The Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice supports research on civil strife mitigation, regional and global conflicts, and strategies for reconciliation. Founded with a $10 million gift from the Bobst Foundation in 2000, the Bobst Center is affiliated with the University's Department of Politics and has an ongoing relationship with Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs.
The center's mission is to advance the cause of peace, justice, and mutual understanding and respect for all ethnic traditions and religious faiths, both within countries and across national borders. Bobst affiliates include 15 Princeton University faculty members as well as graduate students, undergraduate research assistants and visiting scholars.
The center provides funding and administrative support for workshops, conferences, research collaborations and dissertation research. Bobst also funds undergraduate internships at organizations with peace and justice missions. Research projects conducted at Bobst are varied but all take a comparative approach to studying core issues of peace and justice. Projects include work on the role of ethnic identity in conflicts, violence experiences and trust in post-conflict Sri Lanka, Latino turnout in U.S. elections, immigrant riots in France, and more than 200 additional research projects and internships since 2003. Throughout the academic year, these research projects culminate in workshops and academic conferences, public events such as "Latinos in the 2012 Elections: An Expert Discussion on Research and Politics" and "The Impact of the 2013 Israeli Elections on the Middle East Peace Process," and discussions about books such as Ways Out of War: Peacemakers in the Middle East and Balkans, which brought together diplomats and scholars for a discussion of negotiating ends to intractable conflicts.
Bobst provides support for the Innovations for Successful Societies (ISS) program, which conducts interview-based research and produces case studies and analytical documents on public sector reform in challenging contexts. ISS's research chronicles how reformers build accountability and overcome governance traps.
The center's director, Amaney Jamal, associate professor of politics at Princeton University and director of the Workshop on Arab Political Development, is studying the politics of civic engagement in the Arab world. In Jamal’s words, "Fostering peace and justice begins with active understanding, engagement and dialogue informed by rigorous research. The center contributes to this important mission through its everyday activities on campus."