Archive for conflict resolution

ISP Highlights

Highlights for ISP concentrators this semester have included the ISP Crisis Simulation and the ISP Faculty Career Panel.  The day-long crisis simulation is held each year as an experiential learning opportunity for students interested in international affairs, diplomacy and military strategy. This year’s crisis simulation centered around a hypothetical U.S. intervention in Syria in which regional powers and non-state actors vied for control. Students on six teams represented either a state (the U.S., Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia) or a fictional terrorist organization modeled after Al Qaeda. During the simulation, each team had to devise a strategy that would allow it to accomplish its specific political objectives while dealing with constraints and uncertainty that modeled the risks actual decision-makers might face in a similar situation. By the end of the day, the students had come to understand some of the difficulties associated with operating in a dynamic environment with incomplete information and limited time to reach their goals.

The Faculty Career Panel featured five ISP faculty members, all of whom exemplify the unique mix of academic, practical and policy expertise to be found within the SIPA faculty. The professors shared reflections on their experiences as U.S. government analysts and advisors at the CIA, the Congressional Budget Office and the Senate, as well as at organizations such as the RAND Corporation, the Brookings Institution and the Aga Khan Foundation. Collectively, their careers have taken them around the world, including to Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the former Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo). The professors gave short presentations about their own career trajectories and shared their advice to students newly entering the field. The presentations were followed by a reception during which students had the opportunity to speak with faculty one-on-one and seek advice about their own career aspirations.

In addition, SIPA organizations such as the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies and its Center for International Conflict Resolution host a number of events throughout the semester of interest to ISP students.  In January, the Saltzman Institute hosted United Nations Deputy Secretary- General, Jan Eliasson, who spoke of the changing geopolitical and economic landscape that world leaders will face in the years ahead. This week, the Institute will present “A Day in the Life of CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence,” with SIPA Professor of Professional Practice Peter Clement. The Center for International Conflict Resolution at the Saltzman Institute has hosted a number of events on diplomacy, mediation and peacebuilding, including its Alvaro de Soto Conversation Series, which featured Peruvian and UN diplomat Alvaro de Soto and former U.S. Ambassador Chester Crocker on the challenges facing the contemporary field of mediation.

Curious about ISP?

The International Security Policy Concentration (ISP) offers outstanding opportunities for students interested in topics such as political violence and conflict management, defense policy, military strategy, terrorism and unconventional warfare, arms control, intelligence, peacekeeping, coercion, negotiation, conflict resolution and alternatives to the use of force as an instrument of policy.  The relative flexibility of the ISP Concentration allows students to tailor their specific course of study to fit their intellectual and career interests, and they will find that Columbia offers a wider variety of courses in security studies than all but a handful of other universities in the world. ISP students go on to work in government, consulting firms, non-profit research institutes, public interest and policy advocacy organizations, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, journalism, and other areas.

Many ISP courses are taught by members of the Columbia Political Science Department, one of few in the world with more than one faculty member in security studies. In addition to Political Science faculty, the Concentration draws on courses taught by full-time Columbia faculty from SIPA, the Law School, and Barnard College.  ISP also features courses taught by outstanding practitioners and other adjuncts who combine academic backgrounds and publications in public policy with experience in government, the military, and policy analysis institutes. For example, Peter Clement, a senior official in the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence, will join SIPA as a Scholar in Residence and adjunct faculty member in September 2013.

Like many SIPA faculty, the ISP concentration director, Prof. Richard Betts, has experience in both the academic and policy worlds. Betts is director of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia, and has taught previously at Harvard and SAIS.  He has worked at the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, on staffs of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the National Security Council, and served on the National Security Advisory Panel of the Director of Central Intelligence and the National Commission on Terrorism.

Students who are interested in conflict resolution may take classes within the International Conflict Resolution Specialization as ISP electives. The specialization is directed by Prof. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping.

Outside the classroom, ISP offers many exciting activities including field trips, political-military crisis and arms control simulations, guest speakers, specialized symposia, films, and social activities.  The ISP Concentration benefits greatly from the programming of its institutional affiliate, the Saltzman Institute for War and Peace Studies, which hosts a number of high profile speakers each year.  In addition, students in the ISP concentration run the Defense and Security Student Organization, which hosts events such career panels and debates.

At the beginning of each fall semester, ISP hosts a weekend retreat for ISP concentrators at a campground a few hours north of New York City.  Field trips in November alternate each year between a combination of U.S. military installations, in one year, and government offices in Washington, D.C. the next.  This year’s trip will be to Washington.  Previous Washington trips have included meetings at the level of Under and Assistant Secretary at the Pentagon, State Department, National Security Council, Office of Management and Budget, Congress, and other parts of government.  Examples of military facilities visited in past field trips include Fort Bragg (Army Airborne and Special Forces headquarters), Pope Air Force Base, Camp Lejeune (Marine Corps), Atlantic Fleet headquarters and various ships in Norfolk, Langley Air Force Base, and NATO headquarters (Brussels).

The crisis simulation in the spring semester is entirely organized and conducted by the students.  Simulations in recent years have included crises in Kashmir, the Taiwan Straits, Central Asia, and Indonesia; negotiations on the North Korean nuclear program; escalation of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan; and the NPT Review Conference.

 

$22,500 Conflict Resolution Fellowship

I will have another update on the release of decisions soon, but I thought I would take a minor break on “decision only” entries and offer something for admitted candidates to consider.  I will note that just as the decisions that have already been released belong to the three categories (admitted, waitlist, not admitted) the decisions yet to be released will also include these three categories.

