Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
Conrad Grebel programs
In your fourth year of the Peace and Conflict Studies program, you will be required to take PACS 401 - Senior Research Seminar. Working with the guidance of an instructor, you will explore the relationship between theory and practice in regards to peace making. Each student conducts an individual research project that relates to their own personal and/or professional development and interests within the PACS field.
We are pleased to annouce that in 2020, 12 students were selected to participate in the Consortium of North American Peace Programs (CONPAPP) 2020 Conference at Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania, USA)!
Here are some past abstracts:
Conducted in 2015 by former Supreme Court Justice Marie Deschamps, an external review concluded that there was a sexualized culture in the Canadian Armed Forces and that sexual violence was a prominent and ongoing issue within the organization. In response, Operation Honour was created the following year by Chief of Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance. This program sought to educate CAF members on sexual violence and reinforce a zero tolerance policy within the military. This research will engage with recent data from the field to highlight key arguments and engage with new sensitivity training materials as a means of exploring the perpetuation of sexual harassment, assault, and sexualization of CAF members. Furthermore, this thesis will critique the limitations of such material, discuss its effectiveness and conclude on a hopeful note by acknowledging the ever-changing dynamics of military life.
In conjunction with pre-existing patterns of inequality, it is those that are most vulnerable in the global community that are experiencing the most substantial consequences of climate change and environmental deterioration. Whether it be marginalization from geographic vulnerability, economic inequity, social detachment, or a combination of factors, environmental concerns in these communities have not been adequately addressed by the global system. As a result, many communities susceptible to environmental threat have pursued change through the pathway of grassroots activism. In order to explore the intersection between grassroots activism in vulnerable communities and positive environmental change, this paper assesses current environmental discourse, establishes an understanding of grassroots advocacy, identifies indicators of change in civil society, and analyzes a case study of Indigenous resistance to pipelines in Canada. It is concluded that while measuring the extent to which grassroots movements impact environmental change is difficult, this practice of advocacy still holds significant value in its contribution to the larger community of activism.
This paper explores why community supported agriculture (CSA) currently offers only a partial alternative to industrial agriculture. With a focus on Ontario, it questions why CSA has not diversified the foods it offers to include staple crops and animal products, and identifies problems which must be addressed for this to happen. The current level of inclusion of these foods in Ontario CSAs is also evaluated. I conclude that for CSA to offer complete diets for members, there is a need for greater member commitment and support for farmers, particularly when introducing foods which are more complex in terms of agricultural practices, processing, and ethics.
This essay presents that reintegration efforts get at root needs of releasees and provides diverse services to meet all of these needs. An ability to address needs means that issues for releasees are being targeted and holistically resolved. This means that reintegration has the potential to successfully change releasees lives by aiding, teaching, and providing tools to live their best lives in Canadian society. The result of this is that reintegration is cost effective for the Canadian government, reduces recidivism, and makes society safer and function more effectively as less people are draining social services because releasees are equipped through reintegration efforts to contribute to Canada’s work force and economy.
There is no one answer to the question of why sex trafficking occurs in a legalized European prostitution market. After conducting research, five potential intersecting reasons, have been identified which provide an answer as to why demand for illegal services are present in the market when legal services are available. These 5 reasons are as follows: bigger market which increases the overall demand for sex services; the normalization of sex work as a result of legalization; “niche” demands that cannot be legally obtained; competitive prices and willing victims; and low risk – high reward business venture for traffickers. Underlying all five explanations is the role of the buyer to determine the products put forth on the market. So long as there remains gaps in the market, traffickers will continue to supply the services of trafficked victims to meet the needs of the consumer.
This paper explores the ways in which the notion of identity maintenance for the Adult Third Culture Kid is supported by the programs offered within the Canadian context. This study will focus on how these support programs validate, support, and integrate the Adult Third Culture Kid into Canadian society in a meaningful way through a screening framework. The findings of this research categorizes the data into three roles of support: civil society, state, and private sectors. The researchable data presents different offerings of support that vary in the form of its programming, stretching across 5 provinces: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. Not only do the research findings address existing needs for the Adult Third Culture Kid currently facing repatriation challenges in Canada, but it also suggests the direction of future research to better inform the accessibility and content of programming, and overall shaping of the Canadian national identity.
