Northern Ireland Peace Scholar, Paul Arthur

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies is pleased to welcome Professor Paul Arthur as the 2010 Visiting Peace Scholar for fall semester. Professor Arthur was one of the facilitators who was deeply involved in bringing about the peace treaty in Northern Ireland and is an authority on how to resolve Anglo-Irish political disputes. He is frequently consulted by policy makers as they consider new policy reforms. Additionally, he has been involved in a series of problem-solving workshops in Colombia, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Palestine and Macedonia. In the past two years, he was involved in background discussions with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and delegations from Georgia, Iraq and Israel/Palestine when they visited Northern Ireland.

When asked about his decision to spend fall semester at the School of Peace Studies, Professor Arthur stated, “Well, first of all, there’s the weather! It’s trivial, perhaps, but the place is so lovely that it gives me the peace of mind to think, reflect and do some writing. But more importantly, I am delighted to be associated with a school that has the reputation that the Kroc School has. And the opportunity to connect with the graduate students is wonderful.” 

Professor Arthur underscored the importance of a continued focus on Northern Ireland for several reasons. First, he said that although the violence has ceased, peace has not yet been properly embedded in the region. The two communities (Protestant and Catholic) are still highly polarized and the global recession is increasing this polarization. Second, because the region was able to successfully negotiate a peace agreement, Northern Ireland is a success story that can provide lessons and encouragement for other conflict areas.  

While in residence, Professor Arthur is teaching a graduate course entitled, “The Life and Times of a Peace Process: Comparative Perspectives.” 

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