How to Make a Career in Peace and Conflict Resolution?

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How to Make a Career in Peace and Conflict Resolution?

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures”- John F. Kennedy. Have you ever thought of a career in Peace and Conflict Studies? No? Then you’re at the right place to be! In this blog, we’ll be unveiling everything that aspirants need to know about kick-starting their career in Peace and Conflict Studies. 

What is Peacemaking? 

The term “peacemaking” can be interpreted and explained in a variety of ways. According to the United Nations, peacemaking is an action to bring antagonistic parties to the agreement, primarily by such peaceful procedures as those foreseen in Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter; Pacific Settlement of Disputes. The objective of peacemaking is resolving conflicts, ending injustice, and preventing violence. 

What is Conflict Resolution? 

Let’s start with a definition of the term ‘conflict’. Conflict is an argument or dispute that can occur in a variety of situations and contexts, including the workplace. Conflicts are an inevitable aspect of good relationships and workplaces, so knowing how to negotiate and resolve them is important.

According to the Harvard Law School, conflict resolution is the informal or formal process used by two or more parties to reach a peaceful resolution to a disagreement. In the workplace, for example, a conflict or a dispute could arise between co-workers, managers and subordinates, or service providers and their consumers or customers. The ability to resolve conflicts is frequently regarded as a leadership quality. Many companies or societies in general value those who can detect disputes, respect differing viewpoints, and reach a consensus.

Courtesy: John Filson

International Day of Peace [BONUS]

Before becoming well versed about the career in peace and conflict studies, let’s now throw some light on the International Day of Peace. Every year on September 21, the International Day of Peace (or World Peace Day) is dedicated to developing the values of peace within and among all nations and peoples. The International Day of Peace is an uplifting reminder of what we can do together at a time when war and violence frequently dominate our news cycles.

The United Nations General Assembly designated the 3rd Tuesday of every September as the International Day of Peace in 1981. This day also happened to be the first day of the General Assembly’s yearly sessions. The objective of the day was and continues to be, to strengthen global peace principles.

In 2001, two decades after establishing this day of observation, the assembly changed the date to September 21 each year. As a result, starting in 2002, September 21 has been designated as a day to discuss how to promote and sustain peace among all peoples, as well as a 24-hour period of global ceasefire and non-violence for combatants.

Courtesy: UN.org

Did you know: The Peace of God (989 AD) and the Truce of God (1027 AD) were the first known peace movements, born of a desire to reduce violence by limiting the days and times when nobility might conduct combat.

Importance of International Day of Peace

International Peace Day is observed to honour individuals who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to end the war or conflicts and promote peace. As a result, it is a significant global event because:

  1. It Binds us Together: Poverty, disease, education, and healthcare are all issues that nations and communities face around the world. The International Day of Peace reminds us that we are more alike than we are different, regardless of where we come from or what languages we speak.
  1. It Reminds us to Believe in Something Greater Than Ourselves: It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of job and family life. However, it’s sometimes beneficial to consider how communities and nations can step outside of their comfort zones. When we try to see things from someone else’s point of view or to put it another way, “walk a mile in their shoes,” we can find peace and serenity.
  1. It Highlights How Tiny Efforts can Have a Great Impact: prayer, advocacy, education, and respect for others are all ways we may contribute to a global culture of peace. Consider the global impact if every one of us did one simple thing to bring about peace, even once a week!

Did you know: The first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1901 to Jean Henry Dunant. It was divided equally between Frédéric Passy “for his career labour for international peace conferences, diplomacy, and arbitration,” and Jean Henry Dunant “for his humanitarian efforts to heal wounded soldiers and create worldwide understanding.”

