SCICN is an interdisciplinary research and teaching community dedicated to the study of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. The central focus of our work is the identification and analysis of barriers—psychological, strategic, institutional, and relational—to conflict resolution and the development of strategies to overcome these barriers.
SCICN has for many years brought scholars and graduate students together from across the university to provide a rich environment for interdisciplinary dialogue and exploration. We support innovative researcher-practitioner collaboration, provide a forum for scholars to discuss research and methods in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and offer seminars and colloquia at Stanford. In addition, we produce a working paper series; a selection of those papers are available here on our website.
SCICN was founded at Stanford University in 1984 by an interdisciplinary group of eminent scholars. The Center was originally named the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation (SCCN). Our founding members included Kenneth Arrow (Economics), Robert Mnookin (Law), Lee Ross (Social Psychology), Amos Tversky (Psychology), and Robert Wilson (Business).
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SCICN is not a degree-conferring center and, as a result, cannot admit applicants as students to Stanford University.
Richard S. Goldsmith Research and Project Grants
SCICN awards a small number of grants for summer research and other projects related to SCICN themes up to a maximum of $4000. SCICN will announce additional information about eligibility and the application process for the Goldsmith Research and Project Grants during Winter quarter of the 2022-2023 academic year.
Richard S. Goldsmith Writing Prize in Conflict Resolution
Deadline for submissions: May 12, 2023.
The Goldsmith Award for Student Writing in Dispute Resolution is named for Judge Richard S. Goldsmith, former chief magistrate of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Judge Goldsmith was an early and important advocate for alternative methods of solving disputes. The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students university-wide. SCICN faculty review the submissions and select the winning paper, which is awarded a $1000 prize.
Eligibility: all Stanford undergraduate and graduate students may submit.
Accepted topics: any aspect of negotiation, decision-making, or conflict resolution between individuals, organizations, groups, or nations. Also included are judicial or adjudicatory procedures, as well as alternatives such as mediation and arbitration.
Length: limit is 10,000 words.
Deadline: May 12, 2023. Late submissions will not be considered.
Announcements will be made in Summer 2023.
Research / Practitioner Collaboration
SCICN Papers & Publications
Core background papers on SCICN's approach
Barriers to Conflict Resolution, Introduction
Robert Mnookin and Lee Ross, in Barriers to Conflict Resolution (1995)
Barriers to Dispute Resolution: Reflections on Peacemaking and Relationships Between Adversaries
Byron Bland, Brenna Marea Powell, and Lee Ross, in Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights (2012)
Governments, Publics, and Enemies: Intragroup Dynamics as Barriers to Conflict Resolution
Gilat Bachar and Allen Weiner (2014)
The central focus of our research is the identification and analysis of barriers to international and intergroup conflict resolution, and the development of strategies to overcome these barriers. Our research has explored the psychological, strategic, institutional and relational barriers to resolving the most intractable conflicts.Learn more