The Kelman Institute is engaged in civil society conflict transformation and peacebuilding on the international and intra-societal level. The aims are fostering peace through violence prevention, peace mediation and historical reconciliation.
The Kelman Institute was founded by Mag.a Gudrun Kramer und Dr. Wilfried Graf in 2005 under the name „Institute for Integrative Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding” as a non-profit organization. Between 2006 and 2010 it cooperated with the “Institut für Kriminal- und Rechtssoziologie (IRKS)” in Vienna. In December 2011 the IICP was renamed “Herbert C. Kelman Institute for Interactive Conflict Transformation (HKI or Kelman Institute)”. It is cooperation partner of the “Center for Peace Research and Pedagogy” of the University of Klagenfurt, a partner of the 2011 founded „Conflict Peace Democracy Cluster (CPDP)” for pooling conflict, peace and democracy research in Austria, as well as Faculty of Law of the University of Graz.
Fields of Action are
- Interactive conflict intervention and consultancy
- Supporting and process support of peace mediation efforts
- Conflict sensitive development cooperation
- Capacity building, trainings and further education
- Participatory action research, conflict analysis and method development.
In the last years, the HKI’s main focus of activities was set on dialogue projects in crisis areas for preparing conflict parties for negotiations, mediations and reconciliation (Sri Lanka 2002 – 2010, Carinthia since 2006, the Middle-East since 2005 and more intensively since 2012, under the supervision of Prof. Kelman).
Other areas of action are capacity building and trainings (Central Asia, Columbia, Eastern Europe and Western Balkans), as well as the conceptualization and implementation of University courses.
In the area of conflict analysis, the HKI pursues an integrative approach and combines social psychological, sociological and political and cultural science based interpretation approaches. For its conflict consultancy and mediation initiatives, the Kelman Institute specialized in interactive and dialogical methods of conflict resolution and transformation. In cooperation with interdisciplinary research networks, in dialogue with schools and methods of conflict transformation as well as in partnership with key persons from conflict areas, this approach is constantly re-elaborated.
These methods in particular continue the tradition of the »Interactive-Problem-Solving« – Workshops, a transdiciplinary oriented approach for conflict transformation. A pioneer of this approach is the Harvard Professor Herbert C. Kelman, who has implemented in the last 40 years more than 50 of those workshops with influential key persons in Israel and Palestine. It also provides the basis for the integration of the longstanding experience in international and European diplomacy in the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia (through the presidency of the Austrian ambassador Dr. Wolfgang Petritsch).
Herbert C. Kelman, honorary president of the HKI, fled after the »Anschluss« of Austria to the national socialistic Germany with 12 years together with his parents his hometown Vienna. He is Professor emeritus for Social Ethics of the Harvard University and was awarded the Cross of Honor for Science and Arts (First Class) in 1998.