Otago University pioneers bold new approach to the study of conflict

The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies says on its website it is the only centre of its kind in New Zealand and it addresses the most enduring and intractable problems confronting humanity.  It invites people to “join our passionate faculty to study development, peace-building and conflict transformation” and it offers a Master of Peace and Conflict Studies degree, one of very few such programmes in Australasia. But it is not without its own troubles.  KARL DU FRESNE reports:  

Sometimes irony is just too delicious for words.

The Otago Daily Times recently reported that the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago has been exposed as having a culture described as “toxic”, “paralysing”, “isolating” and “divisive”.

Those words come from a confidential 31-page report leaked to the ODT, which said the centre is known on campus as the “conflict and conflict” centre. The report described the centre as dysfunctional, with “deeply entrenched conflicts”. Perhaps they could use themselves as a case study.

It’s a story that falls squarely into the “you couldn’t make this up” category, but which seems, for reasons that I couldn’t speculate on, to have been ignored by the wider New Zealand media. Continue reading “Otago University pioneers bold new approach to the study of conflict”