site name2

Haifa is Israel's third largest city. First and foremost a port city for international commerce, it has in recent decades become a major center for Israel's high-tech industry. Built on Mount Carmel, Haifa is a collection of diverse, picturesque, and easily accessible neighborhoods from the port area in the lower city, to the commercial Hadar area in the middle tier, and the beautiful residential areas on the upper ridge.
Due to its special history and location, Israel is a unique place to study conflicts and their sources as well as diverse and intriguing methods and strategies to manage and resolve them. This is particulary true for the city of Haifa. With a pluralistic, ethnically and religiously diverse population, Haifa provides the perfect backdrop for students from around the globe to come together to learn about conflict and peacemaking.

Two of the most distinguishing features of Haifa are  the  physical beauty of the city and the coexistence of  its  ethnically diverse communities who live and work  together. Home to the Carmel National Forest and  miles of developed and natural beaches on the  Mediterranean Sea, Haifa provides a wonderful  environment for almost any kind of recreational activity. Haifa is the world center of the Baha'i Faith. Its shrine,  administrative center, and world-renowned  gardens are prominent features of the city’s  landscape. The   Christian and Muslim communities of  Haifa, and the neighboring Druze villages of Usifiya and Daliat- el-Carmel, are important components of  the city's social and cultural development. Along with Jewish  communities from Europe, North Africa, the Middle  East, North and South America, Ethiopia, and India,  they have combined to create a modern Mediterranean  city that is truly special.
 Haifa Bahai Gardens 2007  BetHaGeffen  Esther Rahma1

To watch a video about the program, click here

The MA Program in Peace and Conflict Management Studies is a rigorous, one-year program of study that introduces an interdisciplinary approach to peace and conflict management. The program addresses intergroup conflicts at different levels, ranging from local community conflicts to international conflicts, and presents a variety of approaches to dealing with such conflicts including formal and informal ones. While special attention is given to the Middle East, conflicts and peace processes in different parts of the world are also discussed. In addition to the great variety of courses within fields such as political science, international relations, psychology, sociology, social work, history and Middle East studies, the program offers a practicum (field internship) at NGOs working in areas related to peace and conflict management and a wide range of exciting and enriching extra-curricular activities. These activities include field trips to regions that are dealing with conflicts throughout Israel; thoughtful simulations of decision-making, negotiations and conflict management; and guest lectures by experts from academia and the field.

The program is based in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Haifa. The master’s degree is awarded by the Faculty of Social Sciences.

As a deeply divided society and a country in protracted conflict with other countries in the region, Israel is a unique environment for a program whose goal is to enable students to understand how conflicts unfold from a grassroots level and move up through the halls of government to the international community. Israel supplies excellent field study opportunities that allow students to see how attempts to manage conflicts and promote coexistence, mutual understanding, and peace processes actually develop and take root. Israel is a real-time hands-on working laboratory for advanced international and Israeli students, offering encounters with ongoing conflicts as well as successful and failed efforts to achieve peace.

The main objectives of the program are to:

  1. Provide students with an invaluable opportunity to learn about discord around the world, especially the specific conflicts within Israeli society and the Middle East;
  2. Endow students with theoretical knowledge and practical tools to deal with ethno-national conflicts and peace-building;
  3. Provide students with field experience that will build skills, knowledge and unique perspectives which can be applied to future careers.


The program begins in the fall and runs for three consecutive semesters from October to September. Courses cover the following subjects:

  1. The sources, types and levels of conflicts and how they develop
  2. Conflict management and ways to foster peace processes
  3. Research methodology
  4. Practicum (field internship) 
Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester
1 Core Course 1 Core Course 1-2 Elective Courses
1 Research Methods Course Practicum  
1-2 Elective Courses 1-2 Elective Course - 4 Hours  
Total: 3-4 Courses Total: 2-3 Courses + practicum Total: 1-2 Courses

Track A: Thesis Track*

7 Courses = 36 credit hours (4 core courses and 3 elective courses)
Thesis Research Paper

Track A students will be required to write one seminar paper (5000-7000 words) and a thesis research paper. For more detailed guidelines see here.

*Being able to pursue the thesis is dependent on the student's ability to find an appropriate advisor.

*Students selecting the thesis track should take into consideration that completion of a master’s thesis within one year is not guaranteed. A master’s thesis is an independent research project, and the pace of progress largely depends on the student’s efforts. Completion of a thesis may often require more than one year.

Track B: Non-Thesis Track 

9 Courses = 36 credit hours (4 core courses and 5 elective courses), Graduation project

Track B students will be required to complete two seminar papers (5000-7000 words each) and a graduation project (12,000 words). The graduation project can be based on the practicum, but can also be about another topic. For more detailed guidelines see here.

Language Study

Hebrew and Arabic courses are not included in the program curriculum. However, language study is available through the International School. Please note that language course grades are not calculated into the MA GPA, but they do appear on the student's transcript. The language courses begin prior to the MA program start date. Please contact the International School at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for exact dates and costs. 


