The Peace Studies Program at the University of Innsbruck
In 2001, the Master of Arts Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation at the University of Innsbruck was created. The director of the program, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dietrich created this unique Master program together with students and teachers from all over the world. Since 2008, Professor Dietrich has held the UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck.
Encouraging Many Peaces – The Program’s Philosophy
The philosophy of the program is based on the understanding of Many Peaces, since there are as many peace(s) as there are human interpretations of it. There are four major peace families known as energetic, moral, modern and postmodern peaces. Since none of these values appears isolated in social life, the program attempts to combine them in a holistic manner and identifies the dynamic equilibrium of the four aspects as a larger concept of peace we call transrational. Transrational Peaces appreciate and apply the rationality of modern science while they transcend its limits and embrace holistically all aspects of human nature.
To get to know as many interpretations of peace as possible and therefore to foster variety in the program is essential. Thus, to enable students from all over the world to join the program by decreasing systematic exclusion based on economic de-privilege is also essential. For this reason the Master’s excellent academic record is founded on the guiding principles of interculturality, interdisciplinarity and self-awareness through reflection on experiences.
We, as students, live these principles on a practical level by immersing ourselves in an international student group of approximately 30 to 40 people each semester. We live together, share our rooms and meals together, and have a full schedule that requires a full-time commitment. Conflict, as a natural consequence of human beings closely living and working together while facing stressful situations, is therefore often inevitable. Through the diversity of our group we gain many valuable learning experiences as they require flexibility and openness to communicate and listen carefully to each other.
Thus, we experience the Many Peaces not only in discussions and teamwork during lectures and workshops, but also in the living room and during meal times. We do not just learn about peace, we live it.
For more information about the program, please visit: https://www.uibk.ac.at/peacestudies/ma-program/about/
For more information about its philosophy, please see: https://www.uibk.ac.at/peacestudies/ecm/introduction/