PhD thesis topics in peace and conflict studies

Last Updated on August 15, 2022 by Smile Ese

You have just submitted your PhD thesis proposal, but are struggling with the topic selection. This is a very common problem faced by lots of people working on their doctorate degree. You know, it’s really difficult to choose a topic and start an investigation from scratch. Here we have made our best to outline various topics in Peace and Conflict Studies which vary from traditional warfare to political, economic, social and cultural factors that contribute towards international conflicts.

Collegelearners will provide you with all the relevant information you are looking for on phd in peace and conflict studies, master thesis peace and conflict studies, researchable project topic on conflict, and so much more.

PhD thesis topics in peace and conflict studies

Peace studies are a collection of inquiry fields that concern themselves with understanding the reason for confrontation and violence on all levels of human relations (McMaster, 2015). The information in the field is gathered with the intent to transform or prevent destructive conflicts (McMaster, 2015). This interdisciplinary field builds on the foundation that human conflict is a cause of much negative consequence at the present time and throughout human history. Peace studies are generally considered to be part of the humanities, and they often include interactive interpretations from: philosophy, religion, politics, anthropology and the sciences (McMaster, 2015).

Differing than modes of inquiry like political science, the foundation of peace study is to put knowledge into action. As a result, an analysis of war in the human experience, if it were to satisfy the innate foundation of peace studies, would also include a component that would seek to apply the information learned to lessening conflicts that could lead to war. Peace studies can also be considered within the spectrum of conflict resolution, which is something that is very important to organizational operation. Peace study graduates often are strong teachers, mediators, consultants and development workers (McMaster, 2015).

Peace Studies Paper Topics

The professional staff at are well equipped for the intricacies and application of peace studies related material. The writers at have completed peace studies paper projects for the layperson as well as graduate students within the major. The staff knowledge of the discipline enables them to seamlessly navigate any project ranging from critical thinking in discussion post topics to full Phd level projects. For peace studies paper topic needs, can be reached by email. Both emails regarding placing orders on our secure server and those wishing to gain more insight on the topic are equally welcomed.

researchable project topic on conflict

The interdisciplinary nature of peace studies makes it necessary for the student to understand how the various fields of inquiry work together to create either peace or violence. From a sociological perspective, human violence has been linked to elements like: biology, social strain, blocked pathways to success, capitalism, racism, gender issues and oppressive systems of governance. Some perspectives see violence as a function of human fallibility while others, like political anarchists, see outside structures like governments as being the primary influence on negative human behavior. Regardless, the theories related to human behavior are quite diverse and can affect the way in which students select peace study topics and how they choose to apply that information. For example, applications of material for individuals who have concluded that human aggression is a biological phenomenon would be very different than those who have concluded that violence is a function of unresolved stress between owners and laborers.

The versatility of peace studies makes it possible for most students to find a topic that will interest them, further human understanding and at the same time satisfy instructor guidelines for a project. Below is a list of some topics that would fall within the spectrum of interesting peace studies paper topics. The staff at can complete these projects verbatim to student expectations or these topics can be used as a tool to help student generate their own ideas about prospective elements of inquiry.

  1. Lessons from the Cold War
  2. Toward a global community: The United Nations
  3. John Keegan’s A History of Warfare and peace study applications
  4. A brief history of peace studies
  5. Resolving conflict in the work place
  6. Human aggression and the prospects of peace
  7. Peace in the Neoliberal world
  8. Islamic and Western relations
  9. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  10. Lessons from the Vietnam War
  11. The League of Nations: Why it failed
  12. Non governmental organizations for peace
  13. Race relations and violence
  14. The World Bank
  15. Reaganomics and the promotion of peace
  16. Gender and violence
  17. Gun control and peace: Psychology vs. practicality
  18. Environmental violence and ecology
  19. Peace making in US Prisons
  20. Race relations and the police force: A Ferguson case study
  21. The Los Angeles Riots: Urban violence in the 1990’s
  22. Capitalism and prospects of peace
  23. The Islamic resistance movement
  24. Israel and Palestine: Toward a resolution
  25. Indigenous people and governmental violence
  26. The Zapatista movement: Chiapas, Mexico
  27. The role of media in manufacturing opinions on violence
  28. Iran and nuclear weapons
  29. Being neutral on a moving train: Analyzing Howard Zinn’s perspective on state violence
  30. Human rights violations in Nepal
  31. North Korea and rogue nations
  32. Contemporary maritime piracy
  33. John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis
  34. Secret Wars: The CIA in Latin America
  35. The FBI and the American Indian Movement
  36. The use of drones in advancing peacekeeping
  37. Peace studies in the age of information
  38. Cultural competency and prospects for peace

