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December 2013 Newsletter
Dear Rachel


Dr. Linda Johnston, President

As we all mourn the passing of our colleagues and friends, Åke Bjerstedt and Christian Wellman, we are reminded also of the legacy they left and the number of young scholars they inspired. We are very grateful for the contributions to the IPRA Foundation given in Åke’s name. With these donations, we will be able to carry on the work of awarding grants for peace research.

Please keep the IPRA Foundation in your giving plans this holiday season. We use all the donations we receive to fund Peace Research Grants and the Senesh Fellowship. Please have a look at our website to see the growing list of all the projects and research we have funded.

We have just opened up the Senesh Fellowship applications for this coming year. I have worked on the Senesh Fellowship for seventeen years and I continue to be amazed by the promising young scholars who apply for the Fellowship. Their work will drive the peace field for the next generation. This year, for the first time, we will be awarding two Fellowships. We are able to do this through the generosity of donors who believe in the importance of this work. The selection process is always a difficult one and I am sure that each member of the selection committee wishes we could fund every application they review. When we look at the wonderful work our scholars have produced, we can all be proud that we had a hand in helping them achieve their goals. When you have a minute, look at the impressive list of Fellows and their work:

Rachel Trueblood, our Treasurer and website guru, has been working with a team to update our IPRAF website.  We are very grateful for her dedication to this work. We have a new look, just in time for our IPRA’s 50th Anniversary!

Linda M. Johnston, President

ÅKE BJERSTEDT  1930-2013


Emeritus professor, world citizen and peace researcher Åke Bjerstedt of Malmö, Sweden passed away in Malmö in September 2013.  He was appointed reader (docent) in psychology at Lund University in 1956 and professor of education at Malmö School of Education in 1962.


His life-long devotion to peace education was paired with exceptional productivity. In the 1950s Åke Bjerstedt conducted studies on the Children’s International Summer Villages as a path towards global solidarity and understanding. In 1963, he was there among the people in Washington when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his speech, “I have a dream”. During the first part of the 1990s, Åke Bjerstedt was the coordinator of the IPRA Peace Education Commission. Even a few months before his passing, he strived to familiarize himself with new literature on peace education.


Åke Bjerstedt’s long and versatile work has left an important imprint. His most valuable and enduring gift permeated both his professional and personal life: his light, confident outlook on life and on the possibilities and potentials of human beings in togetherness. Read more about Åke Bjerstedt at:


At the request of his family, the IPRA Foundation is accepting contributions in the name of Åke Bjerstedt with which we will be able to carry on the work of awarding grants for peace research.  To contribute in his name or in the name of someone you would like to honor, please visit our website at, select “Peace Research Grants” under the “Contribute to a Particular Project Now with Paypal” heading and email our Treasurer, Rachel Trueblood, at: treasurer(at)iprafoundation(dot)org to designate your gift in Ake’s name.



Dr. Christian Wellmann of Germany was a senior researcher at Kiel University in International Political Sociology and a board member of the European Peace Research Association. He earned his Ph.D degree in Political Science from the Free University in Berlin. He worked as a peace researcher at universities and research institutes in Berlin, Frankfurt and Kiel, Germany. Notably, he co-founded the Schleswig-Holstein Institute for Peace Research (SHIP), where he served as both Deputy Director and Research Co-ordinator. His research interests included conflict prevention, conflict and co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region and EU-Russia-relations.

Dr. Maysa Siag

Dr. Maysa Siag of Palestine was granted this award in August 2013 for her research project, titled “‘Who Am I?  I Am From There” The Social Representations of the Self and Homeland shared by Palestinian Adolescents Born in Diaspora and Living in Refugee Camps.” 

The research links the fields of social identity theory and social representations theory in an exploration of the social identity and associated emotions of 200 adolescent Palestinian refugees born and living in living in seven different refugee camps in Jordan.
Based on previous research showing the participants’ multi-layered social identities, Dr. Siag decided to conduct a pilot study to explore the main layers of their social identity as defined by themselves, using the Twenty Statements Test, asking the participants to answer twenty times to the question “Who Am I?”, in order to extract the main layers of identity emerging from these participants’ spontaneous self-definitions.

Following this first inquiry, the research undertook two further inquiries:

  1. to understand the participants’ self-definitions and their contents both through the frequency of their occurrence and from their order of evocation; and
  2. to clarify the manipulation carried out through this study by making one layer of social identity salient to the participants and recording changes in both the content produced (including emotions) and the structure of that content

 A Little about Dr. Maysa Siag

Dr. Maysa Siag is currently a Research Trainee at the European Doctorate on Social Representation and Communication at La Sapienza, University of Rome.


