Religious Peacebuilding in Nepal
Between 2011 and 2015, Dr Mark Owen and Professor Anna King carried out five periods of fieldwork in Nepal with religious organisations and NGOs. They published journal articles and conference papers, submitted a report to the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, and ran a series of consultative workshops and a national conference in Nepal. The April 2015 earthquake has currently shifted the focus from peacebuilding to disaster recovery, but Dr Owen and Prof. King hope to continue their work there in 2016. This project was one of the University's highlight case studies for REF 2014. For more information, visit the University's case study webpage or visit the REF website.
Photo: Prof. Anna King and Dr Mark Owen with special guests and the Hon. Ram Kumar Shrestha (centre), Nepal's Minister of Peace and Reconstruction
Tibetan communities in India
WCRRP has carried out several periods of fieldwork in in collaboration with the Tibetan Centre of Conflict Resolution (TCCR), and is currently developing a project around carrying out an assessment of the potential for violence in and around Tibetan exile communities in India.
Religion and conflict in Myanmar
There is increasing interest in, and recognition of, the positive impact religious actors and religious peacebuilding can have in contributing to resolving structural and violent conflicts. Myanmar is undergoing a period of historic transition, and whilst increased democracy and participation is welcomed, greater freedoms and expectations can also bring with them challenges, as conflicts occur, and increase, along existing ethno-religious fault lines. Religion remains an important identity marker and social force within Myanmar. Though religion has played a considerable role in some of the violent conflicts in Myanmar, it also has significant potential to contribute positively to conflict transformation and peacebuilding.
In January and February 2016, Dr Mark Owen and Professor Anna King undertook assessments of two conflicts in Myanmar; in May 2016 they are undertaking a further assessment. WCRRP was asked to carry out these assessments by Religions for Peace Myanmar.
Dialogue and disagreement in the Syrian conflict
Led by Professor Simon Keyes, the centre is interested in Reconciliation in Syria and is developing a dedicated facility for training, practice and research in the area of dialogue and disagreement in the Middle East. Find out more.
Furthering the field of Religious Peacebuilding
WCRRP is planning to undertake the first comprehensive strategic review of religious peacebuilding scholarship. It will do this by carrying out cross-disciplinary research, monitoring and evaluation of religious peacebuilding in order to enhance the areas of religion and conflict assessment and analysis and religious leadership, and to enhance the contribution of religious peacebuilding to effective policy formation and institutional peacebuilding action. The project aims to improve understanding and increased effectiveness of religious peacebuilding and offers the prospect of making tangible positive impacts on the lives of those suffering from armed and structural violence. The project is founded on the normative principles of just and sustainable peace, and therefore fits well with the ethos of values-driven education and research, and a desire for positive social change. The religious dimension of peacebuilding also fits with the University’s desire to work with and embrace people of all faiths and none. The potential for impact from this project is significant, and again recognises the University’s strategic intentions of increasing and maximising the impact of research.