John de Chastelain Peace Studies Initiative

The John de Chastelain Peace Studies Initiative’s mission is to build, develop and disseminate interdisciplinary knowledge on a range of local and global issues dealing with peace and violence, broadly defined.

Our approach to peace studies operates on three main principles:

  1. We emphasize people’s lived experience of war and violence in all the different forms they may take, from inter-state warfare to colonial violence to violence against women in spaces of conflict.
  2. We seek to expand our horizons for understanding the various and often hidden historical, political, economic, cultural and social forces and dynamics that lead to the initiation and propagation of violence.
  3. We highlight the bottom-up practices for healing, peace and reconciliation which are enacted by a whole range of social activists, ordinary people, rituals, cultural productions and civil society organizations.

The Initiative’s activities are three fold. First and foremost is the Initiative’s marquee event, the Calgary Peace Prize, which recognizes outstanding individuals from the global community who work towards making the world a more just, safer and less violent place. Second, the Initiative is has introduced a minor program in Peace Studies at Mount Royal University. Third, the Initiative will foster and showcase research projects among Mount Royal faculty members and students. It also seeks to bring high profile speakers from across the globe to share their work with Mount Royal faculty, students, and the Calgary community. This will be accomplished through a public lecture series, workshops, and other educational and community outreach activities. These programs and outreach activities will engage, mobilize and connect university and community leaders to promote greater awareness of issues pertaining to peace and wellbeing in our local and global community.