The Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies seeks to promote the study of conflict and conflict resolution, including in its remit the analysis of war, peace and the phases in between; and embracing the study of both international and civil conflict.
The Centre for War and Peace Studies was set up in 2004. It is located within the Department of History and Politics. However, it is enriched by a large panel of members coming from many different departments and subject areas such as English, Drama, Theology, Psychology, Politics, History and Media studies, creating an interdisciplinary environment for research and postgraduate teaching. The current director of the Centre is Dr Catalina Montoya, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, and the deputy director is Dr Salman Al-Azami, Senior Lecturer in English Language. The International Advisory Board is chaired by Dr Terry Phillips.
In 2007, the University approached Archbishop Desmond Tutu to ask him if he would give his name to the War and Peace Centre. Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor & Rector of Liverpool Hope University said: "His great work with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa is the reason why we asked Archbishop Tutu if he would allow us to use his name for the Centre." In celebration of the naming of the Centre, Archbishop Desmond Tutu gave an address in Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral on Tuesday 26th June 2007, entitled 'Ours is a Moral Universe'.
Other addresses have included Civic Lectures by Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, Professor Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Professor Anthony Parel, Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary and Clare Short, former Minister for International Development.
The Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies provides a platform of interaction for academics and practitioners in the field of peace and conflict studies. The Centre encourages interdisciplinary debates and conversations between members of staff and students alike and promotes research on the various aspects of war, peace and peacebuilding. Through its growing number of international partners, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies aims to enhance its networks on a global level and to contribute to the relevant current discourses in its area of expertise.
It aims, by its own work and in collaboration with others, to promote research into the political, economic, historical and cultural contexts which give rise to conflict and play a part in its resolution, and to disseminate research into these areas, both within the academic community and in the wider social context. Its underpinning philosophy is that it is only by a real understanding of past and present conflict that conflict resolution can be achieved and that public understanding of the issues contributes to ethically based opinion formation. Sound academic investigation is necessary to avoid a repetition of the countless past conflicts which have been caused by false assumptions about their causes, their likely outcomes and their cost.