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Philosophy and History

From the initial idea of showing how international conflict transformation has been successful in Tyrol Innsbruck became one of the renowned centres for Peace and Conflict Studies in Europe and in the world. The Master program has been founded in September 2001 at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Leopold-Franzens-University.

In 2008 it has been rewarded for its innovative curriculum and its didactical approach with the establishment of the UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies.

The Unit for Peace and Conflict has been founded in 2017 and moved to the Faculty for Philosophy and History in 2019. 

The transdisciplinary Research Center for Peace and Conflict (InnPeace) has been founded in 2018 .
 

 
In June 2000 the Government of the State of Tyrol agreed to establish a Study Program on Peace, Development and Conflict Management in Innsbruck and the University of Innsbruck became its logical partner in this endeavour. In its meeting on Mai 16th 2001, the Faculty of Social Sciences approved in accordance with the then valid Austrian Law of Higher Education the title of “Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Peace, Development and Conflict Management” for this program. The Management Centre Innsbruck MCI was invited to administrate the pilot term.

In summer 2002 this pilot term was offered in close partnership with the well-established Centre at the University of Castellón. On July 7th 2002, on the occasion of the pilot term's opening ceremony in Innsbruck, the rectors of the two Universities, Prof. Dr. Hans Moser and Prof. Dr. Francisco Toledo Lobo signed a contract of inter-university cooperation in respect to this program. The contract facilitates the transfer of credits and the free movement of students between both centres.

For the summer term 2004 the University of Innsbruck had to adapt the program to the new legal frame of the Austrian “Universitätsgesetz 2002”. The University renamed the program and the title, which is from the summer term 2004 onwards a "Master of Arts Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation" and the respective title a "Master of Arts in Peace Studies". The Master of Arts is the equivalent to the international standard of such programs and counts with 120 ECTS points in total. The new administrative carrier of the program became the Tyrolean Institute for Higher Education “Grillhof”, while the academic responsibility remains with the University of Innsbruck.

During the years the program found many local partners such as the Austrian Army, the Red Cross, the Fire Brigade of Innsbruck, the Native Spirit Survival School, the Tyrolean Water Rescue Team, the Tyrolean Cave Rescue Team, the Hermann Gmeiner Academy and many more who joined the project and contributed to the creation of a unique academic training program for peace, development and conflict workers. Participants receive training and education in various fields from the personal and group level, family, neighbourhood and company contexts, NGO work up to the spheres of high diplomacy and international relations.

Team training and leadership skills are crucial in all exercises independently from the actual academic contents. The focus therefore is on human relations. They are key for understanding transrational peaces.

In 2008 UNESCO rewarded these efforts with the establishment of an UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck. Wolfgang Dietrich, program director since the foundation of the MA Program for Peace Studies, was appointed chair holder.


 


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