This paper will examine how shortcomings in enforcement of both state and federal legislation governing the sale of firearms plays a significant contributing role in the high rate of gun violence in the United States of America. I will do this by examining the existing literature documenting the rates at which illicit transactions are taking place at federally licensed firearms retailers. Contemporary studies have found that 57% of all crime guns in the U.S. can be traced to only 1% of the 55,000+ federally licensed firearms dealers, highlighting an enormous channel through which firearms are being trafficked to criminals. Furthermore, insufficient law enforcement response to illegal firearms transactions (within licensed stores and within the private domain) is a major enabling factor in the continual trafficking of these dangerous weapons. Through this process, this paper will document how firearms make their way from legitimate sources into the “wrong hands”, i.e. people legally prohibited from buying or owning firearms. I will end by suggesting prospective solutions that are rooted in robust statistical evidence supporting their potential for reducing firearm-related violent crime and homicide.
Guatemala faces some of the highest rates of malnutrition, inequality, and poverty in the world – especially in rural populations. These populations are exploited by industrial agriculture using structural and direct violence. This has created a great need amongst small-scale farmers and their communities for food sovereignty and sustainable farming systems. Agroecology was implemented in Guatemala as a response to these issues. This critical analysis of how agroecology was implemented and its main challenges determined that agroecology was an alternative to industrial agriculture and was a tool for food sovereignty, but certain challenges made it difficult to implement: conditions that industrial agriculture and the armed conflict created; issues in the market and with state-support; access to land; aid organizations; and generational changes. There are numerous changes that need to occur on political, cultural, social, legal, environmental, and global levels in order for there to be widespread food sovereignty and agroecology in Guatemala. Viewing agroecology as a tool for food sovereignty is important because it can set realistic expectations for organizations and farmers, so they able to work towards food sovereignty. Agroecology is not just a tool for food sovereignty in Guatemala, but it is also an example of how communities throughout the world can transition to more environmentally and socially just agriculture methods.
Lebanon is host to over 1 million Syrian refugees (UNHCR 2017a). Geographically and resource limited, Lebanon has experienced challenges with addressing the needs of Syrian refugees (Government of Lebanon & United Nations 2017). Due to the recency of this issue and the rapid nature in which refugee support responses change, there has been little scholarly work published on the refugee support system in Lebanon. This research works to fill this gap. Collaborative interviews were conducted with six Syrian refugee families. Additionally, three semi-structured interviews with community support workers and two focus groups were conducted as part of a larger research project, a subset of which was analyzed for this capstone paper. Interviews were read and coded line-by-line to develop themes. Research findings identified strengths and gaps in the refugee support system in Lebanon. Understanding the experiences of Syrian families is important in informing the development and improvement of support services.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the barriers millennial shoppers in Ontario face when trying to make ethical fashion purchases, and identify whether or not online thrift shops can help eliminate some of these barriers to make ethical fashion more accessible. The fast fashion industry is problematic, and has been proven to have a devastating impact on the environment, a general disregard for workers’ rights, and a detrimental influence on the economy. In order to analyze whether or not online thrift shops could be used to help change the way millennial shoppers buy fashion, six of the top online thrift shops available to Canadians were studied. It was discovered that a number of these stores have factors that could persuade millennial shoppers in Ontario to change the way they shop, but there needs to be some improvements made before they can be competitive against their fast fashion counterparts.
This research paper explores collective understandings of the Sun Dance and their implications for the process of reconciliation between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous across Canada. Through the study of the Sun Dance it is shown that understanding Indigenous Ritual is key when addressing conflict transformation between these two communities. Memoirs, previous case studies in which communities were able to use dance to reconcile, and Indigenous knowledge are examined in the paper to identify a way to bridge the gap from previous policy to future intentions. The first step that is proposed is to understand cultural ceremonies within Indigenous communities, focusing specifically on the Sun Dance.
This paper looks into why resiliency is important and how it can be fostered. Using a social ecology framework, it examines concepts of risk and protective factors in relation to youth. The framework of analysis was applied to youth-focused programs in Toronto, Canada. The research explored what type of risk youth encounter, and examined a set of organizations and programs that are available to help youth develop positive character despite these risks in the greater Toronto area. The research found a variety of approaches to working with youth, and while some only primarily addressed individual development, the majority also addressed areas of family, community, and culture, which was found to be in-line with the social ecology approach. Increasingly literature shows that a holistic approach is more effective, and many organizations are applying this perspective.
