University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Seminars

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.

Graeme Simpson
Graeme Simpson

Easier Said Than Done:

A practical reflection on peace, justice and reconciliation in the wake of violent conflict…and how we know if we are succeeding

February 28, 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).

Graeme is the Director of Policy and Learning at Interpeace and he is also the Director of Interpeace USA. Interpeace is a global peace-building organization headquartered in Geneva and working in 18 conflict and immediate post-conflict zones around the world for the past decade and a half. Graeme Simpson has a law degree (LLB) and a Masters degree in History from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He was a co-founder (1989) and Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), in Johannesburg, South Africa, until April 2005. In 2005, he was appointed as the Director of Country Programs at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), headquartered in New York City and in that capacity oversaw the organization’s work in more than twenty five countries around the globe.

Thereafter, he was the Director of Thematic Programs at the ICTJ for two further years, and oversaw work on Prosecutions, Reparations, Truth-Seeking, Security System Reform, Memorials, Gender, and a program on Peace & Justice. Simpson also co-founded and now serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Transitional Justice (IJTJ) published by Oxford University Press. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of The International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) in Northern Ireland. He is an Adjunct Professor and has taught a post-graduate seminar on Transitional Justice at Columbia Law School since 2006. Simpson has published widely in books and journals covering a wide range of issues.

Dr. David Mednicoff
David Mednicoff

Law and the Arab Uprising of 2011:

Theorizing legal issues and political change in non-Western contexts

December 6, 2012

Dr. David Mednicoff directs the Master's in Public Policy and Middle Eastern Studies programs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His areas of expertise include Middle Eastern law and politics, international law, human rights, globalization studies and comparative public policy. He holds a J.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has written on Arab constitutional politics and Islam before and after the events of 2011, the legal regulation of migrant workers in the Arab Gulf, human rights in the Middle East and humanitarian intervention.

Law is frequently held out as useful in mitigating conflicts among individuals, and, in the global sphere, among countries. But how does it manage relations between individuals and the state? This question, which has been important to centuries of social theorists, is particularly relevant to the contemporary Arab world, where the recent wave of uprisings has included demands and reform efforts around better regime accountability to citizens. He will discuss several strands of his current research that consider links among law, religion and political accountability in five Arab states, with an emphasis on the interaction of Islamic and international legal ideas, and the roles that legal activists have played with respect to political change.

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