The Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding: Partnership through Mutual Inquiry
The Colombian Studies: Past, Present and Futures initiative presents , The Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding: Partnership through Mutual Inquiry by Dr. Thomas Hill, clinical associate professor at the Center for Global Affairs at the NYU School of Professional Studies and director of the Peace Research and Education, and Katerina Siira, director of the Peace Research and Education Program’s work in Colombia. This event is part of the Faculty Working Group series hosted by CLACS in collaboration with NYU Wagner and Universidad del Rosario, Colombia.
Join panelists from the Peace Research and Education Program (PREP) at NYU SPS as they trace the arc of their relationship with FUNRESURPAZ, a local research organization based in Algeciras, Colombia -- one of the municipalities most affected by violence during the more than 50 years of armed internal conflict. The journey between the two institutions began one year into implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement, when representatives of Colombia’s national public administration school (ESAP) reached out to PREP for curricular support. As a response to this request, PREP developed the Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding, which brought together students from ESAP and master’s students from NYU’s Center for Global Affairs. Together they carried out participatory action field research focused on local understandings of peace and perceptions of the reparations process.
Panelists will reflect on the challenges of building equitable academic partnerships that draw on endogenous peacebuilding capacities as well as the successes of its collaboration with the Colombian students, who have transformed themselves from a student research group into an autonomous research organization known as FUNRESURPAZ. The collaboration’s success can be measured not only in the number of interviews conducted, books printed or grants awarded, but also in the durability of relationships, the proliferation of peacebuilding actors and actions in Algeciras, and the insights developed into how international actors can more effectively support peacebuilding in Colombian communities.
About the Speakers:
Dr. Thomas Hill is a clinical associate professor at the Center for Global Affairs at the NYU School of Professional Studies, where he serves as director of the Peace Research and Education Program. A peacebuilding practitioner and researcher, Dr. Hill has led many peace education-focused projects in Iraq over the past 20-plus years, most recently "Strengthening Academic Institutions and Cultures at the University of Fallujah," with support from the International Research and Exchange Board. He previously has led projects with the University of Duhok, the University of Anbar and the University of Mosul. Dr. Hill also leads projects in Libya, Colombia and Kuwait. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Katerina Siira directs the Peace Research and Education Program’s work in Colombia, where she supports education and action research on topics such as transitional justice and peacebuilding in partnership with the Colombian Truth Commission, FUNRESURPAZ, and the Rosario University. In addition to her work in Colombia, Katerina designs and facilitates the program’s work with universities, researchers and youth in Iraq, Kuwait and Libya, and helps to oversee the PREP’s overall development. Katerina is an adjunct instructor at NYU’s Center for Global affairs, where she teaches the Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding and Advanced Joint Research Seminar in Peacebuilding, an interactive set of courses that bring together researchers from NYU and the Escuela Superior de Administración Pública (ESAP) to develop and implement peace research in rural Colombia.
Marta Bautista Forcada is a Program Associate at the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) working with the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies team. Prior to joining CIC, Marta worked with numerous international peacebuilding and human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, NYU's Peace Research and Education Program (PREP), the Institute for Economics and Peace, and the International Peace Institute. At NYU PREP she conducted field research in rural Colombia, focusing on ex-combatants’ perceptions of the 2016 Peace Agreement implementation process and the reparations system. Marta holds a master's degree in Global Affairs from New York University. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Pompeu Fabra University in Spain.
This event is organized by the Colombian Studies Initiative: Past, Present and Futures, a collaboration between New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and Universidad del Rosario. The Initiative aims to create an Inter-American hub for research, multidisciplinary conversations and exchange of knowledge concerning Colombia. It supports dialogue, inquiry, and research for US, Colombian, and international scholars, students, NGOs practitioners, and the general public interested in Colombia.