About the Peace and Justice Studies Association

The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) is dedicated to bringing together academics, K-12 teachers, and grassroots activists to explore alternatives to violence and share visions and strategies for peacebuilding, social justice, and social change.

This broad membership helps to facilitate research that is highly relevant, and it allows us to quickly disseminate the latest findings to those who will be among the first to implement new policies. Our abilities to do this have been greatly enhanced in recent years with the formation of a speakers bureau, a syllabus collection project, and the creation of a very active publications committee.

PJSA serves as a professional association for scholars in the field of peace and conflict studies, and is the North American affiliate of the International Peace Research Association. (For reasons of language, Mexico is part of IPRA's South American affiliate). In 2013, our offices moved to Georgetown University in Washington D.C., greatly enhancing PJSA's national and international visibility.

We are a nonprofit organization that was originally formed in 2001 as a result of a merger of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education, and Development (COPRED) and the Peace Studies Association (PSA). Both organizations provided leadership in the broadly defined fields of peace, conflict and justice studies. View PJSA's bylaws [PDF].

In 2010, PJSA became a bi-national organization with Canada, holding its first Canadian conference in Winnipeg, sponsored by the University of Winnipeg, Menno Simons College, and Canadian Mennonite University. Since then, PJSA has committed to holding its annual conference in Canada every third year — thus our 2013 conference was held in Waterloo, hosted jointly by Wilfred Laurier University and Conrad Grebel University College, and our 2016 conference is already schedule to be held at Selkirk College in British Columbia.

Today, approximately one-fifth of our board members are Canadians, who are also well represented on the board's executive committee. Presently, about 10% of our membership is Canadian, and this has been rising steadily.

Since 2008, Dr. Randall Amster has served as PJSA's executive director. Read more about Randall and the PJSA board of directors.

Our Mission

PJSA works to create a just and peaceful world through:

  • The promotion of peace studies within universities, colleges and K-12 grade levels
  • The forging of alliances among educators, students, activists, and other peace practitioners in order to enhance each other's work on peace, conflict and non-violence
  • The creation and nurturing of alternatives to structures of inequality and injustice, war and violence through education, research and action.

Our Values

Our members share many of the following values and beliefs:

  • Active nonviolence as a positive force for social change
  • Critical analysis of institutions and social structures
  • Societal transformation toward justice
  • Equitable sharing of world resources
  • Life-long education: community-based and service learning
  • Innovative and effective pedagogy
  • Liberatory use of technology and media research in support of community needs
  • Effective networks and alliances