Research & Impact

Resolving conflict and building peace is vital to our lives, our livelihoods, and our world. Mason's Carter School provides scholars and practitioners with the tools to understand underlying issues of conflicts and find workable peacebuilding approaches. Our faculty and alumni work with conflict-affected communities to respond to local, national, and global disputes.

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Nations represented among our student body and faculty
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Alumni in the D.C.-metro area
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Students participating in experiential learning
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Alumni working in foreign service posts around the world
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We are seventh in the nation in placing graduates in the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service

We Train Future Leaders While Leading the Way to Peace

The Carter School is at the forefront in developing theories, conducting research, and crafting techniques to resolve issues at home and abroad.

You'll find that conflict can be constructive, and you’ll put that idea into practice, learning to quickly assess the big picture, see all sides of an issue, and offer effective suggestions and feedback.

We know what works. Our faculty and students are in the field, resolving pressing domestic and international problems. We are:

  • Monitoring elections in post-conflict societies, such as Afghanistan.
  • Conducting cutting-edge research on the challenges of integrating migrants in Western Europe.
  • Writing conflict assessments about such nations as Ethiopia for international organizations trying to prevent conflict.
  • Helping local governments create public decision-making processes.
PhD Alumnus Michael Shank in front of the Lincoln Memorial

Michael Shank, a PhD alumnus of the Carter School, speaks at the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington. 

Graduate with Legend of Zelda themed decorations on mortorboard
Peace Through Scholarship

When you graduate, you'll be well-prepared to start your career as a peacemaker, as the Carter School provides many opportunities to gain experience and hone your skills. Past campus events have included Foreign Service Day (Explore Careers at the State Department), and sessions on African American-Cambodian Community Trauma Recovery, and Clan Feuding and Conflict Management in Mindanao.

Student practicing martial arts
Peace Through Sports

Soolmaz Abooali, PhD student, developed a program to use sports — in this case, karate — to teach peacebuilding. The concept behind her research: If you teach people the principles of traditional martial arts — self-reflection and equilibrium of the mind, body and spirit — they can apply those lessons to better position themselves to address social issues, as well as help others create the same kind of peace.

DJ's MCs, beatmakers, and dancers posing for a picture.
Peace Through Music

The Next Level program teaches “hip-hop diplomacy” to DJs, MCs, beatmakers and dancers from around the world. Professor Arthur Romano has twice conducted the workshop, which is sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the University of North Carolina’s music department. Participants in 2016 came from from Uganda, El Salvador, Tanzania, Thailand, and Honduras.