Read more about the project at


To contact Dr. Siag, please send an email to info(at)iprafoundation(dot)org and we will gladly put you in contact with her.

Raul Sanchez de la Sierra

Raul Sanchez de la Sierra, of Spain, was granted this award in August 2013 for his project titled “Bandits or States?  Evidence on Armed Groups’ Motives to Attack or Protect Civilians from Eastern Congo.”
The central question of the project is: Why do some states engage in violence against civilians while others protect their populations and provide public goods?
Raul will systematically collect data from 100 villages in eastern Congo to produce village-level data on armed groups’ presence, activity and strategies, relating this data to the presence of different mineral endowments present in these villages to assess why armed groups use different types of violence. The data collected will also answer questions about the organization of self-defense groups and the use of sexual violence during wars.
Based on the results from an already-completed pilot of this project in a first set of villages, the research can credibly produce historical village-level data on armed groups’ presence, activity, and strategies, as well as social and economic historical data. This data will then allow the use of statistical techniques to assess the causal relationships leading armed groups to exercise different types of violence or to use violence to provide security for the civilians and invest in legitimacy.
The analysis aims to clarify causes of violence against civilians and of peaceful uses of violence while also advancing existing knowledge on the origins of proto-state organizations that monopolize violence to protect civilians instead of against them. Finally, the wealth of the historical economic, political and social data collected will allow for a long-term research agenda potentially shedding light on many other questions.
About Raul Sanchez de la Sierra
Raul Sanchez de la Sierra is currently engaged with his PhD in Economics at Columbia University.
Read more about Raul’s project at
To contact Raul, please send an email to info(at)iprafoundation(dot)org and we would be happy to put you in contact with him.

 William M. Adler and Jody Jenkins

William M. Adler and Jody Jenkins, of the USA, have been awarded the IPRA Foundation Peace Research Grant in August 2013 for their research film project “Sweet Home Costa Rica: a Story of War…and Peace.”

The project’s objective is to document the emigration of some 40 Alabama Quakers from the U.S. in response to the military build-up to the Korean War and their subsequent efforts to build a pacifist community anew in Costa Rica.


During the military and political build-up to the Korean War, five members of the Fairhope, Alabama Monthly Meeting of Friends went to prison for refusing to register for the draft. Shortly after being released from federal prison in late 1950, Marvin Rockwell and some 40 other Quakers from Fairhope – nine families in all – took a resounding stand: they left the US and immigrated to Costa Rica, finally settling in a remote and isolated cloud forest they named Monteverde, or Green Mountain. There they set about building a life of pacifism and community, establishing a Meeting House, a cooperative cheese factory, and a Friends School, all of which continue to flourish today.


Through interviews with the handful of surviving pioneers and their children, as well as with Costa Rican and American historians and political scientists, and through extensive use of archival photos, newsreels, letters, diaries, home movies, news clippings and court records, the research will chronicle the Alabama Quakers’ decision to emigrate and their efforts to build a pacifist community in Costa Rica.


The research project will culminate in a film that will frame their story in the context of both the American postwar peace movement as well as that of post-Civil War Costa Rica (which lasted for three months during 1948). It will examine the wartime and post-war pressures and influences at work in the US, including the ways in which words such as “patriotism” and “freedom” were used to intimidate and persecute pacifists. The research will also explore how Costa Rica came to embrace the Quaker testimony of peace, what that decision says about Costa Rica’s national culture, and how and whether its decision to abolish the army might be replicated elsewhere.


Learn more about William and Jody’s project at


To contact Mr. Jenkins or Mr. Adler, please send an email to info(at)iprafoundation(dot)org and we will gladly put you in contact with them.

Dr. Saba Bebawi

Dr. Saba Bebawi, of Australia, has been awarded the IPRA Foundation Peace Research Grant in August 2013 for her research project, “Democracy-Building in Post-Conflict Regions: Investigative Journalism Training Post-‘Arab Spring’.” This project aims to assess the extent to which investigative journalism training for Arab journalists can be regarded both as knowledge and as a democracy-building tool within the Arab world following the ‘Arab Spring’ protests. The project is focused on how investigative journalism training and practice can be developed to provide in-depth news reporting in order to foster a democratic and transparent environment, which could lead to a sustainable and peaceful existence. Through interviews with Arab investigative reporting trainers, supervisors and journalists, this project aims to uncover the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing investigative journalism training in the Arab world, and in turn produce a set of recommendations that would provide a framework for improving investigative journalism in Arab countries.


This project is divided into three stages, but the IPRA Foundation grant only provides funding for the first stage, which seeks to interview trainers and journalists at the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) as the nuclear training organization in the Arab world.

