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Reflections from the Field: Why Effective Peacebuilding Must Be Locally-led

  • Woolworth Building Room: 430 15 Barclay Street New York, NY, 10007 United States (map)

Co-sponsored by the Peace Research and Education Program (PREP), the Peace and Conflict Transformation (PACT) student group and NYU Steinhardt’s Peace and Conflict Studies minor

The event consisted of two panel discussions exploring the meaning, the effectiveness and the challenges of locally-led peacebuilding.

First, a panel of MSGA students who had recently completed summer graduate student consultancies with international peacebuilding organizations through the Workshop in Applied Peacebuilding reflected on the importance of peacebuilding as a locally-led enterprise. The students -- some of whom were coming off their very first field experiences -- wrestled with their own roles as outsiders after seeing the complex ways in which peacebuilding unfolds on the ground.

Next came a panel of more senior scholar-practitioners: Zahid Ahmed (Deakin University, Australia); Jasmine Linabary (Emporia State University;); Brad Heckman (NYU SPS Center for Global Affairs); Ali Altiok (Independent Researcher) and; Katerina Siira (NYU SPS Peace Research and Education Program). Moderated by Elisabeth King (NYU Steinhardt), the second panel discussed how the gradual shift toward locally-led peacebuilding is transforming practice at multiple levels and raising awareness of the power and potential of local actors to build and sustain more peaceful societies. This engaging conversation examined what it means for peacebuilding to be locally-led, what it means for peacebuilding to be effective and how international and local actors can best work together in pursuit of peace.

Opening remarks by: Dr. Stacey Connaughton, Director, Purdue Peace Project

Senior Practitioners Panel:

Moderator: Dr. Elisabeth King, Director of Peace and Conflict Studies and Acting Director of International Education


Jasmine Linabary, Assistant Professor, Emporia State University 
Katerina Siira, Research Scientist, Peace Research and Education Program 
Brad Heckman, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor, NYUSPS Center for Global Affairs 
Ali Atiok, independent researcher on youth and peacebuilding
Zahid Shahab Ahmed, Research Fellow at Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization, Deakin University, Australia