During the Summer and Fall of 2018, IWP Professor Albert Santoli further demonstrated how school zones in areas of armed conflict can become centers of mediation and prevent youths from joining terrorist networks. His groundbreaking fieldwork is the basis of IWP Course 670 “Counter-Terrorism Through Cultural Engagement and Development.”
The essence of this civil diplomacy is the centralized role of schools and education centers as mediation hubs.
In the Sulu archipelago located in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao in the Philippines, although there is no foreign presence, Professor Santoli has built strong relations with community leaders, religious clergy, and myriad educators. When rule of law is broken, the educators help bring together an alliance of local leaders, including police and military, to create an essential democratic partnership for progress.
IWP Course 670 provides a methodology and scholarly approach that can be applied in many areas of the world by understanding unique cultures and histories. Ultimately, the transformation from chaos is the realization that peace, security, and respect for human dignity are inseparable.