creature headdress, fierce mask and sword.)  The second included an amazing ritual butchering of a giant tuna and a ritual breaking of the sake cask (by Jake.)  The third included videos of music from Latin America and a juggling performance.

Attendees were overjoyed to see old IPRA friends.  They made many great new connections with new friends as well.”

Many of these conference attendees also showed their satisfaction of how this conference was organized and carried out. Some of their experiences about the conference are quoted in the section below.

Experiences about the 2012 IPRA Conference in Japan

“This IPRA conference in Japan was a unique opportunity for young scholars in the peace field to present their research. Scholars from forty-one countries attended the conference. Just being able to sit in a room with that many dedicated international researchers is a learning experience in itself. As president of the IPRAF Board, I make it a point to try to get to at least one presentation from each commission so that I can learn first-hand what scholars in that commission are interested in. One thing that I noticed in particular at this conference was what happened at lunch time. The conference organizers had planned for us to have wonderful box lunches each day. What I noticed was that people would pick up their box lunches and move into small discussion groups to either discuss a particular topic of research, get feedback on their presentation, or meet in small commission-related groups. The fact that we had the freedom of movement at lunch time, due to the box lunches, gave everyone the flexibility to choose their discussion topic and companions at lunch. Much of the research collaboration I noticed occurred during this meal time. I would definitely suggest that we provide box lunches at conferences in the future.”

                                                                   Linda M. Johnston

“IPRA conferences are always an important opportunity for me to listen to the presentations, and participate in discussions, with peace research colleagues from around the world. This involves plenary meetings, meetings of some twenty commissions that focus on a large array of important peace issues, and receptions where we all gather for meals, drinks, and conversations.

I always attend commission meetings on subjects about which I know the least.  This helps me to be informed of the broad peace context in which I must place the peace issues that are the focus of my research.  Very important to me this time were meetings of the Peace Journalism Commission.  I have long been concerned how the media provides my students with much more information on war and seriously disruptive conflicts than on very significant peace activity.  It was very helpful to me to acquire knowledge about this subject provided by peace journalism research of colleagues from around the world.

Again my experience at an IPRA conference motivates me to continue my service on the IPRA Foundation Board. We must do everything we can to insure that IPRA membership around the world increases.  If the possibility for world peace is to increase, the growth of IPRA, and financial support for its efforts is essential.”

                                                                     Chadwick Alger

Fundraising Update

The IPRA Foundation Needs Your Support Today!

Supporting the essential work of our professional community is more critical in today’s political environment than ever before.  Please contribute to the IPRA Foundation today!

International and U.S.-based donors can easily and securely support the IPRA Foundation. Click the PayPal button below to make a secure contribution to our General Fund.

Or send a check made payable to “IPRA Foundation” to:

IPRA Foundation

c/o Rachel Trueblood,Treasurer
2855 Rock Creek Circle, Unit 289
Superior, CO  80027- 4623

The IPRA Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax-deductible in the United States.

 

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