Vision of a Canadian Peace Institute by Zlatko Isakovic, Visiting Scholar, Institute of European and Russian Studies (EURUS) June 26, 2000

Ottawa, June 26, 2000
Dear Mr. Stewart,

I appreciate and am honoured by your invitation to write out and send you my
Vision of a Canadian Peace Institute.

Having in mind that I am a newcomer in Canada, whose experience in peace
research, teaching and other kinds of peace oriented activities origins
mostly from other parts of the world, I would present just some my
suggestions related to certain features of such an institution.  Some of the
suggestions are, in fact, just stressing components already present in your,
Mr. John Munro's and other authors' papers, and some of them I perceive as
my more or less original contribution to the discussion.  Of course, that
what I perceive as the contribution, does not have to be original at all, or
at least in some part.

In short, to my opinion, the Institute should have following general
features:

First, the Institute should be a multitask, i.e. multipurpose
institution (research, teaching, consulting, publishing, etc.), developing
in that way multiple response to student, faculty, peace activists and other
possible interests.

Second, the program of the Institute should be multitopic covering
a wide field of issues and questions related to peace.  In this regard, let
me mention just the questions that are considered as ones of the (most)
essential importance for the present world: different kinds of conflict and
violence (direct, structural, cultural) and corresponding types of peace;
peace education capable for fighting violence; the relationships between
peace and human rights, etc.  The program could include general topics as
well as those devoted to certain geographic areas, like Balkans (for
example, see a model of such a research network on
http://aix1.uottawa.ca/associations/balkanpeace/ ), certain other conflict
area of Europe along with Latin America, Middle East, Africa, etc.

Third, the program of the Institute should be multidisciplinary,
interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary as much as it possible and needed in
accordance with the nature of its purposes, topics, etc.

Fourth, the Institute should be a focus, or centre of the
establishing the peace consortium of Canadian universities, colleges, high
schools, elementary and primary schools, virtual centres, etc., and linked
with peace institutes world-wide.  As this kind of linking could help unify
the peace movement(s) in Canada and the world, this idea seems to me as a
very interesting and potentially useful.  The Institute should be using
existing infrastructure of peace studies in Canada and abroad (thanks to
exchange of students, teachers, researchers and other forms of
co-operation).  In this way, the Institute will be linked with existing
school and research system in Canada and the world.

Fifth, having in mind that any source of funding would bring
dependency to the Institute, the sources should be dispersed; it could be
financed by multiple sources.  Among solutions could be the formula applied
within the Institute for Peace in Vienna, which finances itself partly from
renting apartments and rooms owned by the Institute.  Please find enclosed
[below] Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI) lists of foundations whose funds
may be utilised as sources for the Institute's work.

Sixth, the educational, research and other activities within the
Institute should be practised at various levels (kinder-garden, elementary
and high schools, colleges, universities, etc.).  One of the levels could
include a conflict resolution program for Canadian and, if needed, other
diplomats, soldiers and public servants.

Seventh, the structure and organisation of the Institute should be
adapted to the mentioned features.  As institutional and other models can be
utilised (in addition to Toda and other institutes and institutions) at
least partly government supported COPRI, where I had chances to research,
publish, and lecture several times (see enclosed attached paper
mtrp1998-2000.rtf, which could shortly describe the structure and
organisation of COPRI). [available on request]

Eight, as a result of mentioned features the Institute would be
able for supporting capacity and providing leadership for peace action.

In any case, I would agree with Mr. Robert Stewart's words "it is time to
act" in this regard.

I am also forwarding a letter by Mr. Kai Frithjof, kind man who was
recommended by Prof. Johan Galtung to give me his remarks on my Vision.
(below)

Sincerely,

Zlatko Isakovic
CPREA Secretary
Visiting Scholar
Institute of European and Russian Studies (EURUS)
Carleton University
1125, Colonel By Drive, Room 3A37PA
Ottawa ON K1S 5B6
Canada
Tel.: +1 (613) 520-2600 x 1087
Fax: +1 (613) 520-7501

Home:
75, Lausanne, apt. 404
Gatineau, Quebec
Canada J8T 2Z1
Phone: +1 (819) 561-2383

Home address from August 1, 2000:
5, Lausanne, apt. 202
Gatineau (Quebec) J8T 2Y8
Canada

E-mail: bmisakovic@hotmail.com



Dear Zlatko, Thank you very much for your e-mail of June 21st. I apologise
for not responding earlier but I have been travelling and am in the middle
of working on my next book.

I would be very glad to help out in whatever way possible, though I am
afraid that a number of current engagements will limit what assistance I can
provide for the next few days/weeks until mid-August.

I have been quiet interested in the initiative to promote a Canadian Peace
University for some time, and you will find, on the information included
below, that it is a component of one of the ICL's 16 programmes. I am also
familiar with Mr. Stewart's and John Munro's texts, and appreciate your own
as well. What I would emphasise are points similar to your own and theirs: -
the importance of developing a holistic programme based upon the academic,
cultural, social, and physical environment. Attempts at creating purely
academic institutions, such as the recent transformations of the European
Peace University, have largely failed, both as a result of low academic
quality, and neglect of the total educational and human experience. - the
teaching should aim to combine both the finest elements of academic courses
and the intensive and interactive approach of good training programmes - one
possible model, is to combine 1-2 years Masters programmes (for between 10 -
16 students) and two 10-12 weeks intensive training courses each year (for
between 24 - 30 students). These numbers of course depend upon the size of
the expected programme. The benefit of combining both MA and Certificate
Courses models is the diversity of students, backgrounds, and experiences,
you will be able to draw upon. As many professionals, diplomats, and people
from all walks of life are interested in gaining some experience in these
areas, the option of intensive 10-12 weeks training programmes would provide
an opportunity not available in full 1-2 years degree programmes. - the
benefits of functioning as a node in a network linking researchers,
scholars, activists, and trainers, both in Canada and internationally,
opening up for cooperation with others, and strengthening each strand
through sharing of skills and experiences - the importance of an
international faculty and group of participants - independence of funding. A
point which you make quite well, so I will not stress it further. I would,
however, appreciate a copy of the list of foundations you mentioned for
several other ICL and TRANSCEND initiatives.

The importance of well-qualified, capable, and committed individuals is
crucial to the successful start and functioning of such an initiative.
Below, I am including in text the description of the ICL/Praxis for Peace,
[available in the Who's Who section, world level ]
and, in an attached document, several comments and reflections upon training
prepared for TRANSCEND which I think may be of use to your paper, discussing
in greater detail some of the points raised here.

There is also an extensive collection of papers exchanged by myself and Anne
Adelson when we explored the suggestion for a Canadian Peace University at
some length nearly two years ago. I will be happy to send it to you as well
if you wish.

If you have any further questions or would like to discuss these points in
more detail please let me know.

I would also appreciate being kept informed of any progress or further
initiatives.

You might also be interested in the most recent ICL/TRANSCEND initiatives,
which include (i)the creation (to be launched in July this year) of a New
Institute for Peace Research in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, linking
together leading scholars and practitioners in Scandinavia with the goal of
promoting peace research and education, and strengthening the peace
movement; (ii) the birth of the Peace Action, Training, and Research
Institute of Romania (to be officially opened January 1st, 2001), linking
together Romanian scholars and pracitioners in peacebuilding and
development, offering certificate programmes for the first year and then a
1-years MA programme beginning in 2002/2003. We are also preparing shortly
for the launch of a new Canadian Peace Research Institute, though this is
now in an earlier stage of development.  With best wishes and warmest
greetings, In peace, Kai Frithjof


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