Research Projects

Mapping the Drivers of Everyday Peace

Peace means different things to different people—a key challenge lies in constructively understanding the drivers of peace with a view to inform science diplomacy.  Specifically, non-state actors such as scholars and practitioners engage in problem-solving approaches at the heart of science diplomacy—through bolstering mutual understanding between peoples, advancing the satisfaction of common interests and contributing to global peace. 

Our current research projects demonstrate a methodology called ‘fuzzy cognitive mapping’ (FCM). This is a type of systems-mapping well-suited to break down complex concepts and facilitate problem-solving.

In 2024, our team has been conducting FCM sessions with groups of students, program staff, and community members in locations such as: Belfast (Northern Ireland), Nouakchott (Mauritania), and New Haven (US).  We have also conducted FCM sessions with practitioners at UNDP (New York headquarters), Early Childhood Peace Consortium meetings (Turkey), and UPEACE (Costa Rica). 

The aim is to compare mental maps of ordinary peace—across stakeholder groups—and test assumptions about the drivers of systems change—across sites. We have found that participants are consistently engaged in the learning of cognitive mapping of the drivers of peace. An example of the methodology is described in this recent Yale press release.