Julia May Hopper
The automotive industry has been under investigation as companies are vastly exceeding the diesel emissions level of toxins permitted. Purposefully or accidentally defying them, this activity is illegal, and punishment is being served in the form of a damaged public image and billions of dollars paid in criminal charges. The Volkswagen scandal sheds light on an array of diesel emissions problems that are investigated in this paper. This research includes findings in the form of a case study that examines Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Honda, Mazda and Fiat Chrysler responses in the United States of America and Europe. Findings show that legal bodies are increasingly regulating the automotive industry, industry leaders are complaining, stakeholder and public action has included boycotting companies and negative coverage in social media, and at least some in the industry are shifting towards electric vehicles.
The purpose of this research paper is to examine how characters that are deemed to be ‘fat’ are represented in animated Disney films released between 2012 and 2017 based on three case studies. The films used as case studies consist of Frozen (2013), Inside Out (2015) and Zootopia (2016). Using qualitative analyses of one character in each film, the research explores whether the current representations of fat characters are potentially harmful to viewers, with the danger being the possibility of internalizing negative stereotypes of overweight populations that could result in stigmatization and discrimination of those populations. The research concludes that based on the three case studies, improvements are being made towards dismantling tropes that stigmatize all fat characters, when compared with earlier research findings. However, it is concluded that more can be done to effectively limit the stigmatizing nature of media depictions of overweight characters.
This research examines the relationship between Nike and Apple’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies as they pertain to supply chain management, and compare how each of the organization’s policies have changed following allegations of nefarious activity. This research gives insight into how the public and media shape organizational behaviour, while organizations simultaneously use CSR as a strategic tool to enhance their position in the market. The research compared several years of CSR and supply chain responsibility policies following negative, publicized events. The findings indicate that although the public holds power to sway organizational behaviour, the brands replace-ability acts as an insulator that protects certain organizations from extreme public attention. Apple’s brand power and consumer loyalty appeared to prevent them from being penalised by consumers when compared with Nike. The paper also explored the degree to which CSR policies reflect changes in organizational practices over time.
This research paper looks at alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques and how these techniques may address violence in areas of Chicago. Mediation, conflict coaching and the CeaseFire program were assessed to identify processes and skills that have been, or might be, used to address community issues and violence. Community issues included media representation, financial security, interpersonal conflict, and police-community relations. The paper reviewed skills in mediation and conflict coaching. It then examined the skills that the CeaseFire program utilized, which included communication, leadership, active listening, feedback, managing credible witnesses, teamwork, and an ability to learn from lessons. The study found overlap between the skills in CeaseFire’s approach with mediation and conflict coaching approaches. The paper also noted ways in which the skills might be further combined to better address issues surrounding violence in areas of Chicago.
Grassroots organizations that advocate for change during civil wars have seen a shift, with women assuming leadership positions at the forefront of the movement. Women are now seen as key for peace efforts. However, there are also challenges to women’s-led social movements becoming sustained parts of peace efforts. This project analyzed the Women in Peacebuilding Network branch of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding of Liberia, and the Women’s Forum in Sierra Leone, which birthed Sierra Leone Women’s Movement for Peace. It identifies what women’s peace movements in West Africa did in order to be successful and their efforts validated for the advancement of peace. It also explores what contributed to the non-success of other movements. It concludes by noting the importance of recommendations for long-term success to strengthen short-term efforts.
In Canadian history, photojournalism has been used as visual documentary, representing the relationships between Indigenous Peoples and settlers. This conversation is of significance to Peace and Conflict Studies because it contributes to larger social justice issues relating to the hegemonic discourse of colonization within Canadian archives. This paper questions the accuracy of photography as a form of documentation and critiques the impact that images have on the public sphere. The paper uses a three-step image analysis framework from the book Visual Methodologies by Gillian Rose, to evaluate the history of photojournalism. It examines two specific photographs of the current Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, using the three-step image analysis framework to illustrate contemporary interactions related to the impact, content and production process of photographs. The paper identifies positive and negative implications of using photojournalism as a form of peacebuilding.
This paper analyzes three types of family mediation in Waterloo Region for how supportive they are for families in the community. The three types of mediation were Community Justice Initiatives’ (CJI) family mediation program, mediation with family lawyers, and court-recommended family mediation. Research was conducted on a variety of topics related to mediation, and focused specifically on four factors related to supportiveness: time, money, interest, and relationship. The paper explores whether or not the process positively assists families in a timely manner, uses limited financial resources, sustains’ parties interest over time, and supports family relationships during and after the mediation. It was discovered that CJI offers the overall best support for families with regards to these factors, and recommended that other agencies and models adopt the same principles.
