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Conflict Management

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Office of Admissions
Johns Hopkins SAIS
1740 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
+1 (202) 663-5700


To understand conflict you must understand its causes, the tools and processes to manage it, and the use of international organizations to create peaceful resolutions. Through the Conflict Management program you will learn to evaluate the conditions that drive a conflict to escalate and to use negotiation, mediation, crisis management, stabilization and reconstruction to institutionalize peace-building after violent conflict.

Become an Expert

Form the basis of a strong negotiating position by critically evaluating the positions of your counterparts. Collect and interpret data to measure the conditions surrounding a conflict. Apply skills in policy design and implementation to develop strategies for vastly different political and economic settings. Conflict Management graduates gain valuable capabilities in diplomacy, leadership, and analysis.


Featured Courses

Learn to diagnose the long-term underlying causes and drivers of social conflicts within and between states.


International Bargaining and Negotiation

This course examines bargaining and negotiations from the theoretical and policy perspectives in international diplomacy and the impact of the negotiation process on the outcomes of negotiations in both theory and practice, including the role of individual negotiators, domestic politics, cultural context, and the international environment.

Students will consider the ways in which negotiations may ameliorate conflicts of interest and identity in international politics. Numerous case studies and simulation exercises will be utilized.


Genocide and Mass Violence

The goal of this course is to examine the origins and causes of genocide and to introduce students to the key works and major debates in the growing field of genocide and mass violence research.

This course is divided into three parts. First, students will look at how genocide is conceptualized and defined, explore the theories that try to explain why genocides occur, and discuss why people may participate in genocidal killing. In the second part we will examine several key case studies of genocide and mass violence. Third, we will complete the course by debating policy approaches to genocide and mass violence including prevention, interventon post-genocide justice, reconcliation and memory.


Behavioral Sociology of Conflict

This course considers the importance of culture in the operationalization of modernity by assessing the role of religion, beliefs and identity in social behaviors.

Students will challenge the rational assumption to emphasize the behavioral aspects of intercommunal and international relations and draw from various disciplines (sociology, evolutionary psychology, social and political psychology) to examine identity-based conflict as well as the xenophobic responses to the emergence of a global, modern identity.


Conflict Management Field Trip

Examine a conflict or post-conflict-region up close through a research study trip offered during the intersession.

You will have the opportunity to participate in a research trip to a designated conflict or post-conflict-region during the intersession. Background readings and weekly briefings with local experts take place during the fall semester. During the trip, you will attend meetings and conduct interviews with local government officials and representatives of the international community, NGOs, academia, and the media in order to assess the role of the international community and prospects for progress in the region. Upon returning, you will select a specific area of focus and write a separate analysis and review of your findings to present in a final report to the school's community.

Learn From the Best

Study with world-class experts who are renowned for their scholarship, influence, and networks.

Daniel Serwer

Director of American Foreign Policy, Director of Conflict Management

Sanam Vakil

James Anderson Adjunct Professor, Adjunct Professor of Middle East Studies, Deputy Director and Senior Research Fellow in the Middle East North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Raffaella A. Del Sarto

Associate Professor of Middle East Studies

Eugene Finkel

Associate Professor

In the News

Trump's Balkan peace summit falls apart.

Edward P. Joseph interviewed on Here & There podcast, 8/5

The fall of Zepa showed Bosnian Serb forces’ cruelty.

Edward P. Joseph wrote in Balkan Insight, 7/25

Progress or conflict? What to expect for U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Sanam Vakil participated in Middle East Policy Council webinar, 7/17

As Iran arrests Instagram influencers, some seek safety abroad.

Sanam Vakil quoted on Public Radio International, 7/13

The U.S. and EU have both failed Kosovo.

Edward P. Joseph cited in Balkan Insight, 7/2

Advance Your Career

Gain the intellectual framework and analytic skills necessary to enter a variety of roles across the public, private, multilateral, and nonprofit sectors.

Advance Your Career

Recent Internships

  • Center for European Policy Analysis
  • International Crisis Group
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Russian International Affairs Council
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • US Department of State
  • World Bank Group

Recent Employers

  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Dataminr
  • International Finance Corporation
  • Ipsos
  • Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • US Department of State
  • World Bank Group


Build Your Network

Join a diverse, accomplished, influential community of scholars, practitioners, alumni, and students working across sectors in 140 countries around the world.

Johns Hopkins SAIS study trip to Africa

Conflict Management students traveled to Ethiopia to examine the country's political transition, where they interviewed leaders, and members of international organizations for their final research report.

Johns Hopkins SAIS students

SAIS Europe's Global Security Conflict Management Club visited the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, where they received first-hand insights on NATO's military operations.

Johns Hopkins SAIS students in the Middle East

Conflict Management students gained in-depth knowledge on the Middle East region during a study trip to Riyadh and Doha.

photo of Caroline

Maximizing the SAIS Europe Experience

"With a strong background in Italian, I was eager to employ my speaking skills in everyday life to better understand European politics from a closer point of view. "

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photo of Jasmine

Examining Conflict Resolution Across the Globe

"The opportunity to meet with several of the most highly regarded government officials and royal family members to discuss an important political event is something I would never have expected as a student."

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Check back soon for upcoming events.

Beyond the Classroom

Put into practice the skills in cooperation and negotiation learned in our cutting-edge curriculum.

Explore Conflict Management Firsthand

Study the dimensions of conflict up close during a study trek. Interview government officials, leaders of NGOs, and local media representatives to assess prospects for progress in a conflict or post-conflict region.

Global Security and Conflict Management Club

Connect with classmates school-wide who share an interest in conflict management and related careers. Network with alumni and practitioners. Help us organize events and programs exploring the dimensions of conflict and post-conflict regions.

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World-Class Events

Hear groundbreaking research from leading scholars at our weekly seminars. Recent sessions have explored topics including patterns of protest and revolt in Africa, the competing narratives that shape the identities of people in the Balkans, and strategies for defeating the Islamic State in Syria.

Study Treks

Join a study trek and see firsthand pressing issues such as the blockade of Qatar and its tensions with Gulf neighbors, the prospects for new Israel-Palestine negotiations, and ceasefire violations in Ukraine.