University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


The Interdisciplinary Seminar on Conflict and Violence is designed to promote interdisciplinary exchanges among faculty and students interested in the topics of conflict, violence, and peace, from a wide range of departments across campus. Each meeting includes a 30-35 minute presentation followed by a half-hour discussion.

Dr. Eileen Babbitt
Eileen Babbitt

The Practical Realities of Peace with Justice:

The challenge of integrating conflict resolution and human rights

April 4, 2013
Sponsored by UMass Psychology of Peace and Violence Program and the Public Education for Peacebuilding Support Initiative of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

Speaking as both a scholar and a practitioner, Dr. Babbitt will discuss a core challenge that she has experienced when facilitating track 2 discussions in specific types of international conflict: how to catalyze a process that supports both peace and justice, in cases where there are large power asymmetries between disputing parties, and massive human rights violations are being or have been committed. Her experiences (in Israel-Palestine, Turkey-Armenia, and Rwanda among others) have led her to look more closely at what she perceives to be a tension between the goals of conflict resolution and those of human rights. In relation to conflict resolution, she will speak specifically about processes that seek to bring disputing parties together with the assistance of a third-party mediator. She will be using human rights as a proxy for justice-seeking, including accountability mechanisms for human rights abuses, war crimes, and genocide. She wants to frame a series of questions to consider and think about, relating to the appropriate or effective role for a third party in these challenging contexts.

Dr. Eileen F. Babbitt is Professor of International Conflict Management Practice and Director of the International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is also a Faculty Associate of the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her research interests include identity-based conflicts; coexistence and trust-building in the aftermath of civil war; and the interface between human rights concerns and peacebuilding. Her practice as a facilitator and trainer has included work in the Middle East, the Balkans, and with U.S. government agencies, regional intergovernmental organizations, and international and local NGOs.

Before joining the Fletcher faculty, Professor Babbitt was Director of Education and Training at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. and Deputy Director of the Program on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. Professor Babbitt’s latest publications include the forthcoming article, “The Evolution of International Conflict Resolution: From Cold War to Peacebuilding.” Negotiation Journal, 25th Anniversary Issue, and Human Rights and Conflict Resolution in Context: Colombia, Sierra Leone, and Northen Ireland. Co-edited with Ellen Lutz and published by Syracuse University Press. Dr. Babbitt holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from MIT.