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The Conflict Research Society is an interdisciplinary community focused on developing deeper knowledge and understanding of conflict and co-operation. We boast an international membership of academics and individuals who are dedicated to world-class research in the field. Together, we are the number one forum for leading, global, academic institutions and NGOs concerned with peace and conflict. Our key aim is to present a wide range of multidisciplinary research, and to enliven key debates in national and international affairs.


Goals of the CRS

  • Help understand and resolve past disputes and ongoing global conflicts
  • Inspire innovation and solutions for key issues in global affairs
  • Foster research and knowledge exchange on peace, conflict, and co-operation
  • Unite academics, practitioners, policy makers, civil leaders, and journalists, via workshops, conferences, and other events
  • Expand networks and research projects
  • Share new and innovative research, monitoring and evaluation methodologies
  • Encourage and reward high-quality research through initiatives, such as the Cedric Smith Prize and the Book of the Year award
  • Bolster postgraduate students with small grants through the Sydney Bailey Fund


History of the CRS

The CRS began in 1963, at University College, London.

Along with its founding members, John Burton and Cedric Smith, the society was instrumental in the original push for peace and conflict research as an independent area of study.

The CRS emerged on a scene dominated by the realist approach to International Relations, both in the UK and the United States. It arrived during the Cold War, too, at a moment of extreme polarisation between East and West.

Scholars at the Society were among the first to effectively challenge the realist approach. They set about exploring the causes of war and the conditions required for peace, and became the first academic group in Britain to focus solely on peace and conflict research.

In 1969, the CRS created the Richardson Institute for Peace Studies: a research arm that was subsequently assisted by Lancaster University and its Department of Politics.

Since 2013, under the leadership of Gordon Burt, Hugh Miall, and Govinda Clayton, the CRS has undergone a period of reinvention and growth.

The Society’s members include distinguished peace research experts, practitioners, and others with wide-ranging influence in related fields, from across the world.

The CRS is interdisciplinary at heart, and continues to work with departments, individuals, networks, and NGOs, playing a diverse and influential role in the advancement of peace and conflict resolution around the world.

Click here to read the Constitution of the CRS.