Karina Korostelina

Photo of Karina Korostelina
Titles and Organizations

Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Carter School

Contact Information

Phone: 703-993-1304
Campus: Arlington
Building: Arlington: Vernon Smith Hall
Room 5072
Mail Stop: 4D3


Karina V. Korostelina is a Professor and Director of Peace Lab on Reconciling Conflicts and Intergroup Divisions and of the Program on History, Memory, and Conflict at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, GMU. She is a Vise President of the International Association for Reconciliation Studies. Professor Korostelina is a social psychologist whose work focuses on dynamics of social identity and power in protracted social conflicts. Within this theoretical framework, she conducts research in several areas: (1) identity-based conflicts, including mass violence and civilian devastation, nationalism, the nation building processes, conflict resolution and peacebuilding in post-conflict societies; (2) peace processes, reconciliation, and bridging societal divisions; (3) the role of history in conflict and post-conflict societies; and (4) resilience in communities affected by chronic conflict and violence.

Dr. Korostelina has been a Fulbright New Century Scholar, Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Writing Fellow, and a fellow at the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She also has been awarded a number of residential fellowships, including Isaac Manasseh Meyer Fellowship at the National University of Singapore, the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, the Institute for Advanced Studies at Waseda University, Japan, the Northeast Asia History Foundation, the Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, and the Curriculum Resource Center of the Central European University. She has conducted comparative research and single case studies in Armenia, Brazil, Georgia, Japan, Lebanon, Morocco, Mexico, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and the U.S. 

She has received 46 grants from: the MacArthur Foundation, Luce Foundation, Spencer Foundation, Rockefeller foundation, Ebert Foundation, Northeast Asia History Foundation, Soros Foundation (Research Support Scheme, Managing Multicultural Communities Project, Renaissance Foundation), the United State Institute of Peace, US National Academy of Education, National Endowment for Humanities, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of USDS, INTAS, IREX, Eckert Institute, and Council of Europe.

Dr. Korostelina is an author or editor of 16 books and over hundred articles and chapter. Among her books are Neighborhood Resilience and Urban Conflict (2022), History Can Bite - History Education in Divided and Post-War Societies (2016), Constructing Narrative of Identity and Power (2013), History Education in the Formation of Social Identity (2013), Why they die? (2012) and Social Identity and Conflict (2007).

Dr. Korostelina is frequently invited to give a keynote address and present results of her research to academics, policymakers, and practitioners. She has given 95 talks to academic and policy- oriented institutions, think tanks, government and non-government organizations, and international bodies. She provides consultations to USAID, US State Department, US Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, the World Bank, OSCE, Civil Peace Service (GIS), and the Council of Europe. Dr. Korostelina also presented her research at 101 conferences and served as an organizer or convener of 17 conferences.

Recent Awards

  • Co-Principal Investigator, “US-UK Peace Labs Action For Sustainable Social Cohesion,” supported by the US Embassy in UK, the US Department of State, 2023-2024.
  • Principal Investigator, “Contact Theory in Democracy, Human Rights & Governance Programs,” supported by the US Department of State, 2022-2025.
  • Principal Investigator, “The Costs of Peace: War Experience, Territorial Loss, and Peace Agreement Consensus in Ukraine,” supported by the NSF RAPID grant program, 2022-2023.
  • Co- Principal Investigator, “Identity and Religion based approaches to Peace processes,” supported by Bridging Insights Harvard University, 2022-2023.
  • Principal Investigator, “Tolerance Promotion and Conflict Resolution: Teaching and Practice (Faculty of Philosophy University of Nis (UNI)/George Mason University Partnership)”, supported by the US Department of State, Embassy in Serbia, 2021-2023.

Latest Publications


  • International association for reconciliation studies, Vice-president
  • International Studies Association, Member
  • Conflict Research society, Member

In the News

Keynote Addresses

  • “Reconciliation studies through Nationalism study and Conflict resolution studies,” keynote address at the Research Seminar on Reconciliation Studies, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, April 22, 2023.
  • “Dynamics of identity and attitudes toward peace and war in Ukraine?” Lecture Series Russia´s war, Ukraine’s resistance. Europa-Universität Flensburg, March 21, 2023.
  • “Unpredictable Past: Social Identity Approach to Collective Memory and Conflict”, 18th international conference Days of Applied Psychology – Current challenges in psychological science, University of Niš, Niš, Serbia, September 23, 2022.
  • “Dilemmas of Reconciliation in the Midst of Violence,” keynote address at the 3rd annual conference of the International Society for Reconciliation Studies, Arlington, VA, August 18-20, 2022.
  • “Violence and Conflict: Social Identity Approach,” key lecture, Violent Societies: Past and Present. Berlin, August 8-12, 2022
  • “Peace Education in the Midst of Identity-based Conflicts,” keynote address at the conference “Teach Peace! For the New Ukrainian School Reform”, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, December 4, 2021.
  • “Addressing Identity-based Conflicts Through Education,” keynote address at the international conference “Conflict and Identity: confronting the past through education.” Lincoln College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, October 17-18, 2019.
  • “History Education in the Formation of Social Identity: Toward a Culture of Peace,” keynote address at the international conference “Negotiating History Education in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings,” New Delhi, October 9-10, 2018.
  • “Dynamics of Identity and Power in nation building”, keynote address at 5th anniversary of the Program on Culture, Language and Communication at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, July 5, 2018.


  • DSc, Social Psychology, National Academy of Science Institute of Psychology
  • PhD, Psychology, Odessa State University
  • MA, Psychology, National Kiev University