The Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) was founded in 1982 by Dr Gerald Mader and other like-minded people. We are located at Schlaining Castle in Southern Burgenland, with a second office in Vienna, the nation’s capital. Our work has earned us the status of UN “Peace Messenger” and a UNESCO “Prize for Peace Education”.
The ASPR is an independent, non-profit and non-partisan organisation. It is engaged in research, education/training and practical conflict transformation.
In recent years, the environment and context for international actors engaging in violent conflict have changed considerably. The ASPR research agenda aims to consider these changes and to focus on understanding possible consequences and shaping outcomes. Our research is also the basis for policy consulting. ASPR publications include Policy Briefs and Reports. Our Peace Library comprises more than 30,000 monographs and is a valuable resource for researchers and the interested public.
Our Education/Training department focuses on two core areas: Peace Education and the training of civilian experts for peacebuilding and conflict transformation, who are or will be deployed in crisis regions. Every year more than 1,000 pupils participate in our peace education programmes, and hundreds of civilian experts are trained within our various training programmes like ESDC, IPT, ENTRi, EU AV, and the OSCE Summer Academy. On request we develop and offer tailor-made training courses. We also run the Peace Museum, which is located in the castle, with the aim to promote global values for a culture of peace, and we organise the annual Summer Academy, which is open to all.
At the ASPR, we offer a safe space for conflict parties to engage in dialogue, and we support peace mediation processes. We also engage in crisis regions to mediate between conflict parties. Through our work, we developed a particular approach in conflict transformation, focusing on working first with conflict parties separately, in order to prepare them for genuine dialogue with other conflict parties.
After a millennium full of blood and terror - when will mankind's old dream of eternal peace finally come true? The change of basic attitudes, the constant (scientific) work on the causes of conflicts and wars and the dissemination of a credible message of peace to the broadest sections of the population - that is what the ASPR can do convincingly.
Erwin Schranz, former President of the Landtag in Burgenland