This site highlights my current academic research, various projects with which I am involved, as well as my teaching philosophy and teaching and learning experience.

About Me

My name is Samantha Twietmeyer and I am a scholar, pracitioner, and educator in peace and conflict resolution with a specific interest in negotiation processes.

I am currently a PhD Candidate and Teaching Fellow at Queen’s University in Comparative Politics and International Relations. My thesis critically analyzes the impact of third-parties upon elite perceptions in settlement negotiations in Northern Ireland and Cyprus through the lens of the Double-Minority Dilemma. This project is part of my wider ongoing interest in conflict management and negotiations in diverse and divided societies.

After working professionally in provincial politics, and completing various training courses in international conflict management and peacebuilding, I returned to academia to pursue my PhD. I endeavour to use my academic and practical expertise in educating and training future academics, community leaders, and peace-builders. My primary interest is in education.

From 2021-2022 I worked as a Teaching Development Associate in the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen's University and have a dedicated interest in innovative and effective teaching and learning. This interest is supported through various formal and informal trainings in teaching and learning in higher education, including Educational Development, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Universal Design for Learning, and Indigenous Ways of Knowing.

I am currently a junior scholar member of the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity. In 2017 and 2022, I was a visiting researcher at the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict, Queen’s University, Belfast.

Research Interests

conflict management + peace settlement processes
negotiation theory and leadership
scholarship of teaching and learning
educational technology and active learning
nations and nationalism
politics in diverse and divided societies
democracy and diversity
intervention, peacebuilding and global justice
Northern Ireland ⋅ Cyprus ⋅ Afghanistan ⋅ Iraq ⋅ Canada
United Nations ⋅ EU

Research Interests

conflict management + resolution
complex negotiation + peace settlement processes
negotiation theory and leadership studies
scholarship of teaching and learning
educational technology and active learning
ethnonationalism + diverse and divided societies
intervention, peacebuilding + global justice
Northern Ireland ⋅ Cyprus ⋅ Canada ⋅ UN ⋅ EU


Double Minority Dilemma Project

The Double Minority Dilemma.Cyprus and Northern Ireland.

My thesis project investigates the impact of third-parties upon the negotiation structure in each case. I develop and apply the theory of the Double Minority Dilemma to examine this impact.

The project finds that the impact of third-parties in Northern Ireland and Cyprus significantly altered, and continues to alter, the capacity of negotiations to reach a successful agreement by impacting elites' perceptions about their minority status and therefore the concessions which they seek to receive in any agreeement.

These findings contribute to a better understanding of complex politics in both regions today, with the tensions around the customs Protocol in Northern Ireland and concerns about the hardening of the Green Line as a result of COVID-19 in Cyprus.

Scared of What's Behind You:
Negotiating a Double Minority Dilemma

  • Winner of Queen's University Annual 3MT

  • Runner-up in Matariki Annual 3MT
    Matariki 3MT

3MT Slide

Other Projects

Contested Cities

The Divided Cities project investigates how migrant minorities assert political agency, if at all, in historically divided cities, and if so, to what effect, and is this different than in cities which are not historically contested?

I am currently the project coordinator and the lead investigator for the city of Belfast. I am also the developer for the project website (forthcoming).

SSHRC Funded: Dr. Zsuzsa Csergo, Queen’s University and Dr. Keith Banting, Queen’s University.

Visit the Project Website

Land Rights Image

The Indigenous Land Rights and Reconciliation Workshop was held at Queen’s University in September, 2019. The two-day workshop featured a mix of indigenous and non-indigenous academics and produced a rich discussion through six panels which were then arranged into a six-episode podcast.

SSHRC Funded: Dr. Margaret Moore, Queen’s University and Dr. Kerstin Reibold, University of Tromso

Visit the Project Website

Listen to Podcast Now!

Environment Image

This project seeks to examine the inclusion of environmental vulnerability mitigating policy in peace settlement agreements. Stemming from emerging research on the nexus of conflict and climate change, the project is working on a two tier study:

  1. A quantitative study of the inclusion of mitigating policy in peace agreements using the PA-X Peace Agreements Database.
  2. A qualitative study of the parameters that inform this inclusion and the role of third-parties and marginalized groups in promoting, supporting, or preventing this inclusion.

Border checkpoint closure in Cyprus with title text Border Conflicts and Pandemic Priorities

This project compares and analyzes the policy responses to the global pandemic around two porous borders: Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland and Cyprus' UN-monitored buffer zone. Domestic elites opted to close the buffer zone in Cyprus, preventing movement of people in Cyprus, while a decision was made by leaders in Northern Ireland to allow movement across the border between the UK territory and the Republic.

  1. A qualitative study of the rationale provided for the decisions to contribute more understanding of the underlying causes of variation in pandemic responses.


book stack and laptop book stack and laptop

I believe in the value of
life-long learning

Inspiring students to action beyond their institutional learning involves not only encouraging development of inquiring minds but also inspiring in students the drive to apply what they learn to the pursuit of a better community and a better world.

I believe in the value of life-long learning

Inspiring students to action beyond their institutional learning involves not only encouraging development of inquiring minds but also inspiring in students the drive to apply what they learn to the pursuit of a better community and a better world.

I strive to emphasize three core values in my teaching and learning:

I approach the question of accessibility from several perspectives, including accessible and universal design for learning strategies, student-centered learning tools, and Indigenous ways of knowing. My goal as an educator is not only to ensure that students receive and understand the course content but also that they are comfortable interpreting that content across a variety of communication and learning pedagogies. My syllabi incorporate a wide variety of literature from different intersectional voices and perspectives, as well as representing a balance between academic rigour and publicly accessible reporting.

