The School of Peace and Conflict Studies evolved from the Center for Peaceful Change, which was established in 1971 as a “living memorial” to the students killed by the Ohio National Guard during a student protest against the Vietnam War on May 4, 1970.  

The Center was created to be interdisciplinary in nature, and to do teaching, research and public service relative to peaceful change, with a teaching focus on learning from experience. In 1994, the name of the Center was changed to the Center for Applied Conflict Management, with a continued emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and applied skills. In 2017 the Center was transformed into the School of Peace and Conflict Studies. Today the School builds upon the legacy of its predecessors, regularly enrolling more than 1,000 students each year in courses that teach applied skills in conflict management and nonviolent change.

Upcoming Colloquium: Rebuilding State and Society After Civil War - February 20 and 21, 2020

Colloquium:  Rebuilding State and Society After Civil War 

A two-day international symposium in commemoration of the May 4th 50th anniversary

February 20 and 21, 2020 at the Kent State University Hotel

Speakers will include KSU academics and a range of international experts including: Bruno Charbonneau, Laura Edwards, Sebastian Faber, Roger MacGinty, Gearoid Millar, Will Reno, Kidada Williams and Susan Woodward

One of the notable features of the contemporary international system has been the historical decline of inter-state war and the emergence of civil war/internationalized civil war as a principal form of conflict in today’s world. This has produced a corresponding – and voluminous - academic and policy literature concerned with the challenges of building peace and reconstructing societies after civil war.  However, this literature is striking for the extent to which it is almost universally characterized by an ahistoricism that assumes the institutions and practices of peacebuilding after civil war are either novel creations of the Cold War UN system (e.g. first generation peacekeeping) or a response to the apparent rise of intractable ‘new wars’ in the post-Cold War era. It is also notable for the way in which current discussions of post-civil war peacebuilding largely frame this as a problem experienced by states and societies in the global south. This two-day international symposium will address both these deficiencies by locating practices of post-civil war peacebuilding in a far longer historical timeframe, by discussing a far wider range of case studies and by introducing variables, for example, culture, that shape the institutions of war and peace.

The symposium will bring together renowned international experts on a range of post-civil war peacebuilding processes that have occurred throughout history. The symposium will:

  • Promote critical understanding of past and contemporary practices of post-civil war peacebuilding through analysis of specific historical case studies.
  • Use the case studies as the basis for plenary sessions tasked with undertaking comparative historical analysis of post-civil war approaches to peacebuilding.

The overall aim of the symposium is to foster a richer, more diverse and more historically contextualized understanding of post-civil war efforts to build peace – so that the past can inform analysis of present practices, and present practices can inform analysis of the past. Following the symposium, a brief report on the proceedings and conclusions of the event will be produced.

To register, visit:

Co-hosted by Kent State Department of History and Kent State School of Peace and Conflict Studies


Study Abroad: Peacebuilding In Colombia Collaborative - TRAVEL TO COLOMBIA: JULY 15-24

Study peacebuilding in Colombia this summer!

This course is funded by a grant and so will require only a very nominal fee if you are accepted, applications due April 15.



Colombia recently ended one of the world’s longest wars by negotiating the world’s most inclusive peace agreement, which addresses gender, race, and sexuality. These provisions were controversial and Colombians voted against the first version of the accord. Learn about the conflict, the peace process, and ongoing struggles to implement the accords, with a focus on inclusive peace measures. This course is a collaboration with the Universidad del Rosario and the organization Witness for Peace and led by Sara Koopman, an assistant professor of peace and conflict studies.

TOTAL COST: All participants accepted through the application process are guaranteed a scholarship that will cover a majority of the course and travel. Some additional fees will still apply and will be announced at a later date.


To apply, please contact Sarah Schmidt, outreach program coordinator of Global Education Initiatives at or (330) 244-3579.



Kent State University's Center for Applied Conflict Management (CACM) became the School of Peace and Conflict Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences effective August 2017.  

The Center for Applied Conflict Management (originally called the Center for Peaceful Change) was established in 1971 as a “living memorial” to the students killed by the Ohio National Guard during a student protest against the Vietnam War on May 4, 1970.

  • The School's undergraduate degree program, established in 1973, is one of the oldest -- and currently one of the largest -- peace and conflict studies programs in the country. Our popular "Introduction to Conflict Management" class is open to all majors, and satisfies Kent CORE and diversity requirements. 

  • The Conflict Analysis and Management track in the Political Science doctoral and master's degree programs is attracting graduate students from all over the world.  Students interested in a broader, interdisciplinary masters degree can study can study with SPCS faculty through Kent State’s Master in Liberal Studies program.

  • Our alumni are employed in a variety of fields which include business, finance, social services, nonprofit management, government, human resources, education and training, law, mediation, community organizing and activism.

  • We love to share stories about our students and alumni — news about awards, new jobs, special events, latest activities and interesting stories can be found here. If you have a story to share, please let us know!

Our Alumni Share Their Stories 


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Contact Us

Phone: 330-672-3143
Fax: 330-672-0668

Need help resolving conflict? 
Find Conflict Resolution Services on campus.

The SPCS Listserv sends out periodic emails about jobs, internships, news and events related to conflict management and social change. Sign up to join the listerv.