2009-2010 Grant Recipients

AC4’s 2009-2010 Faculty Grant Cohort

Research Grant Recipients – $5,000

Picture of Adriana Abdenur - Faculty Grant Recipient 2009-10Adriana Abdenur, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Teachers College
Comparative and International Education

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Adriana Abdenur received an AC4 faculty research award for a project which explored environmental education for conflict resolution in the eastern Himalayas along the China-India border. Militarization of these borderlands by both China and India continues to pose a variety of challenges to effective environmental management of the region. Collaborative management of the area has become all the more urgent because global warming has been shrinking the area’s glaciers, whose meltwaters feed part of the world’s largest river system, and because of the increased pressures caused by rapid economic growth in both countries. Abdenur’s research analyzed the links between environmental education initiatives and the border conflict in the Eastern Himalayas to shed light on the interplay between environmental education and conflict resolution, as well as identified ways in which localized efforts can be scaled up and extended across borders. This project served as the seed for a multi-year investigation on environmental education and conflict resolution.

Picture of Severine Autesserre - Faculty Grant Recipient 2009-10Séverine Autesserre, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Barnard College
Political Science

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Séverine Autesserre was awarded an AC4 faculty research award for her ethnographic research project on international intervention. Autesserre argued that there has been a lack of scholarly analysis concerning the question of why the international intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including the largest and most expensive peacekeeping mission in the world, has failed to end the deadliest conflict in recent history. Her project assessed whether, and if so how, Western and non-Western cultural elements shape diplomatic, non-governmental, and peacekeeping actions on the ground. This project involved an in-depth investigation of a community of peacebuilders stationed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with whom Autesserre spent one year. The AC4 faculty research award served as seed money for this larger project in which Autesserre investigated the argument that diplomats, peacekeepers, and non-governmental organizations’ staff members deployed on the ground share a culture that shapes their understandings of war, peace, and intervention. This project worked to bridge significant gaps in the literature on conflict and peace studies, and also carried tremendous importance for building peace in the world’s deadliest war, as well as for ending the devastation of the second largest forest in the world.

Picture of Beth Fisher-Yoshida - Faculty Grant Recipient 2009-10Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Ph.D., CCS
Director, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program
School of Continuing Education
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Beth Fisher-Yoshida noted that there are many global issues that fall under the categories of peace, conflict, violence, and sustainable development that AC4 has chosen to address from an interdisciplinary perspective. One of the many challenges that continues to plague scholars, practitioners, and activists around the world, is that these issues are complex, intertwined, and seemingly intractable. Fisher-Yoshida argues that an interdisciplinary approach is critical because these complex issues need the expertise of a variety of perspectives from multiple disciplines. She was awarded an AC4 faculty research award for her project which explored these complex challenges by means of the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM) paradigm. CMM is an interpretive social theory that takes a social constructivist perspective and puts forth the notion that we make the social worlds we inhabit. In addition, CMM has a collection of models that can be used as tools to stimulate shifts in perspective to allow for thinking outside the box. Fisher-Yoshida argued that CMM models provide opportunities to surface information that is implicit, frame what other information needs to be collected and focus and energize people with additional ideas of how to proceed in newer, more creative and revitalized ways. With the support of AC4, Fisher-Yoshida gathered CMM scholars and practitioners in a forum to collectively address issues of global importance to generate new ideas that could be implemented and built on CMM theory and practice by applying it to real issues.

Picture of John C. Mutter - Faculty Grant Recipient 2009-10John C. Mutter, Ph.D.
Professor
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Earth and Environmental Sciences

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

John Mutter was awarded an AC4 faculty research award for a project in collaboration with Elisabeth King, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Earth Institute, and Semee Yong, a Columbia College Senior in economics and sustainable development. This collaborative research project argued that cross-disciplinary dialogue between specialized fields for natural disasters and violent conflict holds the promise that critical lessons may be learned for scholars and policy-makers that can lead to deeper understandings of disasters and violent conflicts. The project comprised two key parts: 1) a literature review exploring the similar causes, consequences and responses to disasters and violent conflict in the Global South – with attention to human-environment interactions; 2) an examination of climate change as a common driver of enhanced potential for both conflict and disasters. Mutter argued that the complex interplay between conflict and climate change, disaster and climate change, as well as disaster and conflict, requires mapping.

Picture of Anne Nelson - Faculty Grant Recipient 2009-10Anne Nelson
Adjunct Associate Professor
School of International and Public Affairs
International and Public Affairs

 

Picture of Jack L. Snyder - Faculty Grant Recipient 2009-10Jack L. Snyder, Ph.D.
Professor
School of International and Public Affairs
Political Science

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Anne Nelson and Jack Snyder were awarded an AC4 faculty research award for their jointly proposed project which explored U.S. models for peace-building media development in Iraq. Central questions to the project included: How did the military develop its approach to media development in Iraq? Who has been driving the policy? What impact has this policy had on attitudes and political outcomes? Can these be traced? Has it demonstrably harmed the short-run interests of the U.S. military due to unintended consequences? How should policies be adjusted to reduce the military’s footprint, or train the military in media development practices?

Picture of Gary Y. Okihiro - Faculty Grant Recipient 2009-10Gary Y. Okihiro, Ph.D.
Professor
School of International and Public Affairs
International and Public Affairs

 

AC4-Sponsored Research

Gary Okihiro received an AC4 faculty award for his project, which involved assembling a group to speak across cultures, nations, and disciplines – including indigenous practitioners and intellectuals, community organizers and activists, and academics – to engage ideas pertinent to island communities and their transnational and global linkages. This group convened at Columbia in the Fall of 2010 around the following themes: 1) ecological concerns critical to islands (Okinawa) such as global warming, the rise of ocean levels, weather changes, pollution, and fisheries management; 2) migration patterns, including tourism, particular to island communities and the restaurant depletion of scarce resources and the creation of diverse societies and cultures; 3) militarization, peace movements, and regional and global conflicts, and 4) island worldviews of space/time and their implications for knowledge production and the disciplines.