Peace Studies PhD

Peacebuilding PhD

Department Website: Peace Studies department, Institute of Religion, Culture and Peace

Language: English

Duration: 4 Year Study Program

Location: Payap University, International College, Mae Khao campus, Chiang Mai, Thailand | Campus map |

Academic Year: August – July in 2018. Please contact the department for more specific information.

Faculty: International Instructors

Visa: Non-Thai citizens full-time student visa (for duration of study)

Course Summary:

This international course of study, conducted in English, is Thailand’s premiere doctorate program in the field. At Payap University’s International College, we envision a world of open minds and hearts which choose peace over war. The PhD. program in Peacebuilding is committed to empowering inspired visionaries across a wide spectrum of professions and cultural backgrounds to develop leading edge concepts in the important and burgeoning field of conflict transformation. The program of study is designed for both academic or scholarly endeavors as well as practice-based Peace Studies.

Read more about the Institute of Religion, Culture and Peace here.


The worldwide increase in recent decades of violent and potentially violent conflicts has given rise to a number of programs in the field of Peace Studies at several major universities. These programs research and study the various causes of violence and the ways and means by which these conflicts have attempted to be resolved. In addition to research and study centers, organizations devoted to the specific purpose of mediating conflicts through dialogue and other means have also been established.

Ideally, these theoretical and practical aspects of peace work should complement each other and thereby increase the chance of success in bringing peace in the world. Unfortunately this is often not the case. There seems to be a disconnect between theory and practice that has resulted in fewer successes than there should be considering the resources and energy that have been put into this work. What is now needed is a rethinking and a joining together of the theoretical and practical aspects of Peacemaking/Peace Studies.

Mission and Vision:

The program will consist of a rigorous study of the theoretical side of Peace Studies combined with experiential fieldwork in the area of conflict transformation and resolution. The objective of this program is to develop ways in which theory and practice can be combined in ways that provide a better and more cohesive grounding for both theoretical Peace Studies and actual Peace Studies.

Rather than being “study for study’s sake”, it will be “study for practice’s sake”. Thus, it is analogous to advanced academic programs provided by schools of medicine, social work, music, and architecture. Reflective study resulting in a thorough knowledge of theories of Peace Studies is the starting point of the program; this is then followed by and combined with critical evaluation and the development of new improved theories.

An important and distinguishing aspect of this program which differs from many other programs in the field of Peace Studies is the attention given to the relationship between “religiousness” and Peace Studies. One of the assumptions underlying the program’s emphasis on religious diversity and relationships is that religious and cultural dialogue can contribute to peaceful relations among different communities. Human “religiousness” can thus become a positive force for peace.