I am excited to share the following scholarship information partly because an admitted student to SIPA in the past was selected as a recipient.  Details of the fellowship along with the link to the application page are below.

The Empedocle Maffia Fellowship (EM Fellowship) for Masters students will be awarded to two graduate students from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University who have demonstrated excellence in the fields of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction, sustainable development, natural resource management, security and the global environment.

The EM Fellowship is designed to foster new scholarly experts in the following countries or regions: Italy, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Peru, Colombia, China, the Middle East and North Africa; therefore, preference will be given to applicants from these countries and regions.

The EM Fellowship is open to incoming and current (first-year) SIPA students; it is awarded for two, consecutive semesters. Selected EM Fellows will be expected to undertake 10-15 hours of work per week at CICR. The work will involve supporting CICR generally – especially in terms of events and communications – and supporting aspects of The Fund for Global Environment and Conflict Resolution, specifically as it relates to research and events concerning:

  • Fragile states and the field of conflict prevention – specifically in China, the Middle East and North Africa with respect to conflicts or potential conflicts fuelled by natural resources, deforestation, and the role of renewable energy within these frameworks;
  • Conflict resolution and post-conflict reconstruction – specifically the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Peru and Colombia, looking specifically at environmental solutions and sustainable development policies;
  • International security and climate change, in general, taking into consideration the impact of the current financial crisis and potential consequences on the field, with particular attention on water scarcity.

The Fellows will be awarded $9,000 toward their university fees each semester and a stipend of $500 per month over the course of the academic year (nine months).

All applicants should submit their candidature by April 15, 2011. The decision will be undertaken by a selection committee at CICR, and will be announced in July. All decisions are final, and applications received after the April 15, 2011 deadline will not be accepted.

For more information and details on how to apply please click here.

New Specialization in International Conflict Resolution

Jean-MarieGuehenno-133-x166Beginning in fall 2010, SIPA will offer a new specialization in International Conflict Resolution for students enrolled in the MIA and MPA degree programs. The new specialization, which will be directed by Professor Jean-Marie Guéhenno, will provide students an understanding of the root causes of international conflicts and of how conflict resolution and transformation take place on an international level.  Students also will receive practical, hands-on training in various techniques and methodologies of international conflict resolution.

“The new specialization will build on the highly successful curriculum put in place by the Center for International Conflict Resolution at SIPA,” says Professor Guéhenno. “It will provide a venue for leading practitioners and scholars to prepare the next generation of conflict resolution specialists.”

Specializations, which are comparable to “minors” in other curricular arrangements, are designed to be paired with policy concentrations, comparable to “majors”. Students seeking a specialization in International Conflict Resolution will be required to complete nine credits, including the course, “Theoretical Overview of International Conflict Resolution,” and two electives.

SIPA also offers specializations in Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis, Applied Science, International Media, Advocacy and Communications, International Organization, Management, and regional specializations in Africa, East Asia, East Central Europe, Europe, Latin America, The Middle East, Russia, Southern Asia, and the United States.

Jean-Marie Guéhenno previously served as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations from 2000-2008, leading the largest expansion of peacekeeping in the history of the UN. Before joining the United Nations, Guéhenno served as director of policy planning in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ambassador to the Western European Union, and chairman of the French Institute of Higher Defense Studies.

Fellowship Opportunity for New Admits: Fall 2010-Spring 2011

Last year a newly admitted follower of this blog won the following award – I hope for repeat performance this year.  Deadline to apply is April 15, 2010.

cicrimage

The Fund for Global Environment and Conflict Resolution, The Center for International Conflict Resolution and The Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Masters Fellows: Fall 2010-Spring 2011

Overview

The fellowships for Masters students will be awarded to two, incoming and/or current students from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University who have demonstrated excellence in the fields of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction, sustainable development, security and the global environment.

The Fellowship is open to incoming and current SIPA graduate students and will be for two full semesters; the fellowship is designed to foster new scholarly experts in the following countries or regions: Italy, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Peru, Colombia, China, the Middle East, and/or North Africa; therefore, preference will be given to applicants from the foregoing countries or regions.

All applicants should submit their candidature by 15 April 2010. The decision will be undertaken by a selection committee at CICR, and will be announced in July. All decisions are final, and applications received after the 15 April 2010 will not be accepted.

The research work of the selected fellows will involve 10-15 hours of work per week at CICR. The research will revolve around lessons learned and best practices regarding environmental concerns and the role of climate change in three specific fields with various geographical areas of focus:

  • Conflict prevention and control in areas where current tensions indicate the potential for conflict, specifically China, the Middle East, and North Africa
  • Conflict resolution with respect to conflict and post-conflict areas, specifically the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Peru and Colombia.
  • International security in general in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Peru, Colombia, China, the Middle East, and/or North Africa.

The Fellows will be awarded $9,000 towards their university fees each semester and a stipend of $500 per month over the course of the academic year (nine months), and will be known as an “Empedocle Maffia Fellows”.

Application Process

A successful application will include:

I. A completed application form (to be provided).

II. 500-800 word essay detailing candidate’s motivation for applying to the Global Fund for Environment and Conflict Resolution at CICR.

III. Current CV/Resume and copy of passport and visa where appropriate.

IV. Minimum one, maximum three recommendation letter(s).

The applications should be sent when fully completed to CICR’s Assistant Director, Josie Lianna Kaye at CICRapplications@columbia.edu with the title GECR: Masters Candidate.

Masters Fellows 2010 Application Link

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

Boiler Image