Peace and Conflict Studies

In the era of post-colonial independence, paradigms of power, status and identity have shifted as many ethnic and religious groups have vied for a place in the new nation. Divisions deepended as Sri Lanka spiraled into a civil war, which ended in 2009. In this post-war period, minority ethnic and religious populations sometimes struggle for power and recognition against the Sinhala Buddhist nationalists. Despite valiant reconciliation efforts by local and international groups, peace and unity remain elusive goals. 

Program Highlights

"ISLE encouraged me to want to take a more active role and become involved in communitites, both local and global." -Fall '13 student

  • Attend field lectures on post-war conflict and peace-building efforts in multi-religious communities
  • Live with a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or Christian host family
  • Travel the island to experience the diversity of ethnicities and cultures
  • Take courses in Sri Lankan Politics and Ethnicity & Social Identity
  • Work as a volunteer in a peace-building organization

Relevant Independent Study Projects

  • Lillian Eckstein (ISLE '16): "Reconciliation and Transitional Justice in Post-War Sri Lanka"
  • Fred Boehrer (ISLE '16): "A Hopeful-Hopeless Homecoming: The Remaining IDPs of Jaffna and Their History and Barriers to Resettlement"
  • Rehan Dadi (ISLE '15): "NGO Strategies for Promoting Reconciliation and Social Cohesion in Sri Lanka in the Aftermath of the Civil War"
  • Kimberly Kolor (ISLE '14): "Fluid Boundaries, Semiotic Dialogues, and Imagined Cartographies: Socio-Spatial Negotiations of Communal Spaces between Kattankudy and Araiyampathy"
  • Omar Sohail (ISLE '14): "Suffocating Diversity: the Signifiiance of Location Politics in the Rise of a Global Ummah on Intra-Muslim Discourse"
  • Malik Neal (ISLE '11): "Innocence Disturbed: a Short Narrative of a Child Soldier"
  • Marjorie Corbman (ISLE '08): "After the Pogrom: Reconstruction of Identity Among IDPs in Puttalam"