phd in peace and conflict studies

Doing a postgraduate study is very exciting. It provides a great opportunity to move closer to the level of expertise in one’s area of interest, and it provides a sense of accomplishment and self-worth for many. This feeling of pride is even further heightened if the postgraduate studies is for a PhD.  Expectedly, there is always a great euphoria that accompanies the realisation that a research proposal has been accepted by a University and that a PhD journey is about to begin. However, the euphoria can quickly give way to panic when one considers the possible challenge a lack of funding can pose to the pursuit. Most doctoral students either work part time to fund their studies or find a mixture of smaller grants from charities, organisations or industry. This article highlights institutions that offer fully-funded PhD programmes in peace and conflict studies, with the hope that it would encourage students to undertake courses in peace and conflict studies, thereby helping to build a critical mass of peacemakers, peacebuilders and conflict resolution experts.

  1. Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

Programme Information: The Durban University of Technology’s Peacebuilding Programme is arguably the biggest and most exhaustive of its kind on the continent of Africa. With close to 50 doctoral students enrolled in the programme, it is one of the most diverse on the continent, and one of the most hands-on PhD programmes worldwide.  The degrees start with a compulsory on-campus component of one month during which time students attend classes and submit assignments on peace theory, receive training in practical peacebuilding and learn the details of writing a research thesis. Students are encouraged to work on action research topics which directly build peace among individuals and communities.

Programme Requirements:

ma IR

  • A Master’s degree with a research component, normally at an upper class level (70%) or above.
  • Strong written and spoken English
  • Relevant life experience beyond studying at the university
  • A commitment to attend the university full-time at the start of the academic programme, and a week at the start of the second year.
  • A commitment to devote a minimum of 12-15 hours per week to thesis work, on average, following the on-campus period.

Funding Information: DUT offers tuition free studies for doctoral students for the first three years. It also supports cost of data collection and for the preparation of the final version of the thesis for submission.

Link: Professor Geoff Harris and Dr. Sylvia Kaye, [email protected]

  1. University of Notre Dame’s PhD in Peace Studies.

Programme Information: The University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace regularly offers PhD scholarships in the field of Peace Studies for students willing to study in the United States. Graduates are fully credentialed in one of the six disciplines as well as in peace studies. They are prepared for positions in research and teaching — in anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology, theology, or peace studies — and for contributions to peacebuilding practice.

Programme Requirements:

Each of the six partner departments (anthropology, history, political science, psychology, sociology, and theology) has specific requirements for earning a dual Ph.D., while the requirements in peace studies are similar for all doctoral students. Doctoral students typically:

  • Meet course requirements and pass a comprehensive examin one partner department as well as in peace studies.
  • Take a minimum of 6 required peace studies coursestaught by Kroc Institute faculty as well as departmental courses with significant content relevant to peace studies
  • Study core peace studiesliterature and research design
  • Submit a peace studiesarticle to a scholarly journal to be considered for publication
  • Submit at least one proposalto an external funding agency for doctoral research
  • Complete a teaching assistantshipin “Introduction to Peace Studies”
  • Complete one or more research or teaching assistantshipswith Kroc Institute faculty engaged in scholarship related to the Institute’s research themes, and
  • Conduct dissertationresearch and writing under the guidance of Kroc faculty and fellows

Funding Information: The University provides admitted students with full financial support in the form of fellowships, graduate assistantships, and tuition scholarships, plus stipends for living expenses for five years.

