Introduction to Conflict Transformation (ICT)
Wendy Kroeker (Canada) and Michael Frank A. Alar (Philippines)
This course presents an introduction to the field of conflict transformation with a focus on the theoretical understandings of conflict and conflict transformation as well as the development and application of frameworks for this field. The COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years has created social divisions polarizing communities and revealed structural injustices. Consequently, the key areas of attention will be to build an understanding of the role of conflict in peacebuilding, to enhance the application of conflict transformation skills to the analysis of conflict, and to explore the challenges and practices of intervening in conflict dynamics. Special attention will be given to the analysis of root causes of conflicts working on skills of adaptation and resilience. Opportunities will be given to reflect on strategies for one’s home and work context. The course will be experiential in nature, allowing for conflict resolution skill practice and enhancement of conflict transformation understandings through discussion and group work. Teaching methodologies will encompass large and small group discussions, role plays, interactive exercises, and case analyses.
Wendy Kroeker is the Director of the Canadian School of Peacebuilding and Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Canada. Wendy has over 30 years of experience as a community mediator, conflict transformation trainer, peace program manager, and program manager for international development projects. In addition to many years living in the Philippines, Wendy has worked over the past two decades with Indigenous groups, NGO staff, community and religious leaders, and various educators in such places as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, and Palestine.
She holds a Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution from the Resolution Skills Centre in Winnipeg as well as a MA in Theology focused on Contemporary Theology and Peace Studies. After significant years of practice within the conflict transformation field, she entered the Peace and Conflict Studies PhD program at the University of Manitoba, Canada, and completed it in June 2018. Her research focused on the space of local actors in building a culture of peace in Mindanao. Wendy has taught at MPI since 2003.
MICHAEL FRANK A. ALAR
Michael “Mike” Frank A. Alar is an independent consultant on conflict transformation, dialogues and peace processes. He currently consults for the World Bank Philippines, particularly in support of the Mindanao Peace Process as part of its Fragility, Conflict and Violence team.
For more than 15 years, Mike has worked, studied and volunteered in the peace field in countries that have included Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia and Turkey. In the Philippines, he was a consultant for the United Nations Population Fund on Youth, Peace and Security, and a Project Manager for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue Philippines where he provided capacity-building opportunities and technical support to Mindanao Peace Process stakeholders. Mike also worked for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process of the Philippine Government, where he designed and facilitated trainings on peace and conflict for civil society organizations, local government units, the security sector, and government offices such as the Bangsamoro Development Agency.
Mike holds a MA in International Peace Studies from Japan, an advanced specialist degree in Peace and Development Studies from Spain, a diploma in Islamic Studies and Interfaith Relations from India, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Philippines.