The Center for Conflict Research, Management and Resolution is an interdisciplinary center established in 1999 at the initiative of the Swiss Friends of the Hebrew University and the European Executive Council of the University. The center was dedicated by former Swiss President Ruth Dreyfus in May 2000.
The Center operates within the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Hebrew University and is comprised of students and researchers from various disciplines who have displayed interest in its areas of research. The Center is dedicated to the study of the sources and causes of domestic and external conflicts in general and in Israel in particular. It explores the methods, techniques and strategies that can help manage and resolve these conflicts from different disciplinary points of view, including social psychology, international relations and political science, communication and media studies, sociology, education and law.
The activities of the Swiss Center fall into four main categories:
1. Multidisciplinary Masters and Doctoral Study Program: This program is intended for advanced students of the sociaal sciences who want to study and acquire skills in conflict management and resolution in different areas. Students learn about the theories, methodologies, strategies and techniques for managing and resolving conflicts, and for solving problems between social, economic, ethnic and political groups, as well as states.
2. Mediation and Negotiation Training Program: This program trains mediators for work in the Israeli mediation system. Such mediators, in tandem with the relevant authorities, can help relieve the burden of an overloaded court system. Students who have backgrounds in psychology, sociology, social work, international relations, education, law, and communication concentrate on gaining skills within the program, while supplementing their studies with an internship in community, municipal, and government offices. The Center also encourages the development of special programs for intervention in the education system, especially high schools.
3. Research: Students and faculty at the Center research the local, regional, and international dimensions of conflict management and resolution in theory and in practice. Papers produced by the Center are printed and disseminated to various journals and publications.
4. International Exchange: The Center aims for a cross-fertilization of ideas between scholars and practitioners who analyze, manage, and resolve conflicts. Seminars, workshops, and conferences bring colleagues together for productive exchanges.
Only twenty of the many applicants for the Swiss Center Masters program in Conflict Research, Management and Resolution are accepted, based on their grade average and field of study. Most of the Center's students come from the Hebrew University with others from Tel Aviv University, Haifa University, Ben-Gurion University, Bar Ilan University, and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. However, some of our students come from universities abroad, including: Yale, Brandeis, George Washington University, McGill, SOAS, Northwestern, The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Maryland. The Swiss Center students also come from a wide variety of disciplines, including International Relations, Political Science, English Literature, Psychology, Communication and Journalism, Law, General Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Studies, History and Linguistics.
Alumni of the Swiss Center include close to 250 graduates. Over the years, program graduates have filled numerous senior-level positions in the following sectors: Universities and Colleges (Dr. Nimrod Rosler, TAU; Dr. Michal Reifen, IDC; Maya de Vries, Hebrew University, the Swiss Center); The Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Yosef Levi – representative at the embassy in Turkey and Uruguay; Ran Yaakoby – diplomat); The Prime Minister’s Office (Dr. Kobi Michael); research institutes such as the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies; professional mediators (Adv. Yael Ezraty; Adv. Oshrit Zohar); peace education and peacemaking organizations; media and journalism (Hagit Kaminetzky: Operations Manager & Assistant to CEO – Israeli Television, Keren Tamir: former Communication Officer of Hapoel Jerusalem); and in municipal and national leadership positions such as Rachel Azaria, who served on the Jerusalem City Council as Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem and served as a member of the 20th Israeli Parliament.