The Conflict Studies Center is a specialized research outfit founded in September 2005 as an initiative of a small group of scholars belonging to the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences at Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The idea of a research unit dedicated to conflict studies could be traced back to 2000, when an agreement of cooperation between BBU and the (then) 4th Territorial Army Corps was signed, giving birth to the postgraduate course Defense and Security Studies. The course was designed for the Corps’ military and civil personnel involved in peacekeeping missions around the globe.
After two years of cooperation it was felt that an enlargement of the cooperation was needed, so the Center came into being as an initiator and coordinator of the joint research and teaching programs run by BBU and the Corps. The mission of the Center has been to concentrate the academic and military resources towards the development of research programs in the field of conflict studies, with a focus on conflict analysis and management.
A special direction of the Center’s activity has been the research and training in the field of alternative dispute resolution methods. Members of the Center were involved in the process of designing the law regulating mediation in Romania and the Center offered one of the first training programs in mediation in the country. Today, several members of the Center are professional mediators, nationally and internationally recognized. The Center coordinates its efforts in this field with national and foreign organizations specialized in mediation research and training in order to increase the professionalism of its own programs.
One of these programs is represented by the Master of Arts in Crisis and Conflict Management established in Fall 2005. It is an international program where all the courses are taught in English and benefits from the cooperation with world-class academics and researchers belonging to well-known American, European and Australian universities. To increase the international profile of the master program, the Center has been expanding its connections to Africa and Asia, through teacher-exchange and joint research programs.