The Sié Center periodically hosts workshops that complement individual or group research programs. These workshops bring in subject-matter experts from around the world to collaborate and exchange ideas on a specific topic.

  • Recent Workshops

    Catalyzing Conversations About Ethics in International Affairs: Russia's War Against Ukraine 

    May 23, 2023

    Hosted by Rachel Epstein 



    Escaping the Dirty Side of Clean Energy?  

    Ethical Quandaries Around Responses to the Climate Crisis 

    April 21, 2023

    Hosted by Deborah Avant, Alvin Camba, Linda Méndez-Barrientos, Tricia Olsen  

Past Workshops

  • 2020

    Responsible Public Engagement Institute

    May 20–23, 2020

    The Sié Center at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies introduces the Responsible Public Engagement Institute. This Institute, generously supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, will address challenges around both direct engagement with policy actors at various stages of the research process and disseminating research to policy audiences. The Institute is geared toward early-career academics from various disciplinary backgrounds and taught by experienced academics from the Josef Korbel School and other institutions.

  • 2019

    Working Group on Responsible Engagement

    May 15–17, 2019

    This goal of this workshop was to inform and craft the design of a curriculum packet for the 2020 Issues in Responsible Public Engagement Institute. The three-day institute was designed for international relations scholars and dedicated to addressing responsible policy engagement. As a complement to existing "bridging the gap" training programs for early-career international relations scholars, the institute will address challenges around both navigating direct engagement with different sets of policy consequential actors at various stages of the research process and disseminating research for policy audiences. This workshop is a part of a Carnegie Corporation sponsored grant titled, "Rigor, Relevance, and Responsibility".

  • 2018

    Inclusive Global Leadership Summer Institute

    August 27–30, 2018

    The 2018 IGLI Summer Institute convened 13 women activists from around the world (including the U.S.) who are currently involved in civil resistance campaigns to promote peace, human rights, and freedom. Over the course of the two and a half-day workshop, these activists had the chance to meet each other, share stories about their particular struggles and successes, and receive advanced training on best strategies and tactics from some of the world's leading experts on nonviolent civil resistance campaigns.


    Fostering Inclusive Responses to the Liberal Order's "Crisis" Conference

    March 7–9, 2018

    In partnership with CSIS, the Sié Chéou-Kang Center and Center for Europe and the World at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies hosted a workshop exploring the roots of discontent with the liberal international order. The workshop brought together the different perspectives on this question from political science scholars that study international relations, comparative politics, and American politics along with anthropologists and sociologists. The goal was to examine why some citizens have lost faith in democratic institutions and explore potential ways in which faith can be built around inclusive processes that maintain openness while serving the needs of local, national, and global publics.

  • 2017

    Inclusive Global Leadership Summer Institute

    August 28–30, 2017

    The 2017 IGLI Summer Institute convened 15 women activists from around the world (including the U.S.) who are currently involved in civil resistance campaigns to promote peace, human rights, and freedom. Over the course of the two and a half-day workshop, these activists had the chance to meet each other, share stories about their particular struggles and successes, and receive advanced training on best strategies and tactics from some of the world's leading experts on nonviolent civil resistance campaigns.


    Four Corners Conflict Network Annual Conference

    March 31, 2017

    This is the second annual conference of the network of peace and conflict scholars residing in the Four Corners states: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.  


    Innovations in Peacebuilding in Latin America

    February 3, 2017

    In collaboration with the Latin America Center, this Americas symposium included panelists who shared research findings from El Salvador and Colombia, together with an evaluation of the global norms and local dynamics interactions in Haiti.

  • 2016

    Nonviolent Strategies in Violent Settings Case Study Workshop

    August, 2016

    This workshop is part of a large research-to-policy program supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It explores how nonviolent actions by non-state actors (companies, NGOs of various sorts, religious organizations, local civilian groups, labor organizations and international organizations) affect violence in conflict. Thus far we have created a concept paper, held an initial project conference, commissioned case studies (a list of authors and titles is below), and developed a dataset on conflicts in Africa. This workshop will be the first time that all the research is presented together. It will bring together project researchers with leading academics and practitioners working in these areas to provide feedback for the final research products (an edited volume, a set of case studies and accompanying policy briefs).


    Drafting a Guide for Cooperative Multistakeholder Action in Global Governance

    August, 2016

    Cooperative multistakeholder action is a vital area of global governance, but one where key developments are often not understood. The Stanley Foundation plans to produce a 25–30 page document that will help advocates and officials better understand and use multistakeholder approaches to global governance to achieve policy change. This workshop will bring together a small number of participants to contribute to a draft for this document that will: Place cooperative multistakeholder action in the context of global governance as a viable approach to policy change, potentially able to break through gridlock, and here to stay, describe the "craft" of multistakeholder processes in global governance, provide guiding principles for different types of multistakeholder action, and recommend ways in which particular practitioners could enhance the effect of multistakeholder processes.