Skills Required for a Career in Peace and Conflict Studies 

  • Aspirants interested in pursuing a career in Peace and Conflict Studies should have a strong dedication to social issues as well as an interest in interpersonal relations, community development, or international relations.
  • Research and analytical approaches should be emphasised in the educational background. 
  • The shared feeling of a common purpose being pursued by a socially aware cause can sometimes produce an unstructured workplace where flexibility is required. 
  • As many opportunities in this industry are transnational in nature, knowing a foreign language can help with your job hunt. 
  • Teaching and training skills acquired through education or work also are applicable.
  • Participating in public interest groups as an intern and/or volunteer will help you build a network that will help you land a professional employment offer. 
  • Experience working in multicultural parts of the society, especially in a developing country, is strongly desired. 

Career in Peace and Conflict Studies 

The success of peacebuilding activities across the globe has given rise to renewed interest in graduates in peacebuilding or some peacebuilding expertise. Let’s explore some of the most common career paths in the field of Peace and Conflict Studies:

1. Development and Communication Specialist

Graduates with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies can also work as development and communication specialists in the industry. They collaborate closely with civil society leaders to assist society’s most vulnerable citizens. One of the most important aspects of their work is that they monitor conflicts and present a more balanced and conflict-sensitive view to members of the public and policymakers. They also assist in the consideration of nonviolent conflict resolution tactics. Grant writing, news analysis, and the development of successful communication strategies are all tasks performed by Development and Communication Specialists to achieve specific developmental goals.

Average Salary: Development and Communication Specialists can earn anywhere from ₹ 3.3 Lakhs to ₹ 28.1 Lakhs per year, based on their qualifications, region, and years of experience.

2. Policy Officer 

A career as a Policy Officer is another popular choice for graduates in Peace and Conflict Studies. They collaborate with peacebuilding teams and local stakeholders to empower local communities through engagement with civil society, donors, and decision-makers at all levels, from local to global. They also contribute to the development of policies in the areas of politics, commerce, and socioeconomics. They primarily contribute to the policy-influencing areas of the organisations with which they engage. Because of their extensive knowledge of conflict dynamics, they are frequently qualified to produce progress reports on peace negotiations, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding projects. Policy officers also have a variety of responsibilities, including press and public affairs, consular and immigration administration, and active participation in the mediation and negotiation process.

Average Salary: The average salary of policy officers is around ₹ 40,000 to ₹ 65,000 per month. The salary is determined by the location of employment as well as organisational salary scales. Holders of a postgraduate degree typically earn more than the base salary.

3. Measurement Officers

Graduates and aspirants can also start a career in Peace and Conflict Studies as Measurement Officers for international organisations. They are critical in tracking, quantifying, communicating, and acting on findings, which are influenced in part by established organisational outcomes and evidence frameworks (OEF). In partnership with colleagues, measurement officers also support the creation and use of core indicators and related data collecting and measurement methods. Through training, technical assistance, and data quality monitoring, measurement officers assist field officers in developing their capacity to collect, store, and analyse programme data.

Average Salary: A Measurement Officer’s typical income ranges from ₹ 4 Lakhs to ₹ 13 Lakhs per year. This is dependent on the number of years of experience and the geographical location.

4. Academics/Researchers

Teachers, professors and researchers are some of the most prevalent paths taken by graduates who want to pursue a career in Peace and Conflict Studies. Aspirants are increasingly finding importance in a variety of fields, including rule of law, human rights, conflict resolution, livelihood, health, and education. Establishing formal mechanisms as well as new social norms are all part of the complexity of transitioning a civilization from war to peace. Researchers spend a lot of time learning about conflict’s social, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic circumstances, as well as the numerous people engaged. They also do a study on the conflict’s dynamics, as well as important actors and their conflict-related interests. 

Average Salary: A researcher’s average salary is around ₹ 5 Lakhs to ₹ 15 Lakhs per year depending upon the years of experience and geographical location.

