Numerous countries around the world have been devastated by the overlapping problems of war, poverty, and oppressive regimes. Peace-building requires multifaceted, holistic strategies to strengthen governance, protect human rights, promote economic development, foster public health, and improve relations with neighbors. The Human Security, Democracy, and Global Development research cluster is an interdisciplinary endeavor that studies the nexus of economic factors, political institutions, and peace. UNT offers one of the strongest peace and conflict research programs in the U.S., with numerous internationally-recognized faculty members. Political scientists, economists, historians, and geographers, among others, collaborate with agencies such as the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Defense, the United Nations, and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation to develop conflict resolution strategies and shape programs that foster economic development. Additionally, the Castleberry Peace Institute serves as the cluster’s institutional home and supports the cluster as a resource for analysis and evaluation of policy options.
The cluster will strategically expand this base of expertise by adopting emerging technologies to collect, analyze, and present data regarding development and security. Statistical methods and qualitative research, augmented by geospatial (GIS) analysis, computational modeling, natural language processing, database management and data visualization, will significantly expand knowledge of human security issues. The advanced complement of tools will help UNT researchers to monitor conflicts as they happen, evaluate the effectiveness of various policy interventions, forecast future unrest, and ultimately expand knowledge about the determinants of security and prosperity. The scope and depth of the cluster’s dedicated infrastructure will help make UNT a premier program at the forefront of peace and conflict research.