The Toda Peace Institute (formerly called the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research) is an independent, nonpartisan institute committed to advancing a more just and peaceful world through policy-oriented peace research and practice. The institute commissions evidence-based research, convenes multi-track and multi-disciplinary problem-solving workshops and seminars, and promotes dialogue across ethnic, cultural, religious and political divides. It catalyses practical, policy-oriented conversations between theoretical experts, practitioners, policymakers and civil society leaders in order to discern innovative and creative solutions to the major problems confronting the world in the twenty-first century.
The Toda Peace Institute's current research and practice foci are:
The Alliance for Peacebuilding; Eastern Mennonite University-The Center for Justice & Peacebuilding and the Toda Peace Institute co-sponsored a two-day conference, held in Harrisonburg, VA (November 5-6, 2016) on "The Ecology of Violent Extremism." The meeting brought together leading theorists and practitioners, with extensive experience in the field of peacebuilding with an emphasis on negotiation, governance, democratic processes, intergroup dialogue, and the use of media to address key drivers of violent conflict, to discuss an ecological or systems approach to violent extremism (VE). An ecological approach to violent extremism views the problem of VE in a broader context than the mainstream media and political analysis. Counter terrorism strategies generally offer simplistic examinations of violent extremism by focusing solely on the individuals and groups using terror, without examining the broader factors driving or mitigating violent extremism. This project aimed at reframing the traditional approaches to VE, which focus almost exclusively on the role of violent counterterrorism. Participants discussed the role of education and inclusive peacebuilding processes to address the broader national and global factors that promote radicalisation and motivate violent political behaviour.
Chaiwat Satha-Anand, Senior Research Fellow of the Toda Peace Institute together with Omar Farouk from the Center for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS) at Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) organized a policy workshop on "Engaging Extremism with Muslims' Nonviolence" in Penang, Malaysia, September 19-22, 2016. The workshop was facilitated by Kevin Clements and Paula Green. They designed an experiential process to enable Muslim researchers and practitioners to understand violence from a Muslim perspective and then reflect on how justice might be pursued by Muslim nonviolent actors. Participants explored cases of extremism and deadly conflicts within the Muslim world, and then explored the relationship between Islam and nonviolence and how this might mitigate the violent effects of extremism. The organizers will be producing a book or a journal issue on the subject based on selected papers in 2017. On September 21, 2016, CenPRIS and the Toda Peace Institute organized a public forum with selected conference participants, members of the public and the policy community on "Violent Extremism: Islam and Nonviolent Policy Alternatives." This forum generated lively discussions between local intellectuals, members of the media, diplomats and representatives from the policy community.
The Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research celebrated its 20th anniversary in Tokyo, Japan, February 5-8, 2016, by co-organizing—with the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago—a conference entitled: "Warrior and Pacifist Traditions in the Three Abrahamic Religions and Buddhism." The three day meeting drew on the rich wisdom and experiences of the 20 participants, who came from 14 different countries and who spanned the various faith traditions of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism.
The Promise of Reconciliation? explores the relationship between violence, nonviolence, and reconciliation in societal conflicts with questions such as: In what ways does violence impact the reconciliation process that necessarily follows a cessation of deadly conflict? Would an understanding of how conflict has been engaged, with violence or nonviolence, be conducive to how it could be prevented from sliding further into violence? For more information please see Transaction publishers (make transaction publishers go to this link. and To order your review copy please order: here.
"Islam and Nonviolence"
The Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research and The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies University of Otago, concerned at the lack of a nuanced response to recent incidents of political violence in the Middle East and elsewhere co-hosted a "Brainstorming" workshop on Islam and Nonviolence in Tokyo, Japan, on May 25-26, 2015.
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