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

The Role of Media in Insurgencies and Conflict Resolution

Orion Lewis

Orion Lewis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Middlebury

The Center for Conflict Studies will be co-sponsoring a lecture, along with the M2 Lecture Series, by Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Middlebury, Orion Lewis. The lecture, entitled “The Coverage of Conflict: The Role of Media in Insurgencies and Conflict Resolution,” will discuss the role international media coverage plays in conflict resolution and foreign policy decisions. Using data from all major insurgencies between 1946 and 2006, Lewis finds that more international media coverage generally means a higher likelihood of third party intervention and a shorter conflict. He will discuss these findings and their implications.

The lecture will take place on Feb. 7 at 2pm in MG 102. For more information and an abstract of the presentation, click here.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, MIIS

CCS Hiring Research Interns for Spring 2014

DSC02208The Center for Conflict Studies is seeking to hire two research interns for Spring 2014 (unpaid but with the possibility of earning academic credits). Interns will conduct research for the Peacebuilders Fellowship program and will be expected to write short country profiles and background notes. Interns will work for 10 hours per week and may work remotely. Interns must be currently enrolled in or recent graduates of a graduate program preferably in conflict studies or related disciplines. If interested, please email a cover letter together with your CV and a writing sample to Dr. Pushpa Iyer, Director, Center for Conflict Studies at ccs@miis.edu. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 30, 2014.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies

Peacebuilders Fellowship

SL WaterCCS is pleased to announce the Peacebuilders Fellowship, a summer fellowship program for graduate students in the U.S. The program will begin in summer 2014. In keeping with the Center’s mission, the goal of the fellowship is to give a voice to the voiceless. Fellows will spend about two months in a conflict zone and collect stories of people who have experienced conflict. The hope is that the individual stories will give face to a “distant” conflict and provide empirical knowledge, which in turn will empower people to act.

In 2014 the Center will focus on water conflicts, and the Fellowship will emphasize gathering stories from stakeholders in a water conflict. The four focus regions will be Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Tentatively, the following countries are of interest for 2014:

1. Myanmar or China (Asia)

2. Mexico or Bolivia (Latin America)

3. Ethiopia (Africa)

4. West Bank (Middle East)

Two fellows will travel to each of the four countries. Fellows will be in the field for at least two months between June 1 and August 15. Upon their return, fellows will work with CCS to tell these stories over the web through a variety of platforms – audio podcasts, video interviews, testimonials and digital storytelling.

Application forms and the process for this fellowship will be announced in March 2014. More information on the Fellowship can be found here.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, fellowship

“Maneuvering the Maze” Conference: Panels

Conference2013:PanelThe CCS conference “Maneuvering the Maze: Understanding Justice in Conflicts” presented two days of thought-provoking and intriguing panels on numerous issues related to justice. Panels were grouped around themes such as environmental justice, the impact of gender and religion on justice, justice as a key to building peace, and more. With a total of 24 presenters from a variety of organizations, universities, and countries, the panels touched on theory and research, fieldwork and case studies, injustices and points of hope. From gangs in Salinas, land reforms in South Africa, and truth commissions in Uganda to minority language rights, the fight for LGBT rights, and theoretical explorations of justice in international politics, the presentations put forward a truly incredible array of information, ideas, and platforms for action. Participants agreed that these two days of panels gave them a multitude of new ideas to consider and new questions to explore.

Category: Center for Conflict Studies, Maneuvering the Maze Conference