MSC's Peace Research journal launches 53rd volume
Peace Research: The Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies has been in publication for over 50 years, and hasn't stopped even through pandemic-imposed challenges. Menno Simons College (MSC), a program centre of CMU, launched the journal's 53rd volume this spring.
In continuous publication since 1969, with numerous issues dating back even earlier to the 1950s, Peace Research is Canada's oldest and primary scholarly journal in its field. Published biannually and read by subscribers across the globe, the multi-disciplinary journal publishes academic articles and book reviews on issues of conflict, violence, poverty, religion, justice, peace, and international development.
The first issue of this 53rd volume was published in June through the hard work of the journal's editor Neil Funk-Unrau, Emeritus Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies at MSC, and co-editor Anna Snyder, Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies at MSC. It features essays on topics like the history of peace studies at the University of Calgary, the moral culpability of soldiers and peacekeepers, views on war and church in a post-Christendom Canada, and the grassroots women's response to the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.
Peace Research started as a newsletter of the Canadian Peace Research Institute in Oakville, Ontario. After the institute dissolved in 1984, peace researcher M.V. Naidu, at that time teaching at Brandon University, took on leadership of the journal and shaped it into a peer-reviewed professional journal. In 2007, upon Naidu's retirement, all responsibilities for the journal were passed on to MSC. Professors Rick McCutcheon and John Derksen edited the publication before Funk-Unrau became editor in 2017.
The Peace Research journal "is important because we keep getting submissions from all over the world," Funk-Unrau says. "I think it's also a feather in the cap for MSC to have that kind of visibility and that kind of presence in the peace research area across Canada, North America, and the rest of the world. It's a way we can continue to make a contribution."
Funk-Unrau says the journal "has also been valuable for maintaining good relations with some of the other more closer institutions that are doing peace studies work," like the Arthur V. Mauro Institute for Peace & Justice at the University of Manitoba. Doctoral students and professors have been involved through submitting articles for consideration and guest editing the journal.
As a small publication, Peace Research doesn't expect to necessarily receive submissions from famous scholars. But collaborating with emerging academics is a wonderful opportunity, Funk-Unrau says. It's a symbiotic relationship; PhD students have an opportunity to be published and expand their networks, while the journal features the newest minds in the field doing exciting and good work.
Since Funk-Unrau's recent retirement, Snyder has become the new editor of Peace Research. She is preparing a special volume, initially planned for 2020, which is in part a celebration of MSC's 20-year anniversary as part of CMU, which formed in 2000. It will feature the important research and community work of MSC and CMU professors and is set for release this coming academic year.
Peace Research is no longer produced in hard copy but is fully available online at peaceresearch.ca.