Dr. Tatsushi (Tats) Arai (新井立志) is an Associate Professor at Kent State University’s School of Peace and Conflict Studies. He is a peace researcher and conflict resolution practitioner with twenty-five years of international experience. Dr. Arai has led or co-led conflict resolution initiatives in over twenty countries across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East as well as in the United States. Prior to joining Kent State in 2019, Dr. Arai had served as a United Nations Senior Mediation Advisor on a when-actually-employed basis and as the Sergio de Mello Endowed Visiting Chair in the Practice of Post-Conflict Diplomacy at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He was also a Professor of Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation at the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute in Vermont and previously taught international relations at the National University of Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide. He received a PhD from George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution (formerly S-CAR/ICAR) in 2005 and its Distinguish Alumnus Award in 2015.
Dr. Arai's research focuses broadly on peacebuilding and multi-track diplomacy (engaging both government and civil society actors) with a sustained commitment to transforming large-scale intractable conflicts. Dr. Arai’s current research explores (1) how to identify and strengthen mediative social processes and functions within and across conflict-affected societies, (2) how to foster functional coexistence between adversaries who view each other as an existential threat, and (3) how to make use of applied peacebuilding practice for methodological innovations in action research.
Dr. Arai’s recent peacebuilding practice as a mediator, dialogue facilitator, trainer, mentor, and designer of systemic social change includes supporting a Nigerian-led initiative in building a sustainable reconciliation platform for the community reintegration of rehabilitated former Boko Haram members; building the West African Initiative for Peace (WAIP), a Burkinabe-led peacebuilding effort; training Syrian and Lebanese humanitarian professionals in mediation skills; facilitating capacity-building workshops for diplomats from Muslim-majority countries; promoting interfaith and inter-communal coexistence in Singapore and Myanmar (including in Rakhine State), and conducting Interactive Conflict Resolution workshops on the Taiwan Strait as well as on China-Japan relations. (Dr Arai's TED Talk on his peacebuilding practice is available here.)
Dr. Arai is a Japanese citizen and lives with his tri-national family in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. He speaks English and Japanese and has a functional knowledge of French.
Arai, T, S. Goto, and Z. Wang, eds. 2015. Contested Memories and Reconciliation Challenges: Japan and the Asia-Pacific on the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II. Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Arai, T., S. Goto, and Z. Wang, eds. 2013. Clash of National Identities: China, Japan, and the East China Sea Territorial Dispute. Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Arai, T. 2009. Creativity and Conflict Resolution: Alternative Pathways to Peace. London: Routledge. (Paperback 2012.)
LeBaron, M. and V. Pillay (as lead authors), and T. Arai, N. Carstarphen, and K. Bhangoo. 2006. Conflict across Cultures: A Unique Experience of Bridging Differences. Boston: Intercultural Press. (Sample chapters.)
Peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters (selected)
Arai, T. 2023. Engaging Conflict History and Memory Across the Taiwan Strait: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Conflict Timelines from Interactive Conflict Resolution (ICR) Dialogues. Negotiation Journal. January.
Arai, T. 2022. Functional Coexistence in Intractable Conflict: A Decades-Long View of Conflict Intervention. Peace and Change 47: 1-34.
Arai, T. 2021. Conflict Resolution and Historical reconciliation in East Asia: Lessons from China-Taiwan Civil Society Dialogues. In: Development in Reconciliation Studies: Memories, Emotions, and Values – Series for the Development in Reconciliation Studies 1: Principles and Methods, ed. Toyomi Asano. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten Publisher. (In Japanese; English summary)
Arai, T and J.B. Niyonzima. 2019. Learning Together to Heal: Toward an Integrated Practice of Transpersonal Psychology, Experiential Learning, and Neuroscience for Collective Healing. Peace and Conflict Studies 26 (2).
Arai, T. 2019. Conflict Intervention Training as Strategic Convening: Lessons from Syria. Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 14 (3).
Arai, T. 2017. Toward a Buddhist Theory of Conflict Transformation: From Simple Actor-Oriented Conflict to Complex Structural Conflict. Peace and Conflict Studies 24 (2).
Arai, T., E. Babbitt, K. P. Clements, S. Lodgaard, and C. Satha-Anand. 2017. The Role of Walls, Barriers, and Boundaries in National and International Affairs: Typology, Underlying Trends, and Implications for Conflict Resolution. In Risk and Uncertainty: Understanding and Dialogue in the 21st Century, edited by K.P. Clements and O. Urbain. London: Routledge.
Arai, T. 2015. Toward a Buddhist Theory of Structural Peace: Lessons from Myanmar in Transition. Peace and Conflict Studies 22 (1).
Arai, T. 2015. Engaging Conflict History: Toward an Integrated Method of Conflict Resolution Dialogue and Capacity-Building. Conflict Resolution Quarterly 32 (3).
Arai, T. 2012. Rebuilding Pakistan in the Aftermath of the Floods: Disaster Relief as Conflict Prevention. Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 7 (1).
Commissioned reports, training guides, and other writings (selected)
Arai, T. 2022. A New Helsinki Process: Restoring Pragmatic Order in Europe. Transcend Media Service. June 20.
Arai, T. 2022. General Principles of Conflict Resolution and Their Implications for the Security Crisis in Northern Burkina Faso. Policy brief. January 2022. (In French and English.)
Arai, T, M. Ragueneau, and G. Schinina. 2019. Integration of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Transformation and Mediation. Chapter in The Manual for Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support. International Organization for Migration (IOM), Geneva. (Served as an IOM scientific committee for the production of the manual.)
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with T. Arai as the principal author. 2018. Enacting a Culture of Peace: Adult Learners’ Guide to Peace Education in Myanmar. Yangon, Myanmar: UNESCO Myanmar. (In Burmese; English description.)
Arai, T. 2018. Demobilization, Dissociation, Reintegration, and Reconciliation in Northeastern Nigeria: Findings from the Field Research and Capacity-Building Activities. Report for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - a UN migration agency.
Arai, T. 2018. Repatriation and Reconciliation Challenges in Northeastern Nigeria: Toward an Integrated Framework of Analysis and Action. Conflict Trends 1.
Arai, T. 2017. Conflict-Sensitive Repatriation: Lessons from Displaced Communities in Northeastern Nigeria. Conflict Trends 1.
Arai, T. 2017. Promoting Interreligious Harmony in Myanmar: A Guide to Training and Dialogue. Yangon, Myanmar: Peaceful Myanmar Initiatives. Commissioned by the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), Vienna.
Arai, T. 2017. Realising Peace Potential of Constitution. The Kathmandu Post. February 20.
Arai, T. 2016. Lessons from the Swiss Experience of Nation-Building: Implications for Multi-National Societies in Conflict. Japanese Journal of European Studies 4.
Arai, T. 2015. Syria, Lebanon, and the Middle East: Enabling a War-to-Peace Transition. Transcend Media Service March 9.
Arai, T. 2012. Development Sensitivity for Reconciliation: Lessons Learned from Rwanda. Conflict Trends 4.
For more information about Dr Arai's publications and peacebuilding initiatives, please visit his website. A request for a PDF version of any of the publications which may not be found above as well as all forms of inquiry on peacebuilding practice and policy support are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.