Peace Studies

Introduction to Peace Studies

Peace Studies is a relatively new academic disicplines with its roots in post WWII Scandinavia and Indiana (yes, Indiana).  It has variously been described as a multidisiciplinary, cross-disciplinary or  transdisciplinary discipline.  At Notre Dame it draws upon the insights and resources of Political Science, Pyschology, Sociology, History, Theology/Religion, Anthropology, Economics, Philosophy and Law -- among others.  This guide introduces you to the main peace studies resources and to selected resources from these allied academic disciplines.


Reference tools provide generally agreed upon "facts" or common knowledge -- background information, the who, what, where and when -- and a bit of the how and why -- for any topic. They include subject and biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias, almanacs, chronologies, directories and atlases. Many, especially dictionaries and encyclopedias, are now available online. Many others, especially historical atlases and chronologies are still only available in print.

Facts - Online

Links to online referernce collections that may contain helpful sources depending on your topic.

Facts - Paper

Selected examples of print reference sources.  All titles are located in the General Reference Collection (1st floor, Hesburgh Library).  Browsing the reference collection using the examples listed below as starting points can be very effective.

  • Religion and violence: an encyclopedia of faith and conflict.  BL 65 .V55 R45555 2011
  • Encyclopedia of the stateless nations: ethnic and national groups.  D 860 .M56 2002
  • Conflict in Northern Ireland: an encyclopedia.  DA 990 .U46 E44 1999
  • Conflict in Afghanistan: a historical encyclopedia.  DS 351 .C54 2003
  • Conflict in Korea: an encyclopedia.  DS 916 .H62 1999
  • Encyclopedia of conflict resolution.  HM 136 .B783 1997
  • Encyclopedia of violence, peace, & conflict.  HM 291 .E625 2008
  • The Statesman's Yearbook.  JA51 .ST29
  • Political Risk Yearbook(e.g. Vol. 8 Central & South Asia) JQ 98 .A1 P64
  • Peace movement directory: North American organizations...  JZ 5514 .B46 2001
  • World Encyclopedia of Peace.  JZ 5533 .W67 1999
  • Handbook of peace and conflict studies.  JZ 5538 .H36 2007
  • Encyclopaedia of war, peace and global security.  JZ 5588 .E53 2005
  • Historical dictionary of multinational peacekeeping.  JZ 6374 .M38 2004
  • Religion and violence: an encyclopedia of faith and conflict.  BL 65 .V55 R45555 2011 
  • Global directory of peace studies and conflict resolution programs.  JZ 5534 .G58
  • SIPRI yearbook: world armaments and disarmament.  UA 10 .I55


Statistics are often divided into to categories, data sets that have not yet been analysed and statistical tables, charts and graphs based on data sets.  Sometimes statistical tables will link to the original data sets but more often simply cite them.

Additional resources may be found from the Libraries homepage by going to Data, statistics and survey results.

Stats - Conlict - Online

Stats - Conlict - Paper

  • Political Risk Yearbook(e.g. Vol. 8 Central & South Asia) HESB REF JQ 98 .A1 P64
  • SIPRI yearbook: world armaments and disarmament.  HESB REF UA 10 .I55

Additional resources may be found from the Libraries homepage by going to Data, statistics and survey results.

Stats - International

Additional resources may be found from the Libraries homepage by going to Data, statistics and survey results.

Stats - U.S.

Major Sources for Domestic U.S. Statistics

Additional resources may be found from the Libraries homepage by going to Data, statistics and survey results.

Maps - Online


Maps - Paper

Examples of specialized atlases available in the Hesburgh Library Reference Collection.  The Libraries also have a collection of large, detailed maps published by various U.S. government agencies.

  • Historical dictionary of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  DS 119.7 .K85 2006
  • The state of the Middle East: an atlas of conflict and resolution.  G 2205 .S6 2008
  • The Penguin atlas of diasporas.  GN 370 .C43 1995
  • Global geopolitical flashpoints: an atlas of conflict.  JC 319 .A52 2000

More Databases

For additional resources you can go to the Course Pages and Research Guides page, to the subject page for Peace Studies or to the All Subjects page that lists all of the academic departments and institutes at Notre Dame to select databases from another academic discipline.

