The Norwegian Research School on Peace and Conflict
14 December 2015
In an exclusive interview in Oslo the Global Editor for The Diplomatic Society, Srimal Fernando, engages Professor Gregory M. Reichberg, Head of the Research School on Peace and Conflict
Efforts to promote peace are necessarily multifaceted, reflecting the complexity of the conflict itself. Preventing armed conflict and building peace in its aftermath continues to create enormous challenges. Peace building requires the combined effort, skills, resources and commitment of a wide range of individuals and organizations both within societies affected by the conflict, as well as internationally. Norwegians have made many worthy attempts to settle disputes in an amicable manner and Norway has been granted universal reputation as a peace loving nation. Norway started to play a foremost role in the areas of peace building throughout the world since the late fifties. In 1959 the Norwegian Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) was established. The overreaching purpose of the Institute is to conduct research on conditions for peaceful relations between states, groups and people. In 2011 the Research School on Peace and Conflict was established as a joint initiative of Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), the University of Oslo and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The Oslo based Research School on Peace and Conflict offers the best possible research training for the next generation of peace and conflict scholars.
Photo: Professor Gregory M. Reichberg and Srimal Fernando
In an exclusive interview the Global Editor for The Diplomatic Society Srimal Fernando spoke face to face with Professor Gregory M. Reichberg, Head of the Oslo based Research School on Peace and Conflict. Professor Reichberg is a philosopher by training and has been a faculty member in the philosophy departments at Fordham University and the Catholic University of America, and has held adjunct positions at the Norwegian School of Theology (MF) in Oslo and New York University. Going back to his days when Professor Gregory Reichberg arrived in Norway from United States he said, “My wife being a Norwegian I came to Norway in 1997”.
From 2009 to 2012 Professor Reichberg was the director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Cyprus Centre in Nicosia. As the Director of the PRIO Cyprus Centre he coordinated research and dialogue activities on the search for a political settlement to the island’s division. He said “ I worked for three years in Cyprus heading a Research Centre that PRIO maintained in the Island and the Center provides fact based Research and analysis to support a political settlement in the Island.” Commenting on the contribution towards a political settlement in Cyprus by the current Director of PRIO Cyprus Centre Professor Reichberg said “Since this year it has moved forward toward a political settlement”.
Since his return from Cyprus in 2014 Professor Gregory Reichberg co-edited a volume titled Religion, War, and Ethics: A Source book of Textual Traditions published by Cambridge University. He has co-edited and published several other volumes titled The Ethics of War: Classic and Contemporary Readings, World Religions and Norms of War published by United Nations University Press in 2009 and Thomas Aquinas on War and Peace published by Cambridge University Press and will be released in 2016. Professor Reichberg shared his view on the Research school. The Research School on Peace and Conflict is an academic consortium that provides courses and skills training for doctoral students with the core themes and approaches in the field of peace and conflict research.
The Research School is a multidisciplinary institute. During the interview Professor Reichberg shared his opinion about the subject area saying, “Peace and conflict is a subject area. It is a subject area of growing importance. It is exposed by a variety of reasons, clearly political science, anthropology, sociology, law and religious studies”.
Courses taught at the Research School examine both methodological and current issues. Members of the Oslo based Research School on Peace and Conflict receive training in academic writing and publishing.
The Research School members meet regularly in symposiums to present their work to peers and to discuss topics connected to their disciplines. Peace building is a multi-faceted endeavor, so pooling resources and expertise in particular initiatives in Peace is essential. The Oslo based Research School on Peace and Conflict provides an indirect path towards understanding deeper demands of peace building.