The practicum aims to provide students with hands-on experience in the practice of peace and conflict management, and to integrate the practical experience gained with the theoretical knowledge acquired in the program. Students will complete an internship at organizations working on projects related to peace and conflict management, broadly defined. In parallel, students will reflect on their experiences and analyze them on the basis of theoretical knowledge acquired in other courses. For more information, see here.

Extra-Curricular Activities

In addition to the courses and practicum, students will have opportunities to participate in field trips to regions of Israel that are experiencing conflicts and dealing with them; to take part in simulations of decision-making and negotiations; and to hear lectures by guest experts. The interactions between students coming from different countries also expand the students' experience and knowledge.

For stories about extra-curricular activities and student experiences, see here.

Dr. Ran Kuttner - Head of the program


Dr. Ran Kuttner recently returned to Israel after seven years in the US, in which he was an Associate Professor of  Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at the Werner Institute, Creighton University. Preceding his arrival at Creighton, Ran was a Visiting Scholar at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School for three years, where he acted as an Associate Director of the Dispute Resolution Project and where among other research projects he helped redesign and teach the Harvard mediation course, a joint course for law and MBA students.Ran completed his Ph.D. at the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. His focus is on relational approaches to conflict resolution and he published articles on mediation, dialogue, leadership, negotiation and conflict resolution pedagogy in leading academic journals. He is a certified mediator and mediation teacher in Israel and consults to organizations and community mediation centers that work towards a more dialogic Israeli society in implementing collaborative conflict engagement approaches.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dr. Keren Sharvit

Dr. Sharvit joined The Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Haifa in 2010, as part of the process of creating the new MA Program in Peace and Conflict Management (PCM). Since then she has served as a faculty member in the PCM program as well as in the School of Psychological Sciences, and was the head of the PCM program between 2014 and 2021. Prior to joining the University of Haifa, Dr. Sharvit spent one year as a postdoctoral fellow at the Swiss Center for Conflict Research Management and Resolution, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and two additional years as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on social-psychological processes involved in intergroup conflicts, especially intense and protracted conflicts. Some of her specific research topics include the roles of emotions and their regulation, moral reasoning, categorization processes and societal beliefs and ideologies in situations of conflict, as well as the individual and collective implications of being victims and perpetrators of violence.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dr. Carmela Lutmar


Researcher  , Ph.D., Political Science, New York University, 2004. Research Interests:  Causes of War and Peace, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, Theories in  International Relations, Leaders, Civil Wars, State Building.

 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



 Prof. Edy Kaufman


Prof. Edward (Edy) Kaufman completed his B.A. in Sociology and Political Science and M.A. in International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, his doctoral dissertation at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) and conducted post-doctoral studies at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). He is a Senior Researcher at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management and its former Director and held earlier similar positions in the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University. In the last years, he has been teaching at the Department of Government and Politics of the University of Maryland and in the Government and Diplomacy Program of the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzlyiah.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dr. Harry Frey


Dr. Harry Freycompleted his undergraduate studies is Social Sciences and Social work in Australia. He completed his M.A in Community work in Haifa University and has for many years has been a community practitioner helping to establish the Association for Community Development, Acre. His doctoral studies and thesis from Ruskin University England was on the subject of ethnic community conflict and is based on research both in Israel and Northern Ireland.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





** Please Note: The following class schedule is the tentative schedule for the academic year 2021-2022 and is subject to change without prior notice on the website.

Fall Semester

Required courses

Course Instructor Day Time
Theories and Issues in Intergroup Conflict: A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective Dr. Keren Sharvit Tue 12-16
Research Methods in Peace and Conflict Management Dr. Carmela Lutmar Tue 16-20

Elective courses

Course Instructor Day Time
Building Consensus: Basic Negotiation, Mediation and Facilitation Skills Dr. Ran Kuttner Mon 12-16
Recent Developments in Peace and Conflict Studies (continues in spring semester) Dr. Keren Sharvit Wed 14-16
Community Conflict and Civil Society (continues in spring semester) Dr. Harry Frey Wed 16-18
Ethics, War and Diplomacy (Diplomacy Program) Prof. Michael Gross Thu 12-16
Theories of Diplomacy (Diplomacy Program)
Prof. Ben Mor Thu 16-20

Spring Semester

Required courses

Elective courses

Course Instructor Day Time
Community Conflict and Civil Society (continues from fall semester) Dr. Harry Frey Mon 16-18
Arab Israeli conflict (Diplomacy Program) Prof. Zach Levey Tue 12-16
Diplomacy and Communication (Diplomacy Program) Prof. Avi Ben Zvi Tue 16-20
Social Psychology of Intergroup Conflicts and their Resolution (School of Psychological Sciences) Dr. Keren Sharvit Wed 12-16
Multi-Track Diplomacy: Transforming Violent Conflict Prof. Edy Kaufman Wed 16-20
Recent Developments in Peace and Conflict Studies (continues from fall semester) Dr. Keren Sharvit Thu 14-16
Diplomatic Simulation (Diplomacy Program) Dr. Carmela Lutmar Thu 16-20

