Peace and conflict Studies

Faculty Research

Current faculty books, articles, and research include:

Deina Abdelkader's most recent book is Islamic Activism: The Anti-Enlightenment Democrats (Pluto Press, 2011). In it she shows what Islamic leaders and activists believe and what they think about just governance. In doing so, Abdelkader reveals that democracy is not the sole preserve of those who support Enlightenment values, offering the reader a chance to understand the populist non-violent side of Islamic activism. Her article, "Coercion, Peace and the Issue of Jihad" will be published in the Digest of Middle East Studies, December 2011.

George Chigas' research deals with the survivors of state-sponsored violence with a focus on Cambodia and genocide in general. His current research deals with second generation Cambodian survivors and examines the potential for service learning opportunities in Cambodia and the US to provide a cultural context for personal growth and healing in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge period.

Mitra Das recently finished a book, Between Two Cultures, that documents the resettlement issues experienced by Cambodian women who came to this country as refugees. She is working on a new project that examines the effects of development on women in the Indian subcontinent. Dr. Das hopes to extend her study to the experiences of other immigrants who have migrated from her native India.

James Forest is currently writing a book (to be published by JSOU Press) about the role of civil society in confronting terrorist radicalization in West Africa, incorporating data gathered on his recent trips to Nigeria and Senegal. He has recently completed a revised edition of his acclaimed textbook Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism (McGraw-Hill, 2012) and will serve as a guest editor for a special issue of the journal Terrorism and Political Violence later this year.

James Nehring’s research addresses the relationship between education and social justice.  He is the author of five books and many articles.  His most recent book is The Practice of School Reform:  Lessons from Two Centuries (SUNY Press, 2009).

Paula Rayman is completing her Senior Fulbright award on the project: "Beyond Coexistence: Israeli Arab and Jewish Relations.” The research seeks to contribute to our knowledge and understanding of the complex situation in Israel today regarding Israeli Arab-Jewish relations.

Urmitapa Dutta's research deals with ethnic conflict and peacebuilding in Northeast India. Specifically, she interrogates the culture of normalized everyday violence in the Garo Hills of Northeast India, examining how it shapes the identities of local youth. Drawing upon these understandings, she explores innovative everyday peace building possibilities in the region. Her current reserch also deals with the diverse forms of violence experienced by Garo women caught at the intersections of patriarchy, ethnic conflict, and armed insurgency, as these play out in a matrilineal society. At UMass Lowell, she has designed and teaches a course entitled 'Everyday Peace,' which engages students to develop more contextualized and community-based approaches to peace. 

Jenifer Whitten-Woodring's recent article, “Watchdog or Lapdog? Media Freedom, Regime Type, and Government Respect for Human Rights,” considers the implications of the foreign policy practices of the United States and other western democracies. Whitten-Woodring is currently completing a book with Douglass Van Belle entitled An Historic Encyclopedia of Media Freedom.