In applying this concern around accessibility, student-centered, and decolonized pedagogies, I have found co-creation of syllabus elements to be highly productive. Engaging students in designing their own learning and evaluation processes helps to build a community of teaching and learning within the classroom and provide students a stake in their own, and each other’s, learning.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

In the pursuit of critical engagement and reflection on course subject matter, I take a strong position in the interests of ‘unsettling’ my classroom. The pedagogy of unsettling, as presented in great detail by Anne Wagner[1], requires that we seek to unsettle what is ‘known,’ and the act of doing so may make students feel discomforted and, indeed, unsettled. Importantly, this engagement requires the application of conflict resolution skills to the course discussions in order to encourage rich, critical, and honest engagement, challenging students to confront their own assumptions, while maintaining a positive space for student learning.

Critical engagement and reflection is not just a task for my students, I too must be engaged in constant critical reflection upon the course content.

[1] Wagner, A (2005) “Unsettling the Academy: Working through the challenges of anti-racist pedagogy” Race, Ethnicity and Education 8(3): 261-275. [DOI Link]

I bring a multi-disciplinary approach to my politics courses which engages students in broader thinking about power, place, and society. This encourages my students to think more broadly about how the subjects they learn within my course apply to their other academic courses and beyond academe. I draw upon my practitioner training to introduce active and participatory learning strategies including hands-on community activities and simulation experiences in order to demonstrate dilemmas in the application of theory to praxis. Often in the study of conflict resolution, the theoretical hurdles are not as clear without direct experiential engagement. As such, much of my course design is oriented to building applicable skill sets beyond academia to engage students more directly with their communities and the world.

When we structure our courses to pursue life-long learning we immediately increase student engagement. Students are most engaged not only when they understand the knowledge being imparted, but also when they can see its wider application and importance to their own lives, their family, and society. This relationship may be achieved through connections to other courses, through the direct application of theoretical knowledge to policy and praxis, and through globally engaged learning.

My United Nations course is currently showcased as an exemplar course in globally engaged course design at the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen's University.



Selected Courses

Ethnicity and Democracy

Investigation of the interaction of diversity and development processes, and national policy outcomes, from a comparative global perspective.

Comparative contexts are used to explore the relationship between ethnicity/diversity upon a variety of processes including social goods distribution, democratization, urban development, policy-making, social movements, etc.

Seminar Course

Reflexive Learning: Students critically reflect on their personal learning through application of course concepts to a lived experience or current event.


Asks whether we have a global responsibility to the civilians of other countries and explores a range of ethical issues in international relations from a normative and applied empirical perspective.

Topics include ethics of intervention, right to secession, amnesty and forgiveness, distributive justice and development, climate justice, and responsibility for refugees.

Senior Seminar

Active Learning: Presentation and discussion of an ethical dilemma at the heart of a given case study.


Explores questions of peacebuilding and the effectiveness of international peace efforts through a comparative lens.

Theories of intervention and peacebuilding, methods of analysis, and the purpose of peace research for policy are emphasized. Considers the potentially negative effects of peacebuilding practices upon the post-conflict society.

Senior Seminar

Active Learning: Mini-conference, paper presentations via panels.


Critically examines the impact of institutional and historical contexts upon the inclusion and exclusion of diverse groups and ideas in negotiation processes.

Comparative contexts are presented using first-hand accounts from individual negotiators across several case studies, including the Northern Ireland Forum, Indigenous treaty negotiations in BC, and Utah’s immigration reform.

Lecture Course, Delivered Online

Problem-Based Learning: Students prepare a conflict map and negotiation plan for a contemporary case study.


Critically assesses the impact of power and representation across the three UN objectives of peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development.

Major topics include north-south tensions, women's exclusion and inclusion, burden-sharing, and statism versus globalism. The course concludes with a simulation of complex negotiation.

Lecture Course

Experiential Learning: Three-week modeling simulation of a contemporary negotiation process at the UN and writing a Critical Policy Brief.

Visit the 2023 Negotiations website

Featured as an Exemplar Course in Globally Engaged Curriculum online at Queen's CTL.

European Politics

Interrogates the notion of a European ‘identity’ through the political tensions at the shifting borders of the European Union. The course begins with the historical underpinnings of the European Union, followed by an analysis of theories and processes of EU integration and expansion and the notion of the “Europeanization” of its member, and potential member, states.

Major topics include crises that have emerged on the “periphery,” including Turkey’s EU accession process, Cyprus, the migration crisis, war in Ukraine, Brexit and Northern Ireland.

Lecture Course

Reflective Learning: Students engage with a randomly drawn European state throughout the semester and reflect on new learning experiences.


Curriculum Development, Pedagogical Advancement, and Teaching Service

I am engaged in active teaching development both in my own pedagogy and in my department and wider university. I first worked on a cyclical program review in 2015 and, having since served on various hiring, ethics, and teaching excellence awards committees, have endeavoured to expand my own experience with the logistical and programmatical sides of university teaching and learning.

In light of this, I was excited to work as an Educational Development Associate with the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen's University from 2021-2022.

CTL Logo

Selected Workshops

Active Learning in Higher Education
Ed Tech and Decolonization in the Political Studies Classroom
A UN Simulation in the Virtual Classroom

Contact Me

Media Inquiries

I am available for commentary on various current events, in particular those regarding the negotiations in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, but additionally the related subjects of Brexit and the Migration tension in Turkish-Greek relations.

I have recently completed research on the impact of COVID-19 in Cyprus and the Protocol in Northern Ireland.

View my media profile at Queen's University: www.queensu.ca/.../sam-twietmeyer

“Learn something new, and teach another person something you know. That’s how life thrives, progresses and continues. Knowledge is what makes us who we are. The more experience and skills we have and share the better persons we become.”
-Noora Ahmed Alsuwaidi