About the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies
The Department of Peace and Conflict Studies (DPACS) promotes interdisciplinary research and teaching on the causes of conflict and the conditions that affect conflict resolution and peace. Research projects and other activities focus on the resolution of conflict with a view to attaining just societies.
The Department aims to facilitate dialogue between individuals, groups or communities who are concerned with conditions of positive peace, whether in interpersonal relationships, community relations, within organisations and nations, or with reference to international relations.
The Department's sister organization, the Sydney Peace Foundation, awards the annual Sydney Peace Prize – Australia’s only international prize for peace.
The following services are available through the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies:
The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies was established in May 1988 as a specialist research and teaching centre within the University of Sydney. CPACS grew out of the efforts of mostly volunteers and to this day relies on the support of its members and other volunteers.
The Centre was run by a Council elected from its membership and comprising academics and students from such disciplines as law, political science and social work, and community members from all walks of life and backgrounds including science, teaching, and the corporate world.
CPACS gratefully acknowledges the support of Dr Stella Cornelius, AO, OBE, Director of the Conflict Resolution Network.
Posters for Peace Gallery
DPACS hosts the Posters for Peace Gallery, a place where people can relax, read or meet to discuss common interests. The collection of pictures in the gallery depicts struggles for peace from all over the world: From Gandhi's advocacy of non-violence to Martin Luther King's “I Have A Dream”; from indigenous Australians' campaigns for land rights to Nelson Mandela's release from prison: “Free at Last”.
The gallery is located in the Mackie Building, Arundel Street, the University of Sydney.
DPACS offers a Postgraduate Program in Peace and Conflict Studies, as well as summer school courses and one undergraduate unit, "History and Politics of War and Peace". The core unit offered is “Key Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies ”. Electives include topics such as human rights, conflict-resolving media, reconciliation, peace and poetry, peace and the environment, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, the United Nations, and religion, war and peace, gender and peace, peace through tourism and cultures of violence.
The DPACS Peggy Craddock Resource Centre holds a wide variety of materials related to conflict resolution, peace studies, non-violence, international relations, international law, etc. Although the Resource Centre is for reference only, photocopying facilities are available.
Seminars and Conferences
Major conferences organised by the Department include “Violence Against Women” (1994), “Managing Creatively, Human Agendas for Changing Times” (1996), “Corporate Success and Human Rights” (1997), “Globalisation, Employment and Quality of Life” (1998), and "New Directions in Conflict Intervention" (2008). Free public seminars are held regularly and have covered such topics as the India/Pakistan conflict, the Israel/Palestine conflict and the ‘war on terrorism’.
Areas of research expertise and topics of externally funded research projects have included organisational conflict, non-violent policing, Aboriginal night patrols, disability policy, and mentoring the unemployed, the effects of racism on Lebanese youth in Australia, and United Nations Emergency Peace Service.
Outreach and advocacy
DPACS grew out of the efforts of mostly volunteers, and to this day maintains a strong link with the wider community. In its seminars and research projects, it attempts to reach out to people interested in issues of peace with justice. DPACS members are actively involved in several outreach activites, such as the NSW Human Rights Education Commission.
Major books include Deconstructing Deterrence (1991), Beyond the Market (1993), The Human Costs of Managerialism (1996), Human Rights, Corporate Responsibility (2000), Passion for Peace (2003), Peace Journalism (2005), and Taming War (2007). Occasional papers have been published on such topics as Mabo, Bosnia, Cambodia, poverty, reconciliation, East Timor, and work for all. The Department also publishes a biannual newsletter, PeaceWrites, which contains articles on peace and conflict resolution issues as well as announcements and updates on DPACS activities.