5. Conflict Resolution Expert or Consultant

Another prominent career path chosen by graduates to make a career in Peace and Conflict Studies is that of a Conflict Resolution Consultant or Expert. This job appears to be both exciting and hard. Professionals who meet with two or more parties involved in a disagreement and assist them in resolving are known as conflict resolution specialists. They frequently try to reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties concerned. Conflict resolution experts can assist clients in resolving legal, professional, and personal issues. Conflict resolution specialists work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Mediators
  • Contract negotiators
  • Fact-checkers
  • Arbitrators
  • Conciliators

Average Salary: A Conflict Resolution Consultant or Expert’s average salary is around ₹ 7 Lakhs to ₹ 22 Lakhs per year depending upon the years of experience and geographical location.

A degree in Peace and Conflict Studies is a lesser-known degree that equips students with the skills they need to excel in different fields. The program trains aspirants to think critically about the causes of conflict, interact with organisations on a local or even international level, and advocate for change verbally and in writing. Some of the various career options for undergraduates and postgraduates, apart from the aforementioned list, is listed below: 

Undergraduate Degree Career Options

  • Journalist
  • Media Critic/Specialist
  • Program Assistant/Associate/Coordinator
  • Public Advocate/Activist
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Research Assistant
  • Speechwriter
  • Communication Coordinator/Assistant
  • Community Development Organizer
  • Congressional or Legislative Aide Educator
  • Human/Civil Rights Officer

Postgraduate Degree Career Options

  • Attorney
  • Community Mediator
  • Consultant
  • Activist 
  • Editorial Columnist/Lecturer
  • Executive Director of Non-profit or Non-governmental Organization
  • Director of Non-profit Agency or Institute
  • Governmental Advisor
  • Human Resources/Personnel Manager
  • International Negotiator
  • Legal Advocate (poor, refugees, women, civil rights)
  • Labor Negotiator
  • Minister
  • Ombudsperson
  • Organizational Trainer/FacilitatorPolicy Analyst
  • Professor
  • Program Manager
  • Research Associate
  • Regional Monitor 
  • Writer/Reporter 

Top Universities Abroad for Peace and Conflict Studies 

Here is a list of some of the most renowned universities from across the world that are helping aspirants to commence a career in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies by offering them excelling programs in the same field: 

Universities  Location  Program Name 
Georgetown University USA  MA in Conflict Resolution
Tufts University USA Master of International Business – International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Columbia University USA  MS in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
George Mason University USA MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution
University of Notre Dame USA Master of Global Studies – International Peace Studies
Åbo Akademi University Finland  Master’s Degree Programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research
University of Groningen Netherlands  MA in International Humanitarian Action
Utrecht University Netherlands  Master in Conflict Studies and Human Rights
University of Glasgow Scotland MSc/PgDip in Conflict Archaeology & Heritage
University of Stirling UK MSc International Conflict and Cooperation
Courtesy: Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations

Future Scope and Challenges 

Peace and conflict studies is an interdisciplinary academic topic that includes a variety of fascinating disciplines such as cultural studies, criminal justice, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology, to name a few. That being said, with increased funding for maintaining peace and conflict resolution work by various government-led agencies, foundations, and international NGOs during the last two decades, the area of international peace and conflict resolution has grown significantly. As a result, according to the US Department of Labor, numerous job opportunities in the industry are growing at an average or faster than average rate around the world.

However, despite the extraordinary changes in the global community, the conflict has continued unabated. As a result, the quest for new and effective ways to resolve conflicts between nations and people has increased the opportunities in this field of study. Now, many volunteer opportunities exist in the industry that can even lead to full-time employment opportunities for the aspirants.

Many interdisciplinary field conflict resolution positions can also be found in groups that aren’t generally thought of as “Peace Groups.” Organizations such as CARE and CRS, for example, are increasingly acknowledging the importance of the link between development and conflict resolution. The World Bank’s Post-Conflict Unit and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service show that governments and multilateral institutions are realising the importance of this developing field of Peace and Conflict Resolution.

These were some of the most common careers in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies. Want to study Peace and Conflict Resolution abroad? Then, get in touch with Leverage Edu’s experts at 1800 57 2000 and kickstart your study abroad experience with their excellent mentorship and guidance. 

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