Concentration Director's Message

Thomas Hill

Dear Prospective Student,

Peacebuilding is the paradox of our time: both our greatest challenge and our greatest opportunity. Consequently there is a role in peacebuilding for almost everyone. The MS in Global Affairs acknowledges that, in order to build more peaceful societies, governments, international organizations, civil society, and the private sector must all work collaboratively to build peace. The MS in Global Affairs Peacebuilding concentration prepares students to work in any of these realms.

Consider for a moment our great contemporary crises: mass population displacement throughout the Middle East caused by state-sponsored violence in Syria and the rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. It is necessary to relieve the daily suffering of the displaced through timely humanitarian action, and to ensure their physical security through wise analysis and policymaking. It is also essential to employ long-term development strategies to ensure that the displaced can meet their socio-economic needs.

Peacebuilding demands that we pursue all of these objectives simultaneously in an integrated, locally led, and context-specific manner. If we focus too intently and too exclusively on any one of these objectives—or if we fail to listen carefully to the displaced themselves—the opportunity to reduce violence and build a more peaceful future could be lost.

The Peacebuilding concentration takes a holistic, cross-disciplinary, and multisectoral approach to peacebuilding. Courses focus on specific skills needed to help build peace: mediation, conflict analysis, facilitation, relationship building, participatory research methods, monitoring and evaluation, and project development and management. We maintain partnerships with dozens of professional peacebuilding organizations that offer opportunities for students to gain meaningful field experience through the Workshop in Applied Peacebuilding. CGA also facilitates peace research by its students and faculty members through a relationship with the University of Duhok in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Thomas Hill
Clinical Associate Professor
NYU School of Professional Studies Center for Global Affairs