Skills Institutes


Skills Institutes provide an opportunity for participants to acquire skills in conflict resolution and other related topics, which can be utilized in both professional and personal lives. These intensive training courses combine skills to work with conflicts that have international, community and public policy dimensions. Each Skills Institute is one credit. Three Skills Institutes can count toward your Elective requirement. Email IPCR Academic Advisor, Jessica MacArthur, at jmacarth@american.edu, with any questions.

Skills Institute Objectives:
• To introduce students to cutting edge practical skills outside of SIS.
• To connect students with practitioners as a way of promoting networking between students who are looking to expand their contacts, and practitioners who may be in a position to hire interns or employees.
• To provide students with a hands-on, interactive experience. The skills institute program is designed specifically to explore further the practical applications that complement theory taught in our program.

Please note that IPCR students are welcome to take any Skills Institutes offered at SIS. You are not required to take oIPCR Skills Institutes.

IPCR Skills Institutes in Fall 2017

SIS 730.003 Mediating History
Philip Gamaghelyan
September 23rd-24th, 10:00AM-6:00PM
Competing interpretations of history play a central role in many inter-state and intra-state conflicts today. Conflict resolution practitioners, however, do not always possess the skills necessary for addressing history directly and constructively. Drawing upon recent studies in collective memory, critical historiography and discourse analysis, as well as the extensive experience of working with historical narratives in conflict settings, the course introduces the participants to practical methods that help transform the role of history from one that perpetuates conflict into one that helps resolve it through building better understanding of the conflict dynamics, mutual identity needs and alternative ways forward.

SIS 730.004 Expeditionary Civil-Military Interactions
Anthony Wanis-St. John
September 30th-October 1st, 9:00AM-5:00PM
Civilians and military from multiple countries, alliances and regional organizations, and NGOs often work alongside each other in peace and stability operations as well as other complex emergencies. Sometimes this interaction is smooth, although it also poses challenges in terms of organizational cultural, goals, work styles, mandates, constraints, and language. The academic field of civil-military relations offers little to help practitioners navigate their differences in field environments. The possibilities and problems go in both directions, as both civilians and military benefit from a better understanding of how to coordinate, negotiate, and work with each other in expeditionary environments.

SIS 730.006 Nonviolent Action
Daryn Cambridge
October 21st-22nd, 9:00AM-5:00PM
This participatory skills-based course provides a multi-disciplinary perspective on nonviolent, civilian-based movements and campaigns that defend and obtain basic rights and justice around the world, from Zimbabwe to West Papua, Mexico to China, and throughout the Middle East-North Africa region. Students define civil resistance; debate the role of civil resistance in generating political, social, and economic change; identify and apply strategic principles that help civil resistance movements succeed; analyze conflicts from an nonviolent conflict perspective; and experiment with different theories of power, violence, and nonviolence, and also learn about nonviolent civil resistance movements throughout history.

SIS 730.010 Development and Fundraising for Peace NGOs
Michael Braeuninger
October 28th-29th, 9:00AM-5:00PM
Students learn the fundamentals of development and fundraising for non-profits, with a focus on peacebuilding NGOs. Topics include: assessing development and fundraising needs; strategic development; board engagement; donor engagement; fundraising tools; and grant searching and grant writing. Teaching methods include lecture and case studies.

SIS 730.008 Media Relations in Conflict Zones
Ernesto (Stefo) Lehmann
November 11th-12th, 9:00AM-5:00PM
Students learn to develop productive media relationships and understand the role of public affairs during overseas humanitarian, reconstruction, and peace-building interventions. Students also learn how to recognize a communication crisis and prepare for crisis and reputation management. The course also covers management of press conferences from planning to execution, delivering effective responses, and methods to ensure mutually beneficial exchanges of information between organizations and the media.

SIS Skills Institutes in Fall 2017