  • Course Pages and Research Guides
    • Lists web pages prepared for individual courses
    • Lists web guides to subjects of interest to more than one course
  • Peace Studies Subject Page
    • Lists almost all electronic resources for peace studies
    • Lists selected print resources
  • All Subject Pages
    • Lists pages for all academic departments
    • Lists pages for Institutes, Centers and other Units at Notre Dame

Hints for International Students

Freedom and Initiate

Stereotypes of the United States as land of rugged individualism and of vast freedoms are in many ways alive and well in American libraries. For instance, not only are you free to go into the stacks (that is, the circulating collection of books and journals), you are expected to do so. Much of life is self-service and assumes that you will take the initiative. Almost all of our collections are open and available to the general public. The primary exception is Rare Books and Special Collections -- for obvious reasons. They contain rare (very expensive), often irreplaceable items. In addition items in most collections (including government documents) may be borrowed by or loaned to (checked out or charged out) by faculty and students, that is, they may be taken out of the building. And lastly at present there is no real limit as to how many items you may have charged out at any given time. The practical question is "how many books can you carry?"

Questions and Authority

Another cultural trait which sometimes takes a little getting used to is that Americans are generally quite willing to ask questions, even (some would say "especially") of those in positions of authority. Therefore it is OK to ask questions. In fact, it is expected -- at least by most people. When you are confused (and you will be confused at times, it's normal), don't hesitate to ask questions; ask for help; seek clarification. This goes for librarians and library staff and for your faculty at the Kroc Institute.

Neighborliness and Service

A close relative of this questioning mind set is a general willingness to help. It's often called neighborliness and, although visitors to a few of our largest urban centers might not always find it to be pervasive, it is still alive and well in much of the United States including Indiana. "Hoosiers" (the nickname for Indiana residents) take pride in being part of America's midwestern heartland. In general, they will go out of their way to be neighborly -- though occasionally you will find suspicion of the stranger. Of course, the level of suspicion has risen since 9/11. Expressed as service, this neighborliness is a hallmark of the Universtiy Libraries. Our staff take pride in providing excellent professional service. Please make use of it;.it will make your time with us both more productive and more enjoyable.

Graduate/Professional Life

Your expectations of study at Notre Dame will differ significantly. Your professors will articulate their expectations for your classroom work, study and research. Again, be sure to ask for clarification if you are in anyway unclear as to what will be demanded of you for any and all of your courses. Your course work is unlikely to be based on textbooks -- and the required and recommended reading lists will sometimes be daunting. The more you take advantage of the wealth of resources available in and through the Hesburgh Libraries, the better things will go for you. One of the purposes of this guide is to introduce you to that abundance of materials and provide guidance for making the most efficient and effective use of them.

Language and Terminology

We come from a variety of English language traditions -- no one, specific variety of which is the correct one. For some of us our version will be our mother tongue. For others it will be our second language (or third or fourth). Within a given national setting there may be great variety. Even within academe in America there is variation. For instance, I was a religion major as an undergraduate. A similar major at Notre Dame would be in theology yet the Kroc Institute uses the term "religion." Though these terms are not synonymous they are often used interchangably in less formal conversation.

Therefore, don't be surprised if misunderstandings arise or false conclusions are reached due to the ambiguity and fluid nature of our "common" language. Be sure to ask for clarification when something doesn't sound or feel right, when a conversation doesn't quite seem to be flowing or holding together. It might just be our choice of terms. Also, as with all professions, we librarians have our own collection of esoteric jargon (in house shortcuts). We try to avoid using it as much as possible with students and researchers but we occasionally slip up. Please feel free to question me at anytime about my selection of words or anything else.

Last Bit of Advice

Never hesitate to ask questions. When in doubt, ask! Oh, and before I forget, ASK!!!

  • Doug Archer
  • Reference and Peace Studies Librarian
  • 109 Hesburgh Library
  • 574-631-6656