    Rigor and Relevance

    May, 2016

    How can academics "bridge the gap" to make their work relevant and accessible for policymakers, practitioners, and the broader community? In October 2014, the Carnegie Corporation of New York granted five premier international affairs schools, including the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, the chance to answer this question. During this workshop and public luncheon, representatives from all five schools discussed their innovative projects, shared lessons learned, and identified future opportunities for universities to contribute to the public good.


    Creative Multilateral/Multistakeholder Initiatives

    May, 2016

    This workshop brought together academics thinking about new forms of governance and practitioners who have been closely involved in particular initiatives related to human rights, democracy, and good governance — including the Open Government Partnership, the Freedom Online Coalition, the Community of Democracies, the International Code of Conduct Association, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade, and the Voluntary Principles. The aim of the workshop was to inform recommendations on how the U.S. can improve its engagement with these kinds of initiatives moving forward. This workshop was co-sponsored by the Sié Center and the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York's "Rigor and Relevance" initiative, and generously hosted by GWU's Elliott School.

  • 2015

    Forging a Social Contract: States and Societies Building Peace in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries

    November, 2015

    Project Working Group Symposium

    Of all of the new Sustainable Development Goals, number 16 — envisioning more "peaceful and inclusive societies" — may be among the most challenging to achieve, or even to evaluate progress toward. Forging a Social Contract is two-year research and policy dialogue project examining the utility of a more broadly inclusive concept, that of the social contract, as a strategic approach to peacebuilding and statebuilding in conflict-affected countries. The workshop is supported by the Oslo Governance Centre, United Nations Development Program, The Social Sciences Foundation at the University of Denver, and the Julien J. Studley Graduate Program of the New School.


    Journal of Global Security Studies Special Issue Workshop: The Future of Global Security (Studies)

    May, 2015

    The Sié Center hosted a workshop with authors of articles being considered for the special issue of the Journal of Global Security Studies , the newest journal of the International Studies Association.


    Nonviolent Strategies in Violent Settings

    April, 2015

    With support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Sié Center hosted a workshop to further research on nonviolent strategies employed by non-state actors that affect conflict


    Research in Conflict-Affected Countries and Contexts: Ethics, Risks and Practicalities

    March 2, 2015

    A Capacity-Building Workshop for Josef Korbel School Faculty, Students and Staff

    Social scientists across a wide range of disciplines are engaged in research on conflict-affected countries and in other contexts, such as research on community-level and interpersonal violence.  This workshop was designed to explore more fully the ethics, risks, and practicalities of conducting research in such environments.  The workshop featured presentations by invited presenters, University of Denver faculty, and advanced graduate students with experience researching in conflict-affected countries and contexts.

    Workshop Agenda


    Terms of Engagement: How to Better Engage in Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives

    January 15–16, 2015

    The Sié Center, in cooperation with the Daniels College of Business, hosted a two-day workshop to explore how civil society, business, and government can contribute to multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) aimed at improving business behavior related to human rights. The Sié-Daniels workshop convened academics and practitioners to explore the most current empirical and theoretical work on MSIs and the business and human rights field. It focused particularly on the different roles civil society and business organizations play.

    Workshop Agenda

    Conference Report

  • 2014

    Religion, Peacebuidling and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries

    October 20, 2014

    A Symposium to Present Research Findings

    This was the final event associated with a 2-year research project, sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Religion and International Affairs. This symposium featured the presentation of the principal findings of the seven-country research project on religion and ethnicity, social cohesion, and peacebuilding in seven conflict-affected countries (Guatemala, Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Nepal, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka). Partners from the University of Bielefeld presented findings on the United Nations and Iraq. The purpose of the workshop was to review and validate the policy-relevant findings and recommendations emanating from the research.


    Shaping the State Through the Social Contract in Situations of Conflict and Fragility

    January 15–17, 2014

    The Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-affected Countries research project at the Sié Center, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, co-sponsors, presents key project findings, and engages in policy dialogue with expert development practitioners at a conference in Glen Cove, New York. The meeting titled, "Shaping the State through the Social Contract in Situations of Conflict and Fragility" brought together practitioners from across the UN system, as well as international NGOs, development partners, and civil society groups, experts from the global south, academia and policy research centers to: 1) clarify the relevance of the Social Contract as an approach to guide responses in fragile and conflict affected contexts; 2) agree on principles that can guide a Social Contract approach; 3) identify implications of the Social Contract approach for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding, and; 4) define methodologies and indicators to measure progress and results in this area of work. The practitioners' meeting provided a unique opportunity for a community of development and peacebuilding actors to question assumptions on how the international community links peacebuilding and state-building processes in conflict-affected contexts.

