Welcome

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

About Me

My name is Samantha Twietmeyer and I am a scholar, teacher, and practitioner of peace and conflict resolution.

I am currently a PhD Candidate at Queen’s University in Comparative Politics and International Relations. My thesis project critically analyzes the impact of third-party actors upon the settlement negotiations in Northern Ireland and Cyprus. This project is part of my wider ongoing interest in conflict settlement and peace negotiation 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 hope to make a career educating and training future academics and peace-builders in the field of peace and conflict resolution.

I have also completed previous work on the ethics of intervention and the critique of the Liberal Peace in peacebuilding theory and practice.

In 2017, I was a visiting researcher at the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict, Queen’s University, Belfast.

Research Interests

conflict management + resolution
complex negotiation
peace settlement processes
diverse and divided societies
ethics of intervention
peacebuilding and global justice
nationalism and federalism
Indigenous-Settler negotiations
Northern Ireland ⋅ Cyprus ⋅ Afghanistan ⋅ Iraq ⋅ Canada
United Nations ⋅ EU

View Curriculum-Vitae

Projects

Indigenous Land Rights and Reconciliation.Podcast Producer.

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.

The limited Podcast presents a six-episode audio presentation of the live workshop panels. 

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

Listen to the Podcast Visit the Project Website
ILRR Podcast

Complex Diversity in Divided Cities. Project Coordinator and Belfast Lead.

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.

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

Divided Cities

The Double Minority Dilemma.Third Parties in Peace Processes: Cyprus and Northern Ireland.

My thesis project investigates the impact of third-parties upon the Double Minority Dilemma that informs the negotiation structure in each case. 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.

Winner of Queen's University Annual 3MT

3MT 2021 Finalists
Double Minority

Environmental Vulnerability in Peace Agreements.PA-X Data Project.

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.
Divided Cities

Teaching

I believe foremost in the value of life-long education.

In pursuit of that goal I endeavor to inspire students to action beyond their institutional learning, which 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 a core set of three values in my teaching:

I approach the question of accessibility from several perspectives, from the incorporation of accessible learning strategies and tools to the provision of a variety of approaches to learning and methods of evaluation. 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 modes of evaluation (written, oral, etc.). If I request a variety of modes of evaluation, then I should use the same logic in my presentation of course content. This not only means that the course content should be provided across different mediums, including oral lectures, slides, readings, and activities, but also that the course content sources should be diverse in its approaches and understandings.

Beyond accessible course delivery, my syllabi incorporate a wide variety of literature from different intersectional voices and perspectives, with an emphasis on diverse representation. Diverse content is not only valuable for broadening understandings, it is also a provision of accessible material for students with diverse learning behaviours. Along with an effort to increase representations, students should engage with this material in different formats of delivery. This requires a tricky balance between necessary academic rigour and public media.

“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. This requires a constant balance of both critical engagement and honest reflection, both upon the subject matter and upon the course itself.

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. In the spirit of life-long learning, I know that I am still improving my own abilities in maintaining an open dialogue with my students about the methodology of my teaching, encouraging them to challenge my course structure where it needs to be challenged so that we can begin to break down the dominant perspectives which traditionally frame research in conflict resolution and political studies. This is an ongoing process of learning in which I look forward to the many lessons still to come.

[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 attempt to bring a multi-disciplinary approach to my courses which engages students in broader thinking about power, place, and society. This encourages students to think more broadly about how the subjects they learn within my course apply to their other academic courses and beyond academe. I also draw upon practitioner training to introduce hands-on activities and simulation experience to students in order to demonstrate dilemmas in the application of theory to praxis in peace and conflict studies, specifically, and across politics more broadly. 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.

A student’s most valuable learning is that which they take with them beyond the classroom and give back to society. When we structure courses to pursue this form of learning we increase student engagement, and vice versa. 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 or the lives of their family and society. This relationship may be achieved through connections to other courses or through the direct application of theoretical knowledge to policy and praxis.

Selected Courses

GlobalJustice

Global Justice

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.

In-Person Seminar

UnitedNations

The United Nations

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, Delivered In-Person and Online

ConflictResolution

Peace and Conflict Resolution

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.

In Person Seminar

PoliticalNegotiation

Political Negotiation

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

“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

Contact Me

ST-LogoUnder Construction

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 on peace processes in Northern Ireland and Cyprus.

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