Core Competencies for Graduate Programs in Coexistence and Conflict Work—Can We Agree?

Mari Fitzduff

Many of the world’s vulnerable states are in need of strategic initiatives to strengthen pre- and post-conflict peace-building. The challenges of peacebuilding and conflict transformation need to be addressed by a well-equipped professional corps, both indigenous and international, trained in the basic competencies of conflict prevention, management and resolution.

Graduate Programs in Conflict/Coexistence Studies are designed to increase their participants’ capacity to contribute to the development and implementation of non-military approaches to the prevention, management and resolution of violent intrastate, national and global conflicts. Despite the extensive increase in the number of such programs over the last two decades at both the graduate and undergraduate level, there is little agreement among accrediting institutions as to what the core competencies for such a program should be. This paper delves into this issue and makes recommendations on what core competencies for graduate programs in conflict resolution and peacebuilding should be.


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