CISTP is academia engaged with the wider world in order to make a significant impact on the problem of terrorism and related challenges to sustainable peace around the globe.

CISTP brings diverse parties into conversation with one another to rethink complex problems stemming from a wide variety of challenges, including the threat of terrorism, identity conflicts, refugees, and human and animal trafficking. The CISTP Faculty Fellows at JMU provide non-partisan subject matter expertise from the humanities, social sciences, education, natural sciences, arts, and intelligence analysis, focusing on long-term, systemic thinking about how to achieve sustainable peace. We define peace as encompassing the physical, psychological, cultural/religious, economic, and ecological well being of peoples. We have served as a resource for members of the intelligence community, policy makers, and NGOs interested in thinking about complex, systems based progress toward sustainable peace, a framework that promotes new approaches to the problem of terrorism and that may pose challenges to traditional national security paradigms.

A key part of CISTP is its Student Research Interns, who work with the Faculty Fellows in a multi-disciplinary setting on a current issue related to the intersection of terrorism and peace studies. Past projects include a focus on analyzing the Dayton Peace accords and Balkans war with an eye to the present, recommendations for adaptive and sustainable development in Kosovo, and development of a systems dynamics model for refugee creation and resettlement.

CISTP is distinctive amongst U.S. academic centers for the study of terrorism in numerous ways:

  • CISTP Faculty Fellows contribute to diverse practitioner arenas by engaging in explorations of long-term strategies toward achieving peace in the context of the problem of terrorism. This approach pays due attention to the complex dynamics and systemic effects presented by terrorism as well as by counter-terrorism policies - including second, third, and fourth order effects.
  • CISTP’s Faculty Fellows possess multi-disciplinary faculty expertise that includes voices from humanities, social sciences, education, natural sciences, arts, and intelligence analysis. The inclusion of the humanities, arts, and education in particular is rare in centers that study terrorism and conflict, lending depth to our cultural expertise.
  • CISTP offers non-partisan, collaborative faculty conversations that provide multiple and sometimes contrasting viewpoints on problems of terrorism.  We view an occasional lack of consensus and an ongoing diversity of perspectives as one of our strengths.
  • CISTP facilitates workshops and conversations amongst diverse parties from the grassroots local level to the international level on a variety of complex and pressing topics related to terrorism and peace.
  • CISTP offers a new model for a white paper that includes multiple perspectives and voices from distinct disciplinary approaches.
  • Our CISTP Student Research Interns form a focused interdisciplinary team that produces in-depth student research on topics of pressing interest in current terrorism and peace studies, paving the way toward a paradigm shift in pedagogy and student research of the future.

In addition, each of our Faculty Fellows has their own rich body of research to share, samples of which may be found under "Fellows."


Back to Top