Research from the Mauro Centre

Chapter 1. Sharing Circles: The Benefits and Limitations in Peacebuilding Initiatives
Dr. Cathy Rocke

Chapter 2. Applying the Conflict Transformation Lens to Understand Why Indigenous Canadians Drop Out of School
Dr. Laura Reimer

Chapter 3. Peacebuilding Projects as a Conflict Transformation Tool: A Meso-level Perspective from Winnipeg
Dr. Kawser Ahmed

Chapter 4. Stories From Survivors of Canada’s Sex Industry
Dr. Bob Chrismas

Chapter 5. Hermeneutic Phenomenological Understandings of Canadian Soldiers’ Experiences in Peace Support Operations
Dr. Patlee Creary

Chapter 6. Racialized and Gendered Peacebuilding in the U.S.-Mexico Border Justice Movement
Dr. Jodi Dueck-Read

Chapter 7. The Role of Transitional Justice in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding in Kenya
Dr. Peter Karari

Chapter 8. Living with Others: Learning for Peace and Global Citizenship
Dr. Lloyd Kornelsen

Chapter 9. Players or Pawns? Protest, Participation, and Principled Nonviolence at the 1968 Summer Olympics
Dr. Chris Hrynkow

Chapter 10. Towards an Integrated Framework of Conflict Resolution and Transformation in Environmental Policymaking: Case Study of the North American Great Lakes Area
Dr. Olga Skarloto

Chapter 11. “You’re sitting in my desk!” Researching the ‘Past in the Present’ in Israel
Dr. Katerina Standish

Chapter 12. The Challenge of Local Ownership of Peacebuilding in Afghanistan: Dependency, Biased Coordination, and Scant Timelines
Dr. Chuck Thiessen


This book stands as a testimonial to the profound impact of the Mauro Centre and its Ph.D. program on the field of Peace and Conflict Studies. The range of topics covered by these authors, all relatively new scholars who share insights from their doctoral dissertations completed at the Mauro Centre, demonstrates the breadth and vitality of this young and growing discipline. The chapters of the book move smoothly from research based within the local Winnipeg, Manitoba, scene to inquiries spanning national, international, and global contexts. The collection is a must-read for anyone interested in the current questions and the new directions explored through the academic study of conflict and peace.
Neil Funk-Unrau, Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution and Associate Dean of Menno Simons College, a College of Canadian Mennonite University
Stories define our identities. And they define our “Others” be they antagonistic or friendly. This book is about stories—who tells them, for what reason, to whom, in which context. In doing so it nudges the field of peace and conflict studies (PACS) in the direction of narrative. A dozen doctoral graduates of the Arthur Mauro integrate a range of methodologies—ethnographic, phenomenological, qualitative, historical—to take us into the lives of conflict stricken individuals and groups, showing how stories, and research on stories, can be used for healing transformation. Though conscious of starting in Winnipeg, their work takes us outward to immigrants crossing into the United States, to confronting racism at the ’68 Olympics, to Afghanistan, and the contested narratives of Israelis and Palestinians in five universities in Israel. It should be required reading for those taking PACS related degrees.
Vern Redekop, professor emeritus, Saint Paul University
The practice of peacebuilding and the transformation of conflict take shape within this book. This new and rapidly developing field tackles the complexity of transformative change. Here the application takes shape through the work of the 12 authors. In writing the story of their research, the authors move from theory to practice. There are treasures here that highlight the use of conflict transformation and peacebuilding in multiple contexts and at many levels from the personal to the interpersonal to the communal. Gems exist in each chapter with exemplars at multiple levels–intergroup and intragroup, organizational, and community. Complex issues of conflict are addressed from the local to the national and from immediate to intractable. Systemic issues of oppression are tackled across multiple dimensions. At each level the centering of local control and practices are highlighted.
Cathryne L. Schmitz, University of North Carolina

Why write?

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Click here for the IPAC page

My Blog for the Institute of Public Administration Canada- Manitoba Chapter

IPAC Chat is a periodic series prepared by members of the board of the Manitoba regional group of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada.

