Spotlight on the 31st annual IACM Conference, in Philly!

Members of the AC4 team along with colleagues from around Columbia University travelled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in July for this year’s International Association on Conflict Management (IACM) Conference. With partners at Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (MD-ICCCR) and the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (NeCR) Master’s program, we participated in the conference that brings together a global network of conflict resolution scholars and practitioners, and supported a new cohort of AC4 Graduate Students Fellows to attend and present at the conference.

Throughout the 4-day conference, staff members as well as each of the fellows presented on current work. The Sustainable Peace Project was presented in two different sessions: “The Science of Sustaining Peace: Ten Preliminary Lessons from the Human Peace Project” and “Attracted to Peace: Modeling the Core Dynamics of Sustainably Peaceful Societies.” Current work from the Environment, Peace and Sustainability Initiative was presented in a session on “Collaborative Interventions in Conservation and Natural Resource Management in the Peruvian Amazon.”

The graduate student fellows were provided financial support to travel to the conference, with some coming internationally, from India, England, Germany, China and Turkey, and some from within the U.S., from Pennsylvania, Utah and New York state. The program is in effort to provide support for graduate students from historically underrepresented groups or from developing countries, aiming to foster and increase diversity in the field of peace and conflict.

Yuangxin Wang, one of the fellows and current doctorate student at Temple University, presented research on the role of social injustice in cyberbullying. Coming from a communications discipline, she says that, “compared to the conferences at international and national levels, IACM is relatively small-scale and thus effectively facilitates interactions between graduate students and big names in the field.” In reflecting on the conference experience, she shared that:

A highlight for me is the vibrant panel audience. The presentation rooms I went to were usually fully packed and audience initiated conversation with presenters by giving feedback or raising interesting questions. The conversation sometimes lasted outside the presentation room and became a starting point of the future collaboration.

Overall, coming to IACM is an eye-opening and exploring experience for me. I met scholars in the same field and developed connections for future collaborations. I was also able to re-examine my research in a broader context based on the feedback provided by scholars from various disciplines.

Read reflections from other fellowship recipients and learn more about the IACM Conference: here.

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