Kevin Avruch Named Dean of the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Posted: September 27, 2013 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: September 30, 2013 at 6:12 am

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By Buzz McClain

Kevin Avruch. Creative Services photo

Kevin Avruch. Creative Services photo

Kevin Avruch has been appointed dean of George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR).

S-CAR, founded in 1982, develops theory, research and practice that interrupt cycles of violence in trouble spots around the world. Avruch takes the helm of the largest conflict resolution program in the world, with 550 students, including more than 200 undergraduate majors, and a world-class faculty.

Avruch, who has been at George Mason since 1980, is the Henry Hart Rice Professor of Conflict Resolution and a professor of anthropology. He is also senior fellow in the Peace Operations program at Mason’s School of Public Policy.

“Kevin Avruch has a deep involvement with the field of conflict analysis—and with S-CAR—which will allow him to combine perspective with an openness to new opportunities,” says Mason Provost Peter Stearns. “He will have wide support in continuing to move the unit forward.”

“Stepping in as the new dean of S-CAR means taking on leadership of the preeminent academic institution in peace and conflict studies in the world,” Avruch says, crediting the school’s success to his predecessors and colleagues.

“Our doctoral students have gone on to establish or staff other academic programs in our field around the world, and along with our master’s graduates—and now our undergraduates—have worked in and for positive social change around the world in a wide variety of public and private settings, governmental and nongovernmental organizations.”

Avruch anticipates a dynamic future for the school.

“Innovation in teaching, scholarship and practice is how we continue to remain relevant and critically engaged as our field responds to a turbulent, often violent, world,” he says. “We must nurture our faculty’s growth and development, reach out especially to students from conflict-ridden areas, and regard our broader connection to the university as, among other things, enhancing the larger community’s commitment to engaged and effective social entrepreneurship.”

Avruch has published more than 65 articles and essays and is author or editor of seven books, including “Critical Essays on Israeli Society, Religion, and Government” (1997); “Culture and Conflict Resolution” (1998); “Information Campaigns for Peace Operations” (2000); “Context and Pretext in Conflict Resolution: Culture, Identity, Power and Practice” (2012); and “Conflict Resolution and Human Needs: Linking Theory and Practice” (2013, with C.R. Mitchell).

His other writings include articles and essays on culture theory and conflict analysis and resolution, theorizing power and practice, third-party processes, cross-cultural negotiation, nationalist and ethno-religious social movements, human rights, and politics and society in contemporary Israel. He has also lectured widely in the United States and abroad.

Write to Buzz McClain at bmcclai2@gmu.edu

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