The world is now witnessing the highest levels of global displacement on record (UNHCR 2017). As the global refugee population has risen, the Canadian response to refugees has varied – some groups have been received generously while others have been treated harshly or refused. In some cases, where the Canadian government has had to respond simultaneously to different refugee groups, its response to each group has varied. Syria and South Sudan are currently experiencing ongoing, violent civil conflict that has resulted in significant displacement in both countries, but the Canadian government and civil society have responded differently to each crisis. Canada’s response to refugees from Syria and South Sudan can be explained by several economic, political, and social factors, which reveal that despite a narrative of inclusivity and racial non-bias, there are in fact determining factors of refugee receptivity among Canadians that lead to inconsistencies in our response to various groups of refugees.
The quest for adequate female representation in Canadian social systems has been at the forefront of gender movements for the past decade. These movements have turned focus to the education system, with activists lobbying for equal access and equal opportunity. Recent research has found a direct link between educational material and gender perceptions (Mustapha and Mills 2015). Educational material are forms of social power, with the ability to maintain or challenge unequal gender representations. To encourage gender equity, educational materials must exclude stereotypes and represent males and females equally. This paper analyzes the gender representations in three Ontario elementary school Social Studies textbooks. Across textbooks there were significant disparities in the contexts and images used to depict males versus females. This paper explores these discrepancies, how they influence children’s constructs of gender and what these developments mean in the societal gender landscape.
Abstract: It is apparent that racism within Canada exists, and that it affects many minority groups’ daily lives. According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission when looking through the Ontario Rights Code under the grounds of discrimination “Race” is prohibited. That being said, there is no clear definition of racial discrimination, which makes it much easier to occur and go unnoticed because it is not understood. This paper explores the issue of negative stereotypes and racial discrimination related to the media coverage of deaths of individuals shot by police officers. Research was completed on six Torontonian men killed by police officers within the last ten years and the media’s coverage of the incidents. This research paper asks the questions: does the media portray Black and White victims killed by the police officers in the Greater Toronto Area in similar ways?
Abstract: Prisoners exist in a unique environment of extremely limited rights and freedoms, and conditions within prisons are often oppressive in ways those outside its wall cannot understand. This leaves the prisoner as the one with the best understanding of what should be changed. This research project looks at nonviolent resistance as a method for those within the prison system to fight for change. By examining a series of hunger strikes that took place in California in 2013 and a nation-wide prison labour strike in 2016 and applying an advocacy effectiveness measurement tool, the following study suggests that nonviolent resistance offers the possibility of enacting large-scale policy change within the prison system. In light of the two aforementioned case studies, this thesis concludes that these efforts require creative methods of communication to be successful, and significant media engagement to influence public discourse.
Abstract: This paper examines advocacy against the Keystone XL (KXL) Pipeline, and the Northern Gateway (NG) Pipelines, to identify who and what it took to prevent their construction. Critical advocacy in the three years leading up to the decision preventing each project, was reviewed and analysed. Modes of advocacy differed between the two cases, with anti-NG advocates focusing heavily on litigation, and anti-KXL advocates employing direct action and legislation. Across both projects, however, the most powerful actors were coalitions/alliances, and government/government-affiliate solo actors. The analysis of these modes and actors led to three conclusions. First, that alliances and coalitions were the most utilised and effective tool of advocacy. Second, in the U.S, the significance of electoral politics' ability to shape advocacy outcomes rivaled that of alliances. Third, all the tactics that generated positive results, were highly expansionary in nature.
Abstract: This paper examines the webpages of two restorative justice programs that work with survivor victims and people who have offended sexually: Revive in Kitchener, Ontario and Project Restore in Aukland, New Zealand. Restorative justice programs typically do not address cases of sexual assault due to the sensitive and particular nature of sexual misdemeanor and felony crimes. The programs that do exist, such as Revive and Project Restore must therefore address certain needs and concerns that survivor victims, people who have offended sexually, and the general public may have. With the Internet being a frequently utilized source of information in the present day, this paper examines the webpages of Revive and Project Restore to see how those webpages address the particular needs and concerns that arise in cases of sexual assault.
Abstract: This research paper looks at the video news coverage of the Columbine High School Massacre (1999), the Virginia Tech. Massacre (2007), and the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting (2012). The archives used were of five well-known American news media sources (ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, and CNN). The goal of this report is to show that what news media corporations decide to show to their audience effects how people will remember and perceive the event and the assailants involved. Through dissecting various news broadcasts, this research highlights how easy it is for misinformation to be remembered.
