Global Peace and Social Justice

About the Centre for Peace Studies

Formally established in 1989, the Centre for Peace Studies at McMaster grew from the shared concern of scholars and physicians at McMaster about the dangers of the Cold War. This collaboration initially led to the introduction of an undergraduate course in Peace Studies, and ultimately to the Combined Honours BA program and Minor in Peace Studies (now Global Peace and Social Justice). It also gave rise to public education initiatives, including the Bertrand Russell Peace Lectures and the Mahatma Gandhi Lectures on Nonviolence, as well as other lectures and conferences on areas such as peace advocacy, social justice education and peace through health.


The Centre for Peace Studies continues to be distinguished by its strong connection to the Health Sciences and has developed expertise in researching and applying ways to build peace through health initiatives. Both locally and globally, the Centre for Peace Studies explores and applies strategies for educating for a culture of peace. For a number of years, it worked in a local partnership with the Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace to facilitate the Annual Conferences on Peace Education in Canada, which provided opportunities for participants to exchange knowledge and develop critical skills for nonviolent social change. The Centre’s focus on peace education has also been an important part of its projects in areas of conflict; for example, the Afghanistan project resulted in introducing peace education into the national curriculum and getting 40,000 copies of a peace education book into Afghan schools.


Many of our researchers work in collaboration with the Population Health Research Institute, the Bertrand Russell Archives, the Institute for Globalization and the Human Condition, the Gender Studies and Feminist Research Program and the Centre for Human Rights and Restorative Justice.


Activities of the Centre for Peace Studies include supporting Hamilton’s annual Gandhi Peace Festival and sponsoring workshops, seminars and public lectures on campus and in the community. Students will benefit from their interactions with both local and international researchers, practitioners and activists that are regularly sponsored by the Centre and from the Centre’s extensive collaboration with both on-campus and off-campus communities.

Advisory Committee

The Centre for Peace Studies is led by an advisory committee that represents our collaborative, interdisciplinary and community engaged centre.

Peace Through Health

Peace through health (PtH) is focused on the study of how health interventions in actual and potential war zones may contribute to peace.

Gandhi Peace Festival

The annual Gandhi Peace Festival provides an avenue for peace and human rights organizations within the local community to exchange dialogue and resources in the promotion of nonviolence, peace, and justice.

Mahila Shanti Sena

Mahila Shanti Sena (MSS) is a peace training program for women founded in Vaishali (Bihar) in a collaborative effort between the Centre for Peace Studies and Shrambharati (NGO).


The Centre for Peace Studies continues to host international conferences focused on facilitating dialogue on peace research and initiatives.

Hope Chair

The HOPE Chair in Peace and Health is an endowed chair in the Faculty of Humanities. The HOPE Chair teaches courses and supervises students in the Global Peace and Social Justice Program.

Mahatma Gandhi Lectures on Nonviolence

The Mahatma Gandhi Lectures on Nonviolence is a publicly-funded endowed annual lecture.


Members affiliated with the Centre publish books and articles on peace and justice addressing global and local issues.

Peace Events

No upcoming events.

For questions or if you need any information on the Centre, please contact the Director of the Centre for Peace Studies, Dr. Chandrima Chakraborty, chandri@mcmaster.ca.