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Academic Programmes PhD at CIPS

Duration: 4 Years (Full-time): 2 Semester x Coursework + 6 Semester x Research
Credit Hours: 48 (18 Coursework + 30 Research)
Start Date: 11 March 2014
Campus: Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS), NUST, H-12, Islamabad

Since the end of the World War II, the interest in peace studies and conflict resolution has increased steadily. These subjects represent a branch in Social Sciences, which focuses on presence and absence of peace within groups, societies, organizations, intra and interstate relations. It provides a framework for identifying and analyzing violent and nonviolent sources of tension/conflict. Together they cover a multidisciplinary field in which scholars and practitioners get involved with the primary objective of promoting peace and preventing, de-escalating, and finding solutions of conflicts through peaceful means. As opposed to war studies, this particular area of study aims to create a win-win situation for all parties involved in the conflict. The result is not a victory for one but for all the stakeholders. Most commonly, the disciplines taught within the ambit of these studies include International Relations, Political Science, History, Geography, Economics, International Law, Psychology, Sociology, History, Anthropology, Religious Studies, Gender Studies, Management Studies, Media Studies and Environment Studies.

Rationale for Running a PCS Program at NUST
The basic purpose of establishing CIPS was to run a hybrid program combining the basic courses in peacekeeping with graduate programs in International Relations (IR) and PCS. This was to cover the existing dearth of hands on training and shortage of serious scholarship in this field.  Therefore, this is just the next step in fulfilling the vision of this Centre. CIPS has a head start by receiving international recognition through its high profile inauguration and its well-attended international seminar in October. It now wants to build up on this initial promise by launching its graduate programs. The PCS program will embellish the credentials of CIPS as a serious research oriented institution and help build networks with national, regional and international organizations for conducting joint research in the areas of peacekeeping, peace building and conflict resolution. In this manner, it will create a niche for itself in the global market as a credible engine for research on not only issues related to peacekeeping but also for resolving political and non-political conflicts.
The objective of PCS program, at the PhD level would be to train students in understanding the causes of conflicts and the possibilities of exploring peaceful and nonviolent solutions to problems. This would require both theoretical and practical understanding of conflict resolution with lessons from around the world. The products of the CIPS PCS programs will be potential troubleshooters in conflict areas within the society, industry and within the comity of nations.
It will be a multifaceted program encouraging investigations into local, regional and international conflicts. Domestically it will be designed to produce studies on serious issues afflicting our society like radicalism, terrorism, separatism, ethnic-nationalism, parochialism etc. Internationally it will cover issues such as peacekeeping, peace building and conflict resolution in areas wracked by internal and external wars, famine and poverty. The purpose would be to find timely remedies via policymaking.
Thematically, there will be equal focus on traditional and non-traditional security for studying direct and indirect sources of conflicts. Considering the scope and vision of CIPS, PhD students will be directed to focus their research on identifying important steps towards an environment of sustainable peace that comprises of creating security space (peacekeeping), creating humanitarian space, and creating political space. In doing so, they will endeavor to find a common link between peacekeeping, peacemaking and peace building.
PCS will also serve as an intellectual sounding board for governmental policy planners to facilitate them in preparing their locus standi for articulation at international forums, such as the UN and affiliated international agencies. It will also help officials to sharpen their negotiation skills on technical and legal issues, for instance climate change.
For PCS graduates, there is a huge job market within the international and local development agencies operating in Pakistan like Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation), Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Swiss Agency of Development Cooperation (SDC), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), Search for Common Ground (SFCG), US Agency for International Development (USAID), US Institute of Peace (USIP) etc. International agencies are likely to focus on the causes of conflict in the region in the foreseeable future and would This is because certain changes have happened in the development sectors and now almost all Western organizations are liable to make use of conflict sensitive project planning while working in conflict and fragile states.
There is also a shortage of highly qualified graduates in the field of PCS in Pakistan in areas like journalism, think tanks and the industry.
The PCS program will provide the first step in enabling CIPS to become center of excellence and a recognized think tank on issues of peace and conflict at the national, regional and international level.

Educational Objectives
CIPS will offer PhD in PCS with following objectives:

  • To provide students with knowledge and understanding of the theories and concepts of peace and conflict with regard to their application within Pakistan, South Asia and beyond;
  • To enable students to develop necessary skills of conflict transformation /resolution;
  • To provide comprehensive methodological training to doctoral students in peace research;
  • To produce independent thinkers seeking solutions of complex issues of peace and conflict facing Pakistan and beyond by using a rich body of knowledge of conflict resolution, peace studies tools, and methods;
  • To train students towards professional engagements in policy analysis, peacekeeping, peace-building, mediation, advocacy and organizational leadership; and
  • To prepare scholars for jobs in policymaking, think tanks, academia, international organizations etc. both within and outside Pakistan.
Research Areas
The following are the suggested research areas:
  • Peacekeeping & peace building
  • Conflict resolution: at the national, regional & international level
  • Traditional and non-traditional security issues
  • Causes of terrorism & counter-terrorism policies & strategies
  • Causes of radicalization in the society & de-radicalization strategies
  • Regional security issues in south Asia i.e. water & territorial disputes
  • Regional & global governance mechanisms – their shortfalls and benefits
  • Internal dynamics of Pakistan and outside influences