College of Social Sciences
School of Communication and Information
Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution

Saunders Hall 723
2424 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-6433


*Graduate Faculty

*B. Hallett, PhD (Director/Undergraduate Advisor)—peace studies
*M. Soetoro, PhD (Chair, Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution)— peace studies
*D. Milz, PhD—conflict resolution, facilitation, environmental planning
*C. Moore, PhD—public policy, American politics, Hawai‘i politics, politics of bureaucracy

Cooperating Faculty

*J. Barkai, JD—law
M. Coffman, PhD—environmental economics, planning
*A. Hubbard, PhD—conflict and relational management
*C. Petersen, JD—international human rights, equality and nondiscrimination
*R. Robinson, PhD—management
*C. Stephenson, PhD—political science

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

*S. Chandler, PhD (Emeritus)—public policy/child welfare
L. Minerbi, PhD (Emeritus)—urban and regional planning
*D. Foley, PhD—deliberative dialogs, conflict resolution
*L. Sponsel, PhD (Emeritus)—anthropology

Degree and Certificates Offered: Certificate in Peace Studies, BA in interdisciplinary studies (peace and conflict studies), Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution

The Academic Program

The Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution is a multi-disciplinary community of scholars, students, and practitioners who through academic programs and outreach promote cross-cultural understanding and collaborative problem-solving. Residing within the School of Communication and Information, the institute emphasizes critical thinking and collaboration to groom future leaders to address contemporary and complex issues in Hawai‘i, the Asia-Pacific region, and the world.

Peace Studies broadens students’ perspectives and strengthens critical thinking on issues of war and peace, justice and human rights, and governance. Conflict resolution processes such as facilitation, mediation, and negotiation are necessary in organizational, community, and civic relations, and build important interpersonal skills that are vital to good leadership. Students develop a theoretical foundation to advance scholarship in peace studies, including human rights and advocacy, leadership and governance, policy analysis, and communications, while they learn and hone practical conflict management skills to develop as professionals in their chosen field.

Students may enroll in Peace and Conflict Education (PACE) courses, either as an intellectual endeavor or to enhance personal and professional skills. Students who understand the causes of conflict and the methods for resolving conflicts will be better equipped for a wide range of careers in the fields of education, law, human resource management, industrial relations, government, foreign service, security, urban and regional planning, sociology, and social work, to name a few.

For students who wish to obtain an academic qualification in peace and conflict resolution, the institute offers three programs:

  1. The Peace and Conflict Resolution major for undergraduates (a flexible inter-disciplinary program offered in cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Studies BA program);
  2. The Certificate in Peace Studies (open to undergraduate students and equivalent to a “minor”); and
  3. The Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution (open to graduate students seeking the certificate only or concurrently with another graduate-level degree program).

Inherently interdisciplinary and international in perspectives; the institute is committed to building on Hawai‘i’s cultural heritage and island values of aloha, mutual aid and respect, and sense of community. The institute is dedicated to honoring the memory of U.S. Senator Spark M. Matsunaga and implementing his hope that; “every student enrolled in Hawai‘i’s public university system will be exposed to peace studies.”

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution

In collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Studies program, the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution offers a flexible, student designed BA in Peace and Conflict Resolution (36 credit hours).

The core of the program consists of three courses that are meant to give students the basic skills and knowledge of conflict resolution and the opportunity to put these skills into practice. Students are then free to design an academic program that aligns with their interests, needs, and goals. Students work closely with faculty advisors from the Matsunaga Institute and Interdisciplinary Studies to develop a coherent, multidisciplinary course of study. This gives students the flexibility to concentrate on a specific area of interest or to take a broader approach to peace and conflict studies.

Additional information is available at and from the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies.


  • PACE 310 Survey Peace and Conflict Studies (3)
  • Either PACE 429 Negotiation (3) or PACE 447 Introduction to Mediation (3)
  • PACE 495 Practicum and Internship (or a faculty approved substitute) (3)

The remaining credit hours, to meet the major’s minimum requirement of 36 credit hours, can be drawn from courses offered by the Matsunaga Institute (designated as PACE courses) as well as courses offered by other departments. Although a list of suggested electives is set forth below, students may also propose other courses, provided that they can achieve a coherent program of study that meets the requirements of the Interdisciplinary Studies program. An overall GPA of 2.5, with no grade below a C, is required in the major course work.

