Water Conference Keynote Speaker: Jason Kestrel Burnett

jason_burnett_0CCS is proud to announce that Carmel Mayor Jason Kestrel Burnett will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Water Conference. His keynote address will be titled “Water Management: Finding Consensus in Complex Problems.” The address will be delivered at the opening of the conference on November 6.

Jason Burnett was re-elected as the Mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA in April 2014. He served as Mayor since 2012 and as a City Councilmember from 2010-2012. He is Managing Partner of Clean Fund, a company that works to structure and secure financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Jason serves on multiple Monterey County Boards, including as President of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority Board of Directors. Previously Jason was the Associate Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and prior to the EPA he worked for Evolution Markets, a brokerage and consulting firm. He has testified before and been interviewed by Senate and Congressional committees and continues to engage federal and state policy leaders on a myriad of issues. He has been quoted in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. Jason is a trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and chairs its finance committee. He is on the Board of the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History. Jason holds a Master of Arts in Earth Systems and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Stanford University and lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA with his wife, Melissa Burnett, and their son Sebastian Burnett.

Details of the conference panels can be found here. For a full schedule, please click here. Everyone must register to attend the conference.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, Conflicts Over Water Conference

Challenges to Peacebuilding in Mindanao – 2015 January Field Course


CCS announces an academic field course “Challenges to Peacebuilding in Mindanao, Philippines” this January (2015). The course will help participants link the theory of peacebuilding to its practice through field research.

Through this course, participants will interact with NGOs, INGOs, religious leaders, government officials, civil society members and members of peace zones in Mindanao. There will be visits to areas in central and northern Mindanao. First hand information gained from these meetings will be analyzed as a group through regular debrief sessions during and after the field trip. Outcomes will be presented through presentations at various forums and through a variety of publications. In Mindanao, the Catholic Relief Services with a long history of peacebuilding will be our host organization.

The course is open to current students – graduate level, but also exceptional undergraduates – enrolled in conflict studies or related disciplines. Practitioners and others interested in learning more about peacebuilding are also welcome. There are no geographic or nationality restrictions at this time. For more information and to submit your application online, click here.

Category: Uncategorized

Roundtable Discussion – Police Legitimacy in Communities of Color

KellyMcMillin              WillMatthews                 RosemarySoto

On October 9, CCS will host a roundtable discussion on Police Legitimacy in Communities of Color. Panelists will include Kelly McMillin, the Salinas Chief of Police; Will Matthews, Senior Communications Officer at ACLU Northern California; and community member Rosemary Soto. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Pushpa Iyer of MIIS.

Please join us for this important and timely discussion. The event will be held from 6pm to 8pm in the Samson Reading Room (453 Van Buren Street, Monterey) at MIIS.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, MIIS

Book Launch and Discussion with Julia Reynolds


“Intense, intimate… A sprawling, literary true crime effort.” -Kirkus Reviews

Julia, a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Conflict Studies, is a reporter and editor who has worked for MediaNews newspapers, PBS, NPR and other outlets. Julia will discuss the Nuestra Familia gang, which is the subject of her new book, “Blood in the Fields.” She will also highlight findings from her ongoing research on the role of women and girls in the gangs in Salinas.

The event will be held on Thursday, September 18 from 6.00pm to 8.00pm at the DLC Design Space at MIIS.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, Visiting Scholar

2014 Conference: Conflicts Over Water and Building Bridges with Water


We are excited to announce our third annual conference to be held in Monterey, CA from Nov. 6-8, 2014!

Conflicts Over Water

Water, a basic human need, a human right, is a limited resource. The eternal conflict over access to and control of water has been made more complex in recent times with climate change, privatization, damming and water exploitation for industrial and other commercial use. Poor water management, increased water pollution and unconstrained use of power for control over this resource makes conflicts over water a huge impediment to building an egalitarian, just, sustainable and peaceful society.

Water conflicts are also asymmetrical in that they impact the vulnerable sections of society – women, children and other marginalized groups – more negatively. The unpredictability of water as a resource adds to the problem, making negotiations and resolutions of water conflicts extremely challenging. After all, water gives life but it can destroy too. The paradox of water in the real world demands that conflict resolvers remain innovative, flexible and most importantly, comfortable working in grey zones.

Building Bridges With Water

So, how do water conflicts really get resolved? What innovative efforts have been made to bring warring parties in a water conflict to meet at least halfway on the bridge, if not cross the bridge entirely? Most importantly, how can we use water, often a source of conflict, as a means to resolve the conflict, that is, to build those bridges with water?

This conference aims to highlight the complexities of water conflicts and share approaches made by conflict resolvers, communities, institutions and governments in resolving these conflicts.

Read more about the conference.