  • 2013

    Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Societies Project: Authors' Workshop at the International Peace Institute

    October 18, 2013

    The Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-affected Societies research project at the Sié Center hosted a Case-Study Author and Specialist Review Symposium at the International Peace Institute in New York. The Religion and Social Cohesion project is a six-country analysis of how international development partners interact with religious communities and actors in fragile states in efforts to build social cohesion. As the field research phase of the project came to a close, the symposium brought together the case study authors, along with outside experts from the International Peace Institute and the UN Development Program, among others, to move toward integrating the research findings for the forthcoming book project and policy report.


    The Role of Non-Violent Strategies in Violent Contexts

    October 10–12, 2013

    "The Role of Non-Violent Strategies in Violent Contexts" was a two-day conference to be held at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies exploring how non-violent groups in violent environments affect security outcomes. Non-violent actors—particularly local civilians, NGOs, and transnational corporations—affect stability in conflict zones and the prospects for post-conflict development and governance. The conference analyzed the behavior of these actors as a group so as to better inform U.S. efforts to shape security environments, reduce asymmetric violence, and create conditions for long-term peace and stability.

    Conference Report


    The New Power Politics: Networks, Governance and Global Security

    March 1–2, 2013

    The workshop series "The New Power Politics: Networks, Governance, and Global Security" examined how various associations of state and non-state actors addressing security issues might be thought of as networks or governance systems. Participants were an international group of scholars focused on a wide range of contemporary security issues, and each participant was responsible for a paper addressing the interaction between networks, governance and power. The final papers will be published as a special issue of a journal or as an edited volume at a top-tier university press.

    The "New Power Politics" workshop was held in two parts; the first meeting on this topic was held March 31, 2012 at the International Studies Association Annual Conference in San Diego, California. In March 2013 the second part of the workshop was held at the Sié Chéou-Kang Center at the University of Denver.

    The "New Power Politics" workshops were led by Deborah Avant, Sié Chair and Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center, and Oliver Westerwinter, lecturer at the European University Institute. Support was provided by the International Studies Association and the One Earth Future Foundation

  • 2012

    Symposium on Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries

    October 4–6, 2012

    The Symposium convened the Steering Committee for a new research project of the at the Sié Center, "Religion and Social Cohesion in Conflict-Affected Countries." This research project explores the relationships and linkages between development assistance and religious actors and organizations in order to build a more rigorously derived knowledge base on how "informal" group participation in national dialogues, development policy-making, and project implementation affects social cohesion and peace and development outcomes.

    With the global development agenda increasingly focused on aid effectiveness in conflict-affected, or "fragile," states, peacemakers and donors have learned that they must include in peace processes and indeed strengthen through development aid "informal institutions" in order to improve service delivery; in this pursuit, "social cohesion" is needed to more effectively strengthen the state as a long-term strategy to facilitating peace and fostering development. However, working with religious leaders and organizations has been problematic. Such leaders may legitimize illiberal views contrary to international human rights; strengthening faith-based service delivery may weaken the state; and the inclusion of externally identified religious leaders in dialogue does not automatically lead to more cohesive societies.

    This project explores how development and peace practitioners manage the dilemmas that emerge in working with religious leaders and organizations and ascertains how development assistance policies and programs can more effectively involve them in the pursuit of development and conflict-mitigating social-cohesion outcomes in countries emerging from war. Under what conditions can engaging religious leaders and organizations in development and peacebuilding programming in conflict-affected countries foster "social cohesion" as a prerequisite to peace and development?

    The project builds on a prior Luce Foundation-supported research, education, and policy program that produced in part the recently published volume Between Terror and Tolerance: Religion, Conflict, and Peacemaking (Georgetown University Press, 2011).

    The project is led by co-principal investigators Fletcher Cox and Timothy D. Sisk of the Korbel School, with project administration led by Jennifer Wilson.


    Transparency and Governance of Private Military and Security Services

    May 30–June 1, 2012

    The workshop "Transparency and Governance of Private Military and Security Services" was held May 30–June 1, 2012 at the Sié Center. The workshop was held in cooperation with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and part of an ongoing series of workshops aimed at enhancing the information available about private military and security services and their regulation. In addition to unveiling a new web portal developed by the Sié Center — the Private Security Monitor — the workshop focused on recent developments in governance of the private security sector and the various roles that different participants in the governance process play. Many have recognized that the clients purchasing private security services — whether states, international organizations, corporations or non-governmental organizations — are often also attempting to "govern" the industry. The workshop explored this and other issues surrounding efforts to regulate private military and security companies.

    Workshop Agenda

    Conference Report