In 2010, the University of North Texas (UNT) became the home of the Castleberry Peace Institute (CPI), the first research institute in the state of Texas. The Castleberry institute is devoted to cutting edge peace science research that advances our understanding of why conflicts occur, how they can be brought to an earlier and less destructive end, and what can be done to build a more durable peace in the aftermath of armed conflict.
Why We Exist
Since the end of World War II, there have been over 200 armed conflicts in the world. The overwhelming majority of them have been civil wars, or wars within nations. Of those nations that have experienced a civil war, about half of them later relapsed into renewed armed conflict. In short, war has become a chronic condition among a not so small subset of nations. Thus, if reducing the amount of war in the world is a worthwhile goal, then one place to start is to explore what can be done to bring on-going wars to an earlier and less destructive end - the task of conflict resolution - and what can be done to inoculate nations coming out of war against the risk of a relapse into armed conflict - the task of peacebuilding.
Decades of peace science research has shown that cultivating democracy, human rights, and economic development is critical to building a durable peace within and between nations. The combination of stable democracy that secures the human rights of all citizens and economic development that ensures their well-being can inoculate societies against the risk of civil war and interstate conflict and create an environment that does not readily spawn or provide sustenance to terrorist organizations.
Accordingly, the mission of the Castleberry Peace Institute centers around:
- Peace Science Research: CPI researchers apply state-of-the-art analytical and computational methods to provide policymakers with scientifically grounded insights on the causes of conflict, the mechanisms of conflict resolution, and the means of post-conflict peacebuilding.
- Peace Education: Building on UNT's internationally recognized graduate and undergraduate programs in Peace Studies, the Institute supports collaborative projects on peace education curriculum development. Graduates of our doctoral program have introduced peace studies courses into the curriculum of colleges and universities across the nation.
Public Outreach: The Institute sponsors a variety of public outreach programs to enhance public awareness of both the role that democracy, development, and conflict resolution play in diminishing the risks of war, revolution, and terrorist violence, and the role of women in building the social, cultural, and institutional infrastructure of a sustainable peace.