Social Reconciliation, Just Peace, and Development Research Group

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Social Reconciliation, Just Peace, and Development Research Group

Given the complexity of the issues involved in social reconciliation, just peace, and development, the overall goal is to conduct integrative research that examines the relationships among the theoretical and practical elements related to social reconciliation, just peace, and development. Research will also examine the nature of processes and practices that could make a difference to people engaged in or dealing with the after-effects of deep-rooted conflict.


The objectives of the Research Group are:

  • To foster, coordinate, and participate in research projects related to the mission.
  • To seek funding for research/community action initiatives.
  • To offer training related to research projects.
  • To organize and maintain a database of research results.
  • To organize conferences, workshops, and other special events.
  • To generate and make available web-based resources derived from research.
  • To facilitate the publication of research results.

Its strategic objectives are:

  • To strengthen the theory-based skill development process of students at Saint Paul University by bringing in scholar/practitioners for noon lectures, workshops, and conferences, and to generate lessons learned through ongoing active research.
  • To support the emergence of the Social Reconciliation and Economic Development research project and to collect and analyze relevant data resulting from its implementation.
  • To develop, and explore the implications of, theories of emergent creativity, spirituality, mimesis, and deep-rooted conflict for the empowerment of communities.
  • To publish and publicize relevant research through print and web-based publications.

The research group operates under six research axes:

  • Social Reconciliation and Economic Development: This axis includes a community-based participatory action research methodology and a framework that includes spirituality, values, and good governance, with particular emphasis on trauma healing, change of structures, and a sense of justice.
  • Indigenous Healing and Development: Closely associated with Social Reconciliation, this axis focuses on language and culture, and recognizes narrative and ceremony as fundamental to indigenous research methodology.
  • Spirituality, Emergent Creativity, and Reconciliation: The theoretical dimension explores the links among science (including neuroscience), religion, and spirituality, with a focus on complexity theory. The applied dimension looks at religious leader engagement, development, and legal culture.
  • Integrative Peacebuilding (IPB): The Graduate Diploma has a built-in research component that tracks the issues, challenges, and new insights coming out of participatory research conducted in association with government departments, non-governmental organizations, and potentially intergovernmental organizations.
  • Non-Violent Action, Protest, and Policing: Research in this area will extend the research project that focused on protest crowds and police.
  • Mimetic Theory: The Research Group will issue publications on this subject and explore the practical applications of mimetic theory.