Submit Your Proposal

We invite proposals from graduate students, academics and practitioners in conflict studies and other related disciplines (such as law, human rights, gender, culture and environment) who can offer perspectives from their empirical research (we insist on first-hand, ground-up research) particularly on but not limited to the following conference sub-themes:

  1. Water Supply
  2. Water Scarcity
  3. Water Pollution
  4. Water Access
  5. Water and Climate Change
  6. Water and Dams
  7. Water and Culture
  8. Water and Gender
  9. Water and Politics
  10. Water Use & Impact (Agriculture, Industry – Fracking, Mining, Commercial & Household)
  11. Trans boundary Water Conflicts
  12. Water Privatization, Pricing and Trading
  13. Water Conservation/ Management/ Diplomacy/ Agreements

Learn how to submit your proposal for our Fall 2014 conference here!

Submit your proposal online here.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, Conflicts Over Water Conference, MIIS

New Book from CCS Visiting Scholar Julia Reynolds – “Blood in the Fields”

BITFcoverThe Center for Conflict Studies is happy to share that CCS Visiting Scholar Julia Reynolds will be releasing a new book this fall, titled “Blood in the Fields: Ten Years Inside California’s Nuestra Familia Gang.” Published by the Chicago Review Press, this book presents Julia Reynolds’ extensive research on the Nuestra Familia gang, one of the most violent gangs in the U.S. whose home is here in the Salinas Valley. Reynolds examines the identity of those involved with the gang, the gang’s operations and violence, and law enforcement’s efforts to dismantle Nuestra Familia. Drawing on interviews with gang members both in and out of prison as well as a trove of other research and documents, “Blood in the Fields” is a must-read for those working to break the cycle of violence in our communities.

Visit Julia’s site for more information, including where to pre-order the book.

In addition, on August 26 Julia will join community experts on youth violence and gangs for a discussion on the problem of violence in our community and some of the promising solutions. Other participants will include Willie Stokes, Executive Director and Founder of the Black Sheep Redemption Program; Brian Contreras, a founder of Second Chance Youth Program; Kelly McMillin, Chief of Police for the Salinas Police Department; and J.D. Hillard from the Santa Cruz-based NPR affiliate KUSP Radio. The discussion will be held at 7:00pm at Bookshop Santa Cruz. Please visit their site for more information.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, Visiting Scholar

Peace, Trade, and Development Program 2014

IMG_0220CCS Director Pushpa Iyer will once again be teaching in the Peace, Trade, and Development program this summer at MIIS. This four-week course is designed to give upper-level students and new professionals the concepts and tools to work in human security, global trade, social change and development. Dr. Iyer will begin teaching on July 24th with an Introduction to Conflict and Peace, followed by a section on Culture and Conflict on the 25th. The following Monday will entail a day of site visits in Salinas, and the classes will wrap up with Challenges to Peacebuilding and Skills for Conflict Resolution on July 29th.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, MIIS

Announcing the 2014 Peacebuilder Fellows

Collagew:oborderCCS is excited to announce our Peacebuilder Fellows for summer 2014! CCS will be sending eight Fellows, as well as one Visiting Peacebuilder Fellow (short-term), to four different countries to research water conflicts and gather the stories of those who have experienced conflict. This year’s Fellows come from the United States, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Thailand, Germany, and the Basque region of Spain; and will travel to Burma, Mexico, the West Bank, and Ethiopia for two months in the summer. Upon their return, Fellows will work with CCS to share their research and the stories of the conflict stakeholders through a variety of audio visual platforms. You can read their profiles, experience, and reasons for pursuing this research here.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, Peacebuilders Fellowship

Peacebuilders Fellowship – Applications Now Open

IMG_0754CCS is pleased to announce that applications for the summer 2014 Peacebuilders Fellowship are now open! The Center will be choosing eight fellows to travel to four countries (Burma, Mexico, Ethiopia, and the West Bank) for 8 to 10 weeks over the summer. Fellows will work in teams of two in each country to research water conflicts, with an emphasis on gathering the stories of stakeholders in these conflicts. Upon their return, fellows will work with CCS to share these stories over a variety of mediums, including podcasts, video interviews, and digital storytelling.

Click here for more information about the fellowship. Applications will be accepted until 15 March, 2014 and the list of selected fellows will be announced on 1 April, 2014.

Please contact ccs@miis.edu with any questions.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, fellowship

CCS Hiring a Social Media Intern for Spring 2014

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Creative Commons License

The Center for Conflict Studies is seeking to hire one social media intern for Spring-Summer 2014 (unpaid).

Job responsibilities include managing the Center’s social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and maintaining its Database of Organizations site. Prospective Interns must be currently enrolled in or recent graduates of a graduate program preferably in conflict studies or related disciplines. Candidates must be adept in the use of social media and keenly interested in world affairs with the ability to independently research for analytical articles on a wide range of topical current events. Interns will work for 10 hours per week and may work remotely. If interested, please email a cover letter (explaining and highlighting your interests and skills) together with your CV to Dr. Pushpa Iyer, Director, Center for Conflict Studies at ccs@miis.edu. Applications will be accepted until Feb. 27, 2014.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies