Please share a short bio for yourself. This should be no more than 3-4 short paragraphs.
I am an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Peace Studies Program at Butler University, Indianapolis, USA. Born and raised in Northern Ireland, I received my Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in International Relations/US Foreign Policy from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 1999, a First Class BA Honors degree in Politics and English Literature from The Queen’s University, Belfast 1991, and a Diploma in Journalism from the College of Business Studies, Belfast in 1987. I have over 15 years teaching/training experience in the fields of peace and conflict studies/international studies including US-based service-learning courses and international field seminars, and encompassing topics of conflict analysis, peacebuilding theory, peace processes, post-conflict peacebuilding, education for peace, human rights, youth and gender in conflict, political communication and US foreign policy.
I also have over a decade of experience conducting international research on youth and conflict, including field research in the US, Europe and the Middle East. My research focuses on the multidimensional impact of organized violence on children and young people, and the contributions of children and youth to reconciliation and peacebuilding processes. I am interested in young people’s needs, attitudes and roles in conflict zones, the creation of politics and political meaning by youth, the impact of peer relationships, intergenerational learning and trauma in conflict cycles, the roles of youth work(ers) and schools/educators in conflict zones, and the making of and implementation of youth policies.
My publications include: Peacebuilding After Peace Accords: The Challenges of Violence, Truth and Youth (Notre Dame, 2006) coauthored with John Darby and Tristan Anne Borer, and Troublemakers or Peacemakers? Youth and Post-Accord Peacebuilding (Notre Dame, 2006) which I edited and contributed to, as well a numerous articles/book chapters, and the singled-authored book American Exceptionalism and U.S. Foreign Policy. Public Diplomacy at the End of the Cold War (Palgrave 2001). I am currently working on two book length projects: Children and Youth in Global Conflict: Negotiating Boundaries & Inventing Peace (working title) which explores the significance of young people for instigating and perpetuating cycles of political violence, and for peace; and Making Room for Peace? Transforming Contested and Traumatic Spaces: This edited volume (co-editor Callie Persic) explores the use of public spaces to express and sustain ideals of peace as well as to reproduce violent conflict and division.
Please list the countries and/or regions in which you have direct and significant expertise
Northern Ireland, Israel, Palestinian Territories, USA
What is your current job (and organization) and/or where and what field are you studying?
Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies, Butler University
What are your main skills/expertise?
Teaching/Training/Administration: Experience in program development and curriculum design, writing of materials and delivery of courses; group facilitation, running simulations, service-learning, internship supervision, academic counseling; organizing conferences, workshops, speakers series; faculty representation; strategic planning, implementation, and evaluation at the university level.
Research: Experience conducting international research on youth and conflict, including research design and implementation and field research using qualitative methods (focus groups, semi-structured interviews). Research activities have included desk review, extensive interviews and consultations with young people, teachers, youth workers, policymakers and political figures, observation of the operations of peace and human rights organizations.
General: Experience working in conflict zones, in interdisciplinary formats and in diverse socio-cultural environments (incl. conflict-sensitive, gender- and cultural- sensitivity), working in and leading teams, compiling and synthesizing data through consultation with diverse constituencies, writing a variety of reports and other academic and policy documents. Excellent writing and communication; fluency in English (oral and written), basic working knowledge of French (oral, reading).
What are Your expertise areas/sectors when it comes to youth