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Stanford Report, May 24, 2000

MacArthur Foundation renews grant for peace and security studies

Stanford's MacArthur Consortium, a research program to develop new approaches to global peace and security, has received funding for an additional three years from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Professor David Holloway is principal investigator for the program, which includes graduate scholars and faculty of Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation and from two other institutions.

The grant will provide $1 million to Stanford, $992,000 to the University of Minnesota and $977,000 to the University of Wisconsin over three years.

Since its inception in 1993, the consortium has run workshops, summer institutes and teleconferenced seminars that encourage graduate students and faculty from a variety of disciplines to think creatively about the complexities of changes in security concerns. "It has helped broaden our understanding of security," Holloway said, which is "particularly important in the post-Cold War period as we move away from a focus on nuclear issues and East-West relations." Last summer's institute, for example, explored the growing role of non-governmental and international organizations in peace and security issues such as human rights violations and refugee policy. Holloway also directs Stanford's Institute for International Studies.

Graduate students who become MacArthur fellows say it expands the scope or methodologies used in their research. "The consortium exposed me to qualitative research," said Kiyoteru Tsutsui, a graduate student in sociology who was a 1998-99 MacArthur scholar. "It allowed me to appreciate the value of this methodology and thus provided a means of sharing my ideas with people outside my discipline." He plans to add a qualitative study to his thesis on the impact of international human rights on ethnic social movements within countries.

Stephanie Ohshita, a graduate student in civil engineering and a 1999-2000 MacArthur scholar, said the consortium has been "a tremendous opportunity to interact with other scholars in the field. It was really valuable and provided insight into the research process."

Together, the three universities have been able to support "a new generation of scholars and professionals in a field undergoing fundamental change," said Kennette Benedict, MacArthur Foundation program director. "Faculty and administrators have provided a forum for exploring new approaches and interdisciplinary projects on global security and sustainability, and by doing so, have stimulated a redefinition and relocation of peace and security studies in research and training programs." SR