  1. University of Uppsala’s PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies

Programme Information: The Department of Peace and Conflict Research at the University of Uppsala in Sweden offers a PhD programme that lasts for 4 years, including compulsory course work corresponding to about 1 year of fulltime studies. PhD candidates are often involved in teaching or administration up to 20% of their time, so it may take up to 5 years to complete the PhD programme.

Programme Requirements:

The application should be in English, except for writing samples which could be in either Swedish or English. The documents submitted should consist of the following:

  • A completed application form for doctoral studies
  • A short personal letter (1‒2 pages)
  • CV
  • certified transcripts of academic records
  • A project plan (3‒5 pages)
  • Letters of reference/recommendation (max 2 letters) or a list of references (max 2) which can be contacted by the admission committee.
  • Writing samples (1‒3 samples)

Funding Information: It is important for prospective applicants to note that PhD candidates at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, as with most Swedish universities, become employees of the university, that is, they are not seen as students. A consequence of this is that there are no tuition fees, but normally there are also no scholarships available.

  1. University of Hamburg’s PhD in Peace and Security Studies

Programme Information: The aim of the PhD in Peace and Security Studies at the University of Hamburg is to facilitate both academic and practical career-oriented learning through an integration of young scholars into the activities of the centre’s activities. The programme has a comprehensive programme that includes seminars, research workshops and fieldtrips that help students deepen and broaden their knowledge of theories and methodologies, while gaining insights into current problems in peace research. Doctoral students also have opportunities to present their work-progress to a forum of professional experts during the seminars and workshops regularly organised by the department.

Programme Requirements:

Requirements for the programme include:

  • An above-average science, social science or humanities degree at master’s level or higher. The IFSH conducts its own selection procedure.
  • A good knowledge of the fundamentals of peace research,
  • And a dissertation topic in line with the current research program of the IFSH are expected. Doctoral students at the IFSH participate in working groups and research projects and are assigned personal advisors according the topics of their dissertations. A program director is responsible for the overall management of the program.

Funding Information: The PhD programme is tuition free. The IFSH does not offer funding itself, but suitable candidates are often provided with support in applying for scholarships.

  1. University of Otago’s PhD in Peace Studies

Programme Information: The University of Otago offers a fully funded PhD programme themed: Trusting the Enemy: Understanding Intergroup Trust in Conflict and Peace Studies through Social Psychological Approaches. The programme is built on the core belief that trust is the glue that holds relationships together. This project focuses on furthering our understanding of the multidimensional nature of trust. It aims for researchers and practitioners alike to better understand how conflict persists through distrust, how peace building can be empowered through trust, and how fragile intergroup relations can be strengthened through systematic trust building. This work intends to build on the Intergroup Trust Model, which hypothesizes that trust between groups is shaped by the five dimensions of competence, integrity, compassion, compatibility, and security.

Programme Requirements:

Acceptance as a candidate for the PhD degree depends upon the University being able to provide adequate expert supervision in the intended area of research.

The University considers the following criteria when making an internal assessment:

  • Academic standard: Prospective students must meet the highest academic standards. A first class Honours degree or Master’s degree including a significant research component is required; research publications (peer-reviewed articles in academic journals or book-chapters) are desirable.
  • The project proposal must fit well with our research profile and appears manageable and feasible within a three-year time frame and given financial and other constraints.
  • The project must be likely to generate high-quality, publishable work in peer-reviewed journals.
  • A Master’s degree with a focus on peace and conflict studies is highly desirable.

In order for us to make internal assessment, the University needs four things from the applicant:

  1. Full academic transcripts highlighting which course is your thesis or dissertation and / or details of research publications.
  2. Where possible, an electronic copy of the piece of independent research submitted for examination.
  • A curriculum vitae which includes publications, at least one reference letter and the contact details of referees (a minimum of two)
  1. A preliminary research proposal (about 5 pages) which identifies the contribution of the project to the discourse, a description of its theoretical framework, research design, methodology and time plan.

With this information, the University can assess the likelihood of scholarship funding and the ability of the Centre to provide adequate supervision for the project.  The candidate may be invited to a Skype interview as part of the selection process.  If an applicant is successful in this internal screening process, he / she may then proceed with a formal application.

Funding Information: The PhD programme is fully funded.

Leave a Comment