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Innsbruck School of Peace Studies


Since 2002, the Innsbruck School of Peace and Conflict Studies has been developed by Wolfgang Dietrich and his team at the UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. On January 1, 2017 a Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies was established at the University of Innsbruck's Faculty for Social and Political Sciences, which has a mandate for conducting Peace and Conflict Studies Research and is home to the MA Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation.

The Innsbruck School of Peace and Conflict Studies became famous for its unique approach to peace research with the key phrase “transrational peaces” and with its specific and tough training method in the sense of John Paul Lederach's elicitive conflict transformation”. Both principles are applied in practice and developed further in the frame of the MA Program for Peace Studies. The UNESCO Chair promotes further research in these fields and the publication of the respective results, in the following book series:

Furthermore, a series of edited Volumes has emerged in the framework of the Innsbruck School: Key Texts of Peace Studies (Die Kommende Demokratie Series, LIT) Palgrave Handbook of Peace Studies (Palgrave)

Norbert Koppensteiner, a Dietrich-student and program coordinator at the MA Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation, is another important representative of the Innsbruck School of Peace and Conflict Studies. In his book The Art of the Transpersonal Self he draws on findings of humanistic and transpersonal psychology. His work can be seen as a critique of some of Modernity’s founding principles like truth. Koppensteiner argues that the autonomous and self grounded subject, morals or solvability of conflicts have become sites of contestation and debate. He suggests to re-think some of those categories being debated in (post)modernity by invoking transpersonal and transrational transpositions. Asking about the continued possibilities for subjectivation, Koppensteiner sketches the outlines of an art of living for a subjectivity perceived as constantly emergent and in transformation, a subjectivity that dares to embrace conflict as part of its transpersonal relational becoming and that emerges through an ongoing transformation of the self understood as an aesthetic (Apollonian) and energetic (Dionysian) practice. The strictly relational understanding of peaces and conflict that Koppensteiner proposes is one of the central ontological assumptions of the Innsbruck School of Peace Studies.



  • Many Peaces Trilogy (Palgrave) by Wolfgang Dietrich: Interpretations of Peace in History and Culture (Vol. 1), Elicitive Conflict Transformation and the Transrational Shift in Peace Politics (Vol.2) and Elicitive Conflict Mapping (Vol 3, in translation).
  • Elicitivas (Verlag Springer, featuring Juan José Albert Gutiérrez (translated by Matthias Gossner) and Winfried Wagner.
  • Masters of Peace (LIT, Verlag Springer), featuring the works of Samrat Schmiem Kumar, Katya Buchleitner, Paula Ditzel Facci, Paul Bukuluki, Natalia Lozano Mancera, Alicia Dueck, Catalina Vallejo Piedrahíta, Noor Jdid, Kathleen McGoey, Billene Seyoum Woldeyes, Sophie Friedel, Adham Hamed, Morten Frederiksen and Heela Najibullah.
  • Understanding and clarifying the conflict episode
  • Visibilizing the conflict parties
  • Viewing the conflict dynamics at different levels and through different layers
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