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Final Report Summary - ICELCT (Inter-Continental Exchange of Leadership in Conflict Transformation)

‘Inter-Continental Exchange of Leadership in Conflict Transformation (ICELCT)’ has facilitated an extensive programme of research, capacity building, and knowledge exchange between three partner institutions – the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) at Coventry University (UK)- COVUNI, Kadir Has University (Turkey)- KHU, and Stellenbosch University, South Africa- SUSA. ICELCT brought researchers together to jointly explore conflict transformation and leadership structures and processes in operation across Africa, MENA region and elsewhere, and how these processes relate to wider practices contributing to peace in a variety of fields: business, peacebuilding, entrepreneurship, arts, maritime issues and faith and social relations. ICELCT has had a significant impact on this thematic exploration– with a particular emphasis on maritime security, peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations in divided societies and post-apartheid social challenges in South Africa. ICELCT has enhanced inter-continental understanding and knowledge of conflict transformation issues and has contributed to a significant expanding of partnership activities and wider institutional collaborations.

ICELCT Objectives:

1) To comparatively and critically analyse different strategies and experiences on the role of leadership in conflict transformation from a regional and inter-continental perspective
2) To examine the role of regional actors and hegemons in contributing to security and stability and conflict prevention and transformation
3) To share lessons learned and good practice on conflict transformation research between three key countries in different continents
4) To develop networks of expertise on conflict transformation from an inter-cultural perspective through workshops, conferences and other networking activities
5) To provide opportunities for research on cutting-edge issues in conflict transformation for early stage researchers
6) To analyse potential developments and needs for future conflict resolution efforts and non-traditional transformational approaches to conflict

ICELCT has provided multiple opportunities for building strong partnership frameworks. Bilaterally, between COVUNI and SUSA, we have established student exchange programmes in Law departments and staff exchanges in the themes of Human Resources and Management, Health & Life Sciences and Entrepreneurship. We have set up annual PhD group visits and fieldwork training courses every January hosted by SUSA and we have joint activities in Agro-Ecology & Resilience. COVUNI and SUSA will submit a European Commission RISE project application on the role of cities in reconciliation for the funding call in March 2018. COVUNI and KHU continue to run a portfolio of dual award courses, whereby both institutions give diplomas and certificates for jointly-run MBA programmes in Istanbul which have grown out of the partnership framework enabled by ICELCT. The scope of these various joint activities has reached an institutional level that COVUNI and SUSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a wider strategic partnership.

In addition to bilateral relations, we have multi-lateral initiatives proposed to KHU and engaged in discussions to develop tri-partite relationships in some of these areas. COVUNI has extended the partnership to other Higher Education institutions like the Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta (SI). We submitted a joint funding bid to the Research Council UK Global Challenges Call comprising COVUNI, SUSA and SI. Furthermore, the annual Human Security conference continues jointly organised by KHU and COVUNI, with the United Nations Human Security Unit. October 2017 will be the 7th in the conference series, with the thematic area of displacement and security. Several researchers from SUSA have submitted papers to take part in this conference. We have also successfully obtained a large ERASMUS+ grant (‘BUILDPEACE’), partnering KHU and 6 other institutions across Europe.

ICELCT has been disseminated through a variety of avenues:

Conferences and workshops – ICELCT researchers have actively participated in the annual Conference on Human Security hosted by Kadir Has, Istanbul. SUSA and KHU students have participated in Coventry University’s Global Leaders Programme. All 3 partners have contributed to the development and organisation of the Maritime Security conference and events held at SUSA’s Military Academy and Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA). SUSA and KHU staff participated in COVUNI’s annual Summer School on Conflict Resolution. They also attend the annual Global Peace Workshop organised by COVUNI and hosted by Mugla University, Turkey.

Publications – Individual ICELCT researchers have published or are planning to publish their findings in a variety of journals, book chapters and other publications and papers. Also, ICELCT coordinators are currently working on a major edited volume, ‘Conflict Response and Leadership in Africa’, which will critically examine how the multi-faceted nature of human insecurity is intrinsically linked to shortcomings in governance and poor leadership in a continent affected by globalised conflict and general insecurity. This book will be one of the first in-depth explorations of the challenges of leadership at different levels for a broader explanation of conflict dynamics and how localised conflict transformation approaches fit into wider national and regional structures. A special issue of the journal ‘Conflict Transformation and Security’ is also being developed which will investigate the changing dynamics and challenges of new maritime security threats and responses. Discussions are underway within COVUNI and SUSA to select editors for this special edition of the Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security (JCTS).

Teaching and training – ICELCT researchers contributed to the conceptualisation and content of COVUNI’s MA course component on ‘Maritime Security’, to SUSA’s Military Academy training courses and KHU’s International Relations teaching content. The cooperation from all 3 partners on Maritime Security is proving to be a significant avenue of research. SUSA staff have enrolled on COVUNI’s Maritime Security MA programme. Post-graduate and PhD training provision has been jointly developed, and is jointly delivered both in SUSA and COVUNI. One COVUNI researcher has been appointed Visiting Research Fellow at SUSA’s Security Institute for Governance and Leadership in Africa (SIGLA) to share expertise on transnational security governance and the role of private military and security companies in the enforcement of global law and order. Another COVUNI researcher has been offered a research fellowship by SIGLA to work on transitional justice in divided societies, with a comparative dimension looking at South Africa post-Apartheid and Kurds in modern Turkey.

The ICELCT research networks and exchange have improved frameworks for examining conflict transformation in a variety of contexts and academic disciplines from a cross-cultural perspective. ICELCT research outputs are building upon existing knowledge and informing policy and practical responses to conflict of different types. Under ICELCT, all 3 partners have jointly expanded and refined their existing teaching and research initiatives. These joint programmes will continue as a sustainable legacy of project cooperation. ICELCT research has benefited significantly from partnerships with civil society organisations in South Africa and UK. There are strong indicators that aspects of this collaboration, staff exchange facilitation and emerging research themes will be continued by all 3 partners.

Contact Info:
Professor Alpaslan Özerdem
T: +44(0)2477659069

Chas Morrison
T: +44(0)2477659065

Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR)
Innovation Village 5, Coventry University Technology Park, Cheetah Road, Coventry, CV1 2TL, (UK).

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