This month’s post is prepared by long time IPAC Manitoba Board member, Bob Chrismas, MPA, PhD. Bob is currently in his 29th year with the Winnipeg Police Service, where, as a Staff Sergeant, he oversees units involved in community partnerships and engagement: Indigenous and newcomer partnerships, crime prevention, victim services, school resource officers and the Cadet program.

Why write?

As a fledgling writer, I’ve felt compelled to share my experiences and encourage my friends and colleagues to pursue the same rewards that I’ve had the good fortune of in the first years of my writing practice. I say practice in the sense that yoga teachers say, it is a journey that you work at and never reach the end. Writing can be a chance at affecting public opinion, the discourse on important issues, with far reach now and long into the future.

On the influence of writing, Carl Sagan wrote eloquently, “A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time––proof that humans can work magic.” Many spoken on the reach and permanence of literature, but perhaps Isaac Asimov said it most succinctly when he wrote, “I don’t believe in personal immortality; the only way I expect to have some version of such a thing is through my books.”

Personally, I have felt and often preached to my friends that I feel compelled to leave some evidence that I existed, and to impose on arguments perhaps long after I am dead and gone. So, I write, blogs, articles, papers, book chapters, passionately pursuing the opportunity to duplicate the wonderful experience I felt pushing out my first book on Policing. My next one will be based on my thesis, on human slavery in Canada, and the third is in the gestation phase. Adding to the literature, I’ve found a privileged opportunity to give voice to others, and I was happy in the research for this piece to find that Albert Camus agreed when he wrote, “We [writers] must know that we can never escape the common misery and that our only justification, if indeed there is a justification, is to speak up, insofar as we can, for those who cannot do so.”

For these reasons, I’ve strived to make a point, anytime and in any platform available, hoping to contribute to the public good. Avoiding a rabbit hole, assessing the efficacy and accessibility of scholarly academic journals, I have come to favour open access platforms that can be shared freely, and without charge. In this same line of reasoning, I find the most rewarding formats are the ones that have the farthest reach; but I’ll take what I can get, and have written small and large pieces for peer reviewed journals, magazine and new pieces, news letters and blogs; platforms that are available to all of us and anyone can contribute if they want to put in the work.

My message is for those who have thought of it and do not know where to begin. I have the answer; just start. It is a process and a journey that any of us can embark on. George Orwell wrote, “When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” There is no right way, and we each have our own unique voice that we can unlock through the work of learning. Woody Allen wrote, “If you’re not failing now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” Like any art form, we all have a possibility of enhancing the talent we are born with through practice and work. Stephen King wrote, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There is no way around these two things that I am aware of, no shortcut.” He has also said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” I would add that love of the work is something that can grow if we avoid the barriers and frustration of rejection. We need to stay true to our convictions and the influence we hope to achieve. There is no right or wrong way, as Ernest Hemingway postulates, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” Sometimes, for aspiring writers, we need to put the pen aside for a few days and find in life the message we hope to create. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing” (Benjamin Franklin).

My closing message for this piece, is to encourage you to give your voice a chance, if you feel it is a journey you want to go on. Through my graduate and post graduate studies, I have often heard that every thesis and dissertation is a brick in the great wall of knowledge (author unknown). I would extend this thought further, and add that every piece of writing, whether it is in the workplace newsletter, a Facebook post, or a 500-page book, becomes a piece in our collective knowledge. You never know when a seemingly small idea put to paper might become the seed that starts the growth of a forest with ten thousand trees. The last word goes to Henry David Thoreau; “Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”

My PhD Thesis

Click here for full dissertation


Very proud today to receive the U of Manitoba, DISTINGUISHED DISSERTATION AWARD; this only happens because of the mentorship and guidance of Dr. Sean Byrne, and the fantastic learning environment established in the Mauro Centre and University of Manitoba, but really could not have happened without my wonderful wife Barb by my side, and the sacrifices my family made for me to continue in this educational journey; what a wonderful acknowledgement though, for someone who returned to complete high school as an adult, and entered grad studies late in life. It’s never too late to pursue your passions…


Thrilled, honoured and humbled to be nominated and selected for the:
UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA DISTINGUISHED THESIS AWARD, to be presented this fall, and to have my thesis selected among all faculties to be nominated by the University of Manitoba for the CANADIAN DISTINGUISHED DISSERTATION AWARD by the Canadian Graduate Studies Association.