About Dr. Saba Bebawi
Dr. Bebawi is a journalism and media researcher with many years experience in researching, writing, and teaching in the fields of Arab media, journalism, global media, and media policy. She was a broadcaster/producer for Radio Jordan’s English service for four years, during which she also worked for CNN, World New Events (USA), and Dubai TV. In Australia, she was a journalist at 3ZZZ Melbourne Ethnic Community Radio, a consultant for SBS, and is a certified radio trainer. Dr. Bebawi wrote for local newspapers in Queensland while working for MPower media, Amnesty International Australia, and Rehame during the Sydney Olympics.


Read more about her project at
To contact Dr. Bebawi, please send an email to info(at)iprafoundation(dot)org and we will put you in contact with her.

 Dr. Bernhard Leidner and Levi Adelman

Dr. Bernhard Leidner (pictured) and Levi Adelman were awarded a Peace Research Grant in April 2013. Their project,“Understanding and Alleviating Competitive Victimhood to Promote Intergroup Conflict Resolution:  A Field-Experimmental Investigation of Causes of Competitive Victimhood and Interventions to Counter It,” aims to provide a model that focuses on causes of competitive victimhood’s persistence and people’s resistance to acknowledging out-group suffering. They then derive from this model an intervention consisting of an identity-affirming news report to alleviate competitive victimhood and the obstacle it poses to peaceful conflict resolution.

Drawing on previous literature, Dr. Leidner and Mr. Adelman hypothesize that the prospect of acknowledging the adversary group’s equal or even greater suffering threatens social identity and security. Based on this, they further hypothesize that affirming people’s identity and their security needs can create space to acknowledge adversaries’ suffering by alleviating the perceived threat to identity and security, ultimately increasing support for nonviolent conflict resolution and reconciliation. Both the model and the intervention are rigorously tested in field experiments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with samples of both Jewish Israelis and Palestinians.

About Dr. Leidner and Mr. Adelman
Bernhard Leidner completed his Ph.D. at the New School for Social Research, NY, USA and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Levi Adelman is a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Social Psychology.

To contact Dr. Leidner or Mr. Adelman, please send an email to info(at)iprafoundation(dot)org and we will put you in contact with them.

In This Issue
In Memoriam: Åke Bjerstedt
Congratulations to Dr. Maysa Siag
Congratulations to Raul Sanchez de la Sierra
Congratulations to William M. Adler and Jody Jenkins
Congratulations to Raul Sanchez de la Sierra
Congratulations to William M. Adler and Jody Jenkins
Learn More About Us
Don’t Forget! IPRA International Conference
Join Us – Contribute Today
Applications Open!
New publication – Peace Education
Hayek Fund Career Grants
New Centre for Peace in Pakistan

Don’t Forget!
  The next IPRA International Conference will be in Turkey onAugust 10-14, 2014.
Please take a look at IPRA’S
ALL NEW website:
Contact the Secretaries General
with all questions about the Conference: secretary-general(at)iprapeace(dot)org or ipra2014(at)iprapeace(dot)org.
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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.


send a check made payable to “IPRA Foundation” to:
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A contribution form to include with your check can be downloaded here.
The IPRA Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax-deductible in the United States.


Now Accepting Applications for the Dorothy Marchus Senesh Fellowship

The Dorothy Marchus Senesh Fellowship provides two biennial fellowships awarded to two women from the developing world for studies in the field of peace. The IPRA Foundation is now accepting applications for the Fellowship.  Applications are due by

January 15, 2014.

An Announcement about the 2014-2015 Fellowship as well as the Application Form may be found at

More information about the Senesh Fellowship may be found at


Third Edition

by Ian M. Harris and Mary Lee Morrison


Peace Education, now in its third edition, provides a comprehensive approach to educating for a just and sustainable future. This book provides religious and historical trends that have molded our understanding of “peace.” Peace Education presents a variety of ways to practice peace education in schools and communities and explains how it can empower students.

The authors, Ian Harris and Mary Lee Morrison, with over sixty years of combined experience in teaching, consulting, writing, initiating and designing curricula in academic, school and community based settings, show readers the power of a transformative approach to education.



at George Mason University

The IHS Hayek Fund for Scholars awards grants on a rolling basis to aspiring academics pursuing liberty-advancing careers of up to $750 for students and untenured scholars.  Please see more at:

Hayek Fund Career Grants

from Zahid Shabab Ahmed

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon inaugurated the International Center for Peace and Stability at NUST University in Islamabad August 13, 2013.

Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani welcomed the Secretary General at the University.

See more at:

Pakistan Peace Centre

Contact Us
Dr. Linda M. Johnston, President
IPRA Foundation


This Newsletter is brought to you by the IPRA Foundation