WiRe Meets Mipri: a Guest Interview with Dr Alyssa Bernstein
If you’ve been a visitor to our blog in the past, you might have noticed references here and there to mipri, the Münster International Peace Research Initiative, a programme started by the University of Münster in 2021 in collaboration with the city of Münster to foster future-oriented ideas and support international scholars who are working in peace and conflict research. Mipri looks to continue Münster’s legacy as a space for sustainable peace-building, given that the city served as a the location for the signing of the Peace of Westphalia on October 24, 1648. The Peace of Westphalia ended a terrible decades-long religious war in Europe. In light of today’s situation in Europe, supporting the search for diplomatic conflict-solving solutions feels more important than ever.
Enjoy the interview with Dr Alyssa Bernstein
To commemorate the 374th signing of this historic treaty, we invited the current mipri fellows to tell us more about their projects on peace and conflict related research.
Today, we are delighted to share some words from Dr Alyssa Bernstein, a practicing attorney and scholar who studies political prisoner resistance and organization in protracted conflict. Her work crosses fields including sociology, legal studies, and carceral studies (how prisons operate and how people behave in them).
Her PhD, from Queen’s University Belfast School of Law, looked at contemporary Palestinian political organizations and resistance in Israeli prisons, and is forthcoming as a book. She also holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree in Modern Middle East Studies from Yale University. Upon concluding this research she intends to return to legal practice in international dispute resolution.
Alyssa is interested in the answers to fundamental questions that studying peace and conflict offers: what do we decide is worth fighting for? Who do we choose as our enemies? How do we convince people to join us? And then when hostilities end, how do we return to or create peace?
Read on to find out more about Dr Bernstein’s research!