Summer Semester

Elective courses

Course Instructor Day Time
The Digital Revolution: From Humans to Robots (Diplomacy Program)
Dr. Yaniv Levyatan Sun 14-18
Relational Approaches to Conflict Engagement: Theory and Practice Dr. Ran Kuttner





 Course Descriptions

Theories and issues in intergroup conflict: A multi-disciplinary perspective

Dr. Keren Sharvit

(Fall, Tuesday, 12-4 pm)

This is a core course intended to lay the foundations for studying inter-group conflicts of different levels. Inter-group conflicts have been studied by scholars from different disciplines, who offer differing perspectives on similar issues. In this course we will survey different approaches, and will also compare, contrast and relate them to each other in an attempt to arrive at an integrative understanding of the issues at hand. To allow such comparison and integration, the course is arranged by themes that recur in the scholarly literature about conflicts rather than by scholarly discipline. Throughout the course, we will use examples from actual cases of inter-group conflicts in various regions of the world.


Research Methods in Peace and Conflict Studies

Dr. Carmela Lutmar

(Fall, Tuesday, 4-8 pm)

The first half of the course is meant to develop the student's skills in effective and critical reading of a variety of academic research, and to become acquainted with research writing. The second half of the course will acquaint the student with a wide variety of research methods, describing the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of research questions. In particular, we will focus on studies in conflict resolution and intractable conflicts. The course is planned and constructed as a seminar in which most of the work is done by the student, guided and advised by the lecturer and other guest lecturers.


Building Consensus: Basic Negotiation, Mediation and Facilitation Skills
Dr. Ran Kuttner
(Fall, Monday 4-8 pm)
The emergence of the discipline of Peacebuilding and Conflict Management has involved the development of both theory and practices. This course focuses on best-practices in conflict management – mainly negotiation, mediation and group facilitation – aiming to equip students with basic skills for professional and personal usage. The students will be exposed to foundational theories and models of negotiation, mediation, and group facilitation/consensus building and will engage in practical experience through roleplays, simulations and exercises. Through reflective analysis of their performances, students will challenge some foundational assumptions regarding negotiation and conflict interaction, gaining first-hand experience of transformation of adversity into collaboration. Thus, students will gain proficiency in serving as third party neutrals who strive to build consensus in interpersonal and intergroup conflicts.


Community conflict and Civil Society

Dr. Harry Frey

(Fall and Spring, Monday 2-4 pm)

Community is a changing, dynamic and multifaceted concept which is gaining attention in conflict studies. Firstly, this course examines conflict in the light of 'context.' In the course, we consider unique aspects of community conflicts and the interplay with exterior macro factors. Various theories explaining the causes of local conflict involving groups and institutions are examined. Different community characteristics which exacerbate or ameliorate conflict dynamics are also examined with reference to examples from Israel, Northern Ireland and other locations. Secondly, we will look at community as 'agency.' The emergence and relevance of various models of community practice, such as development, organization, problem solving and transformation of relations, will be considered. Finally, we will consider the building of shared communities as a 'target' and mode of intervention in conflict resolution.


Paths to Peace: Conflict Management, Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation

Dr. Ran Kuttner

(Spring, Monday 4-8 pm)

This core course will survey various approaches to dealing with intergroup conflicts: preventing escalation, minimizing harmful consequences, ending violence, improving intergroup relations and building stable peace. We will begin by discussing processes of conflict management, which take place during an ongoing conflict. We will then discuss various routes to conflict resolution and a formal ending of the conflict. Finally, we will address processes of reconciliation and peace-building, intended to improve intergroup relations in post-conflict settings and prevent conflict recurrence. Throughout the course, we will survey the works of scholars from different disciplines on each of these topics in order to become familiar with different perspectives and arrive at an integrative understanding. We will also discuss real world cases in which different approaches to dealing with conflict have been implemented with varying degrees of success.



Dr. Keren Sharvit

This course is a supervised practicum/internship. During the spring semester, students will conduct a project in the field. Each student can choose an organization (governmental or non-governmental) in the area of peacemaking, human rights, democracy, minority affairs, the Israeli-Palestinian question, or any other ethnic-national and international conflict problem in the Middle East or elsewhere. The choice of the project will be facilitated and approved by the instructor. In addition to the individual work and supervision, students

will engage in class discussions on their projects and all students must submit a final paper summarizing and analyzing the work and experience.


Multi-Track Diplomacy: Transforming Violent Conflict

Prof. Edy Kaufman

(Spring, Wednesday 4-8 pm)

The goal of this course is to develop the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate transformation of interpersonal, organizational, community or complex societal conflicts, including ethnic, religious or cultural tensions, using techniques of multi-track and citizens’ diplomacy. These techniques, applicable at all levels of society, provide an essential complement to official (“first track”) diplomacy and police work, from conflicts in the workplace or community, to dealing with political instability, terrorism or insurgent activities, as currently in our work in the Middle East, South Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.