Conflict Transformation Across Borders

Hands holding flags with a dove on them

Quito, Ecuador

Active Learning - Topics - Courses and Credit - Schedule & Fees - To Apply - Faculty - Student Testimonials - Request Information

BORDER ZONES can be sites of conflict among states and transnational actors over currency and trade, migration and refugees, environmental threats, and contested sovereignty, illustrated by the European refugee crisis, the U.S.-Mexico border, disputes over contested borders in East Asia, and many other cases around the world. Trained, dedicated individuals capable of developing innovative responses with which to transform conflicts are needed to build institutional and social bases for coexistence and a lasting peace.

Program Summary

Led by an international faculty of peace building practitioners and scholars, this summer institute in Ecuador is designed to equip early-career professionals, graduate and advanced undergraduate students, and other future peace builders with practical tools, knowledge, and hands-on experience to understand the complexities of conflicts within and across border regions, and the types of interventions that can be used to transform these conflicts. Ecuador is the perfect venue for studying these issues, as it is the largest recipient of refugees in Latin America, has advocated for the concept of universal citizenship, and has negotiated the negative impact of transnational environmental damage with neighboring states and with extractive industries.

Participants will reside in a university residence near the FLACSO campus in Quito, and will make field visits to the Amazon cloud forest in Baeza, and to the Northern Border region in Carchi province. The language of instruction will be English, although some Spanish-language talks will likely be included with translation provided.

Conflict Transformation Across Borders is offered through the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance in UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. The program will be jointly run with UMass Boston partner institutions, la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), and the Center for Mediation, Peace, and Resolution of Conflict (CEMPROC).

Active Learning

This program uses a combination of classroom learning and discussion, hands-on experience through simulations and field visits, and interaction with high-profile guest speakers who are practitioners and scholars in the field of conflict transformation. Students will have the opportunity to engage in simulations and site visits during the practical training component of the course.

After laying a theoretical foundation, the program will include the analysis of concrete cases of conflict and peace building in the region, as well as practical skills training workshops on conflict analysis, negotiation and mediation, cross-cultural and nonviolent communication, and proposal writing.

Participants will research and design their own proposal for a peace building intervention, and will receive feedback from a panel of experienced experts in the field. Those wishing to submit their proposals to funding agencies for consideration will receive encouragement and technical assistance. In this way, the summer institute serves not only to generate knowledge and develop skills, but to act as a platform for action.


Courses and Credit

All participants will register for CONRES 626 Advanced Intervention (3 graduate credits). CONRES 696 Independent Study (3 graduate credits) is offered as optional credit. Only 4 (four) students will be accepted for the independent study course.

Credit will be granted by UMass Boston, but students, including recent graduates, from any university are welcome. These credits, which are also transferable to other universities, can be used towards earning a MA or certificate in Conflict Resolution, a MSPA in International Relations, or (in consultation with the student's advisor) a PhD in Human Security and Global Governance at UMass Boston.

Schedule & Fees

July 1 - 21, 2018 (July 1 arrival; July 21 departure)
Fee: The total program fee has three parts:

  1. tuition fee payable to UMass Boston
    CONRES 626 (required): $799* ($399 for participants from the Global South)
    CONRES 696 (optional): +$599*  Only 4 (four) students will be accepted.
  2. logistics fee paid directly to the host organization, CEMPROC
    $2,500* payable to CEMPROC, which includes lodging, meals, ground transport, and all other required in-country expenses.
  3. RT airfare that is the responsibility of the participant
    Please do not purchase airfare or make travel arrangements until you have received formal notice of acceptance into the program.

* These fees do not include insurance or airfare between the participant’s home and Quito.

» Funding Resources «

To Apply

Application Deadline: April 23, 2018

» Download Application [pdf]

Completed applications will be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis until the course is full. Early applications are strongly encouraged. Applications received after the deadline will be considered if space is available.


Professor Yves Renee Jennings
Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance
University of Massachusetts Boston
View Professor's CV

Professor Cecile Mouly
Department of International Studies and Communication
View Professor Cecile Mouly's Bio

Past invited guest speakers have included:

What Students are Saying

“This program is unique for me because it combines theoretical classes with trips in which we can apply in practical terms what we learn in class.  That was the best part for me.”

“Inspired me to do my master’s in conflict resolution”

“It was wonderful, and I learned a lot of stuff in the three weeks, probably more than I’ve learned in the three semesters of all my other classes in my undergrad, so I really recommend it.”

This program was highlighted by NAFSA in UMass Boston's Paul Simon award for campus internationalization.

Request Information

For more information, please contact:

Karol Victoria Guzman

Professor Yves Renee Jennings

Professor Cecile Mouly