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Tuesday, September 2, 2003
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Ohio University to host conference on developing rationales for peace in Southeast Asia

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 2, 2003) -- Scholars, educators and activists will gather to search for peaceful solutions to violent conflict in Southeast Asia at a conference on "Beyond Violence: Developing Rationales for Peace" at Ohio University Sept. 18-20.

Sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace and Ohio University's Southeast Asian Studies Program, the conference will engage participants in examining ways in which societies can move beyond violence. The conference will address three questions about violence in Southeast Asia: how it has been handled, how it is being handled today and how it can be dealt with more effectively in the future.

Like other parts of the world, Southeast Asia has endured many forms of violence in recent years. Armed separatist movements, intercommunal conflicts, and vigilantism, to name a few, continue to afflict countries throughout the region.

According to Alan Tidwell, program officer for the Education Program at the United States Institute of Peace, the conference will enhance the understanding and teaching of conflict resolution. "Events in Southeast Asia demonstrate that our current practice of managing conflict is in need of further work," Tidwell said. "The recent terrorist bombing in Jakarta simply demonstrates how much more work needs to be done in Indonesia. Our conference should help, in some small way, with enhancing our research agenda."

"Beyond Violence" will combine plenary sessions at which speakers will address the three main questions with break-out groups in which participants may address specific types of conflicts and approaches to resolving them. Featured speakers will include Richard Rubenstein and Dennis Sandole from the Institute for conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and Amy Ross, a geographer specializing in human rights and international justice at the University of Georgia. Ohio University students and faculty will also speak at the conference.

"We are interested in collaborating with Ohio University in a longer term project aimed at creating a deeper understanding of how violence ends -- we hope to encourage scholarship and debate amongst academics and practitioners on how violence ends," said Tidwell.

The plenary sessions of the conference will be open to the public. For more information visit the conference Web page at www.ohiou.edu/seas/announcements.html or contact Acacia Nikoi, conference coordinator, at (740) 597-1511 or nikoi@ohio.edu.

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Contact: Conference Coordinator Acacia Nikoi, (740) 597-1511 or nikoi@ohio.edu, or Assistant Director of Southeast Asian Studies Karla Schneider, (740) 593-1841 or schneidk@ohio.edu

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