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The mission of the Brudnick Center for the Study of Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University is to seek solutions to problems of hostility and hatred arising from inter-group conflict and differences. In order to achieve this mission, the Center initiates research projects and educational endeavors in the area of inter-group conflict and violence (e.g. inter-group tensions and violence in the schools, state-sponsored terrorism, hate crimes, international conflict and warfare, hate speech on campus, skinhead activity, religious persecution, organized hate groups). It also brings together faculty from different disciplines to foster collaborations between academicians and practitioners in order to share knowledge and develop solutions to the global challenges of security and sustainability.

The work of the Center is dedicated to the task of increasing our understanding of the sources of inter-group tension and hatred in order to promote cooperation between and among groups. The emphasis of research and teaching efforts is on providing effective solutions. To this end, the Center serves as a repository of information about violence and conflict. Our faculty and students seek to generate and evaluate practical interventions for the purpose of reducing harmful forms of violence and conflict throughout society.

The Center assists faculty and students in articulating individual and collective projects, applying for appropriate support through federal agencies and private foundations, carrying on research projects and disseminating research findings. Faculty members communicate their research findings to a broad audience by writing for major newspapers as well as academic journals and books. In addition, the Center holds conferences and events on campus in order to bring together researchers and practitioners from around the country as well as relevant parts of the world. The Center’s partners include researchers and practitioners from England, N. Ireland, Sweden, Serbia, Israel and Palestine.

The Center involves undergraduate and graduate students in a variety of academic and research activities focusing on inter-group conflict and violence, and seeks to engage students both locally and globally. For undergraduates, the Center is working on initiating an interdisciplinary minor in Conflict and Violence Studies, consisting of required courses from several different departments. In addition, the Center sponsors a course on Social Conflict and Community Service, an experiential course that is taught in the United States and at different locations around the world—-N. Ireland, Israel, the Balkans, and Turkey-—where social conflict is a major issue confronting those societies.

At the Ph.D. level, graduate students in the Department of Sociology are able to select the Sociology of Violence as an area of specialization. The students from Sociology as well as from other departments are also encouraged to work with the Center in focusing their dissertation research on issues of inter-group conflict or on violence both within the United States and abroad.

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