Abstract: The mental illness of depression is a leading cause of disease burden, leaving 1 in 5 individuals to suffer from the illness in their lifetimes (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2016). The sheer prevalence of the illness provides reason to discuss possible ways to combat the disease. There are primary ways to treat the illness: cognitive behavioural therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and anti depressant medications. However, there are alternative treatment options that should be considered that may better fit an individual’s economic and social circumstances. The primary question this research explores is: what are the benefits and drawbacks of unconventional therapeutic interventions such as Game-Based, Emotional therapy, and art therapy on the treatment of depression? This research is primarily focused on treatment options available in North America and assesses cost, accessibility, safety, time and effectiveness at reducing depression.
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to analyze the depictions of African Canadians residing in Toronto in print media and, to a lesser extent, explore the effects of those depictions. Themes that are examined include the link between poverty, crime and media representation. Articles from The Toronto Star and The Sun newspapers are analyzed focusing on the depiction of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in 2016. The research assessed the tone of the writing, the issues addressed, and the columnists’ profiles.
Abstract: Canada has had a reputation for being secure. Canadians were admirable for their great quality of life without having to feel any trepidation or fear due to political instability or terror. The terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York City on September 11th, however, changed this feeling of security. This paper explores Islamophobia and the effects of 9/11 primarily on Toronto, but also draws on additional research from Ontario. It includes issues such as representation in municipal government, education, unemployment, acts of discrimination, airport security and perceptions. The paper concludes with a discussion of the importance of eliminating stigma.
Abstract: This paper investigates women’s experiences of sexism in the civil rights movement through a comparison of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee. A mix of primary and secondary sources were used, and modern concepts were applied to these organizations and the broader civil rights movement to determine the extent to which the organizations’ founders and institutional structures affected women’s experiences and roles. Women’s involvement in the movement has often been overlooked but this paper highlights the critical influence these women played on the formation of second wave feminism and intersectionality post-civil rights movement.
Abstract: Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, as a result of the Vietnam war, Hmong and Laotian refugees poured into the United States as refugees. Descriptions of the experiences of these refugee groups offer an example of the struggles that first generation immigrants went through as they adapted to American culture. Because of this struggle, an exploration of the effects of being placed within the very country that took militarized action in their homeland is warranted. The journey experienced by Hmong and Laotian refugees are explored in this paper through an examination of a series of narratives. The paper takes a glimpse at the refugee camp and relocation experience, offers a brief discussion of the war in Laos and the refugee camps that occurred as a result as well as the cultural practices that might carry or harm Hmong and Laotian people on their journey of adaptation and the relocation experience itself.
Abstract: The issues debated before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) are often contested and controversial. The permanent members of the UNSC are able to shut down any Draft Resolutions if any one of the five permanent members views it as contrary to their own interests by exercising their veto power. The Syrian Conflict sparked in March 2011 has led to a staggering death toll of approximately 301,781 people (Silva, 2016), and has been hotly contested in the UNSC. This paper seeks to answer the question: in what ways do the permanent members’ justifications of utilizing their United Nations Security Council veto differ on the Syrian issue? The paper employs a qualitative research method of analyzing the discourse found within the meeting records of Draft Resolutions on the Syrian conflict from 2011-2016 that have been vetoed by one or more of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. It focuses particularly on the Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China. The discourse related to the vetoes is categorized in terms of political, economic or legal concerns.
Abstract: This article conducts an inquiry based on the leading methods regarded by communication and peace scholars alike as the best ways to work through interpersonal conflict. These methods include best practices as well as behaviours to avoid in managing conflict and promoting healthy interpersonal communication. This article analyses a popular television show, Friends, to asses if it is portraying effective or destructive methods of conflict management. Operating under the premise that popular culture can be influential to its audiences, this article attempts to identify what kinds of conflict management practices are promoted in Friends in one relationship over several seasons. This article asks the question: Are the practices we learn from Friends teaching positive or negative behaviours to manage interpersonal conflict?
Abstract: Mediation is a process of conflict resolution that has become an integral part of responding to conflict within the Canadian Armed Forces. Although it does not have the same practices and techniques as the grievance system, which has been present for in the Forces for generations, it typically has better outcomes for ongoing relationships between members of the military. This paper explores the ways in which mediation has and may be helpful, utilizing information from the Conflict Resolution Centres and more general literature on mediation. The paper examines ways in which individuals are able to get what they personally need out of the process instead of leaving the outcome up to a superior.
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
Conrad Grebel programs