Certificate in Peace Studies

The Certificate in Peace Studies (15 credit hours) is equivalent to a minor. The certificate exposes students to the fundamentals of peace and conflict resolution while they learn methods to remedy social injustice and manage and resolve conflict. These skills are highly valued by employers in a wide range of professional fields, making the certificate a valuable complement to many popular majors. Students enrolled in a degree-granting program may obtain the Certificate in Peace Studies. Some students may wish to focus primarily on peace studies as a personal, intellectual endeavor. Others may seek a career in an area relevant to peace studies and will use the certificate to enhance their credentials and expertise.

To receive a Certificate in Peace Studies, students are required to take PACE 310, 429 or 447, and 495 (or a faculty approved substitute) and six additional credit hours selected in consultation with the student’s certificate advisor. A GPA of 2.5, with no grade below a C, is required in certificate courses.

Suggested optional courses for the major in Peace and Conflict Resolution and for the Certificate in Peace Studies include:

  • COM/JOUR 460 Media Ethics
  • PACE 315 Personal Peace: Stories of Hope
  • PACE/CLAS 325 Greek and Roman War Literature
  • PACE/ANTH 345 Aggression, War, and Peace
  • PACE 373/POLS 396 Nonviolent Political Alternatives
  • PACE/COM 380 Media Communications and Conflict
  • PACE/PHIL 387 The Meaning of War
  • PACE 399 Directed Reading
  • PACE/ASAN 407 Peace Processes in Philippines and Hawai‘i
  • PACE 410 History of Peace Movements
  • PACE 412 Gandhi, King, and Nonviolence
  • PACE 413 Terrorism
  • PACE 420 Introduction to Human Rights
  • PACE 430 Leadership for Social Change
  • PACE/GEO 436 Geography of Peace and War
  • PACE 440 Peacebuilding in Performance
  • PACE 450 Protest Under Occupation
  • PACE 460 Indigenous Nonviolent Action in the Asia-Pacific
  • PACE 468 Introduction to Facilitating Organizational Change
  • PACE 470 Advocating for Children: Rights and Welfare
  • PACE 477 Culture and Conflict Resolution
  • PACE 478 International Law and Disputes
  • PACE 480 Managing Human Conflict
  • PACE 482 Research and Peace
  • PACE 485 Topics in Peace and Conflict Resolution
  • PACE 489 Hiroshima & Peace (summer only)
  • ANTH 423 Social and Cultural Change
  • BIOL 310 Environmental Issues
  • COM 340 Intercultural Communication
  • COMG 455 Conflict Management
  • ECON/SUST 332 Economics of Global Climate Change
  • ECON 414 Global Economic Crisis and Recovery
  • GEO 435 Political Geography of Oceans
  • HDFS 350 Leadership and Group Process
  • HRM 463 Negotiation and Workplace Dispute Resolution
  • POLS 315 Global Politics/International Relations
  • POLS 316 International Relations
  • POLS 319 International Organization
  • POLS 339/WGSS 439 Feminist Theory
  • POLS/WGSS 394 Co-ops, Communes, Collectives
  • SOC 332 Sociology of Law
  • SOC/WGSS 446 Gender Violence Over the Lifecycle

Options for Introductory Courses

  • PACE 247 Survey of Conflict Management
  • POLS 201 Problems of War and Peace

*There may be more than one section of this course offered, each focusing on different specialized topics in the field. The course is repeatable one time.

Graduate Study

Certificate in Conflict Resolution

In cooperation with other departments in the university, the Matsunaga Institute for Peace offers a fifteen-credit Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution (GCCR). The GCCR allows graduate students and working professionals to study the theory and practice of conflict resolution and to develop skills that are valued in a wide range of professions. This interdisciplinary program focuses on constructive communication and the importance of resolving conflicts in an ethical and culturally sensitive manner. All students in the GCCR study the theory and practice of conflict resolution and have the opportunity to study negotiation, mediation, and facilitation, which are essential for dispute resolution and leadership in a wide range of professions, including business, education, human resource management, law, politics, public administration, social work, and urban planning. Students also have the opportunity to develop mediation and facilitation skills and to study the systems for resolving conflicts in different fields and contexts, including: education, environmental law and policy, human rights, and international conflicts. The GCCR can be pursued as a separate academic program or earned concurrently with a JD, MA, MPA, MS, MEd, MBA, MPH, MSW, PhD, or other graduate degrees. Unclassified students, as well as degree students, are eligible for admission.


Students can be admitted to the GCCR in the fall or spring semester. In addition to satisfying the admission standards for graduate education at UH Mānoa (see:, applicants to the GCCR should submit the following documents directly to the Matsunaga Institute for Peace: (1) a completed student information form (available at:; (2) two letters of reference, and (3) a one-page statement explaining your interest and/or background in conflict resolution and what you hope to gain from the GCCR. International students must have a 600 (paper), 250 (computer), and 100 (internet) TOEFL score to be admitted.

Requirements for Completing the GCCR

All students are required to complete fifteen (15) credits from an approved list of courses, including at least one foundational course in Negotiation (which can be satisfied through successful completion of one of the following courses: PACE/PLAN 629 Negotiation; & Conflict Resolution; LAW 508/CEE 614 Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution; MGT 660 Negotiation; or a substitute course in negotiation that is approved by the Graduate Chair). Prior to completing the Graduate Certificate, each student must also complete a “culminating project” under the supervision of the advisor or the Graduate Chair. This culminating project may be fulfilled either by successful completion of a Capstone Paper undertaken as part of PACE 699 (Directed Reading and Research) or through successful completion of a practicum project undertaken as part of PACE 695 (Conflict Resolution Practicum). The credits earned in PACE 699 and PACE 695 will count towards the 15-credits required for the Graduate Certificate.

Students will choose their remaining credits from the following list of approved courses. Successful completion of the GCCR requires an average grade point of 3.0 in courses taken for a letter grade. Every course counted towards the GCCR must be taken for a letter grade unless the course is only offered on a Credit/No Credit basis. A student may apply to the Graduate Chair for approval to substitute a course that is not on this list, providing that the course has substantial conflict resolution content and will enrich the student’s course of study.

Approved Courses

  • PACE/PLAN 621 Environmental Conflict Resolution
  • PACE 647 Mediation: Theory and Practice (3 credits)
  • PACE 650 Dispute Resolution System Design (3 credits)
  • PACE 652/EDEA 652 Conflict Management for Educators (3 credits)
  • PACE 660 Family Mediation (3 credits)
  • PACE/PLAN 661 Collaboration Between Sectors (3 credits)
  • PACE/PLAN 668 Facilitation: Facilitating Community and Organizational Change (3 credits)
  • PACE 690 Topics: Conflict Theory (variable credits)
  • PACE 695 Conflict Resolution Practicum (variable credits)
  • PACE 699 Directed Reading and Research (variable credits)
  • PACE 790 Advanced Topics: Conflict Theory (3 credits)
  • PLAN 627 Negotiation & Mediation in Planning (3 credits)
  • POLS 633 International Conflict Resolution (3 credits)
  • POLS 635(E) International Relations (3 credits)
  • LAW 547/WGSS 647/PACE 637 Gender: Law and Conflicts (variable credits)
  • LAW 590(M) Mediation Clinic (variable credits)

In addition to the courses listed above, students may apply to the Graduate Chair to count up to two of the following 400-level courses towards the GCCR.

  • PACE 420 Introduction to Human Rights: International and Comparative Perspectives (3 credits)
  • PACE 429 Negotiation (3 credits)
  • PACE 447 Introduction to Mediation (3 credits)
  • PACE 468 Introduction to Facilitating Organizational Change (3 credits)
  • PACE 477 Culture and Conflict Resolution (3 credits)
  • PACE 478 International Law and Disputes (3 credits)
  • PACE 480 Managing Human Conflict (3 credits)
  • COMG 455 Conflict Management (3 credits)