Mari Fitzduff

Professor Emerita of The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Mari  Fitzduff's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 241
Phone: 781-736-2873
Brandeis Directory


Neuroscience, Conflict and Peacebuilding.
Peace Processes.
Public Policy on Diversity Issues
Professional/Graduate Education Coexistence Issues.
Social Psychology of Intercommunal/IntersocietalConflict.


  • HS 210a - Coexistence and Conflict: Theory and Analysis
  • HS 233f - Social Policy for Shared Societies
  • HS 271f - Social Psychological Approaches to Local and International Conflict


  • New University of Ulster
  • University of Ulster
  • University College Dublin
  • Queen's University
  • Trinity College Dublin

Mari Fitzduff

Professor Emerita of The Heller School for Social Policy and Management


Mari Fitzduff brings more than 25 years of experience in coexistence policy development, practice and research to the program. From 1990 to 1997, she served as chief executive of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, which was at the forefront in developing governmental policies and local community programs to tackle many decades of violent conflict. More recently she served as director of UNU/INCORE, a United Nations University center and one of the world’s leading organizations for international research on conflict. The center was based at the University of Ulster, where she was chair of conflict studies.

Fitzduff has served as a consultant and trainer on conflict programs in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Basque country and the CIS states. She is frequently tapped by governments and international organizations as an international expert on issues of conflict and diversity. Her many publications include "Community Conflict Skills: A Handbook for Anti-Sectarian Work"; "Beyond Violence: Conflict Resolution Processes in Northern Ireland," which won an American Library Association Notable Book award; and "NGOs at the Table," with Cheyanne Church. She is also coeditor of the three-volume series "The Psychology of War, Conflict Resolution and Peace." In addition she has edited 'Public Policies for Shared Societies' which is concerned with optimal public policies for divided societies. Her current interest is in Conflict and Neuroscience and she has published an Introduction to Neuroscience and Peacebuilding for the conflict and peacebuilding field. Her current interests and research are in Cross Cultural Neuroscience, and Neuroscience and Followership. In 2017 she published an edited book'Why irrational Politics Appeal - understanding the Allure of Trump. Her latest book, published by Oxford University Press in 2021 is called Our Brains at War: The Neuroscience of Conflict and Peacebuilding

Awards and Honors

  • Heller Teaching Award (2014)
  • Appointed to Bridgeway Board. (2013)
  • Appointed to the Danish Government Council for Strategic Research (2013)
  • Harvard Faculty Associate , Project on Negotiation, (2010)
  • Member Board Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University (2010)
  • Vanderbild University : Institute for Conflict Resolution Annual Award (2009)
  • Global Expert, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (2008)
  • Academic Expert, Club of Madrid Shared Societies Project (2007)
  • Member, Global Leader Network (2004)
  • Chair, Coexistence Initiative (2003)
  • American Library Notable Publications Award (2002)
  • Member, International Conflict Resolution Council, Carter Center, Atlanta (ongoing) (2001)
  • Member, Coexistence Initiative, International group focusing on coexistence issues, based in New York (ongoing) (1998)
  • UK Woman of the Year (1997)
  • Director, Peace Institute, Limerick, Republic of Ireland (ongoing) (1994)
  • British American Successor Project (1990)


  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "What does Neuroscience have to offer peacebuilders?." Oxford Research Group. (2018).
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. Why Irrational Politics Appeals: Understanding the appeal of Trump. Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2017.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "Building Peace in a Complex World." Journal of Corporate Citizenship, Volume 2015, Number 58, June 2015, pp. 31-34(4) 2015. 58 (2016): 31-34.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "Trust Building in Northern Ireland." Trust Building and Reconciliation. Ed. Dan Bar Tal. Tel Aviv:, 2016
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "An Introduction to Neuroscience for Peacebuilders.." Neuroscience and Peacebuilding, Washington DC. Peace and Collaborative Development, 2015.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "Human Rights as War by other means: Peace Politics in Northern Ireland.." Rev. of Jennifer Curtis. Philadelphia,, by Jennifer Curtis. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.. American Ethnologist 2015
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine, Club of Madrid Publications. Minority Women as Agents of Change for Shared Societies.. Madrid Club of Madrid: 2013.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. Public Policies for Shared Societies: The foreigner next door.. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. Shared Society Government Audit for the Club of Madrid. Madrid Club of Madrid: 2012.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine, Tim Sisk. Religion and Post Conflict Peacebuilding Syllabus. Henry Luce Foundation: 2011.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "'Just Enough to Hate; Not Enough to Love... Religious Leaders and Conflict Management in Northern Ireland'." Between Terror and Tolerance: Religious Leaders, Conflict and Peacemaking in Deeply Divided Societies . Ed. Tim Sisk. Georgtown University Press, 2011
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. Peace Education: State of the Field and Lessons Learned from USIP grantmaking.. Washington DC United States Institute of Peace: 2011.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "Fitzduff, Mari: (2010) Women and War in Northern Ireland – A Slow Growth to Power." Peace Prints, a South Asian Journal of Peacebuilding.. Vol. 3.. No. 1: Spring 2010 Gender Peace and Conflict (2010): 1-10.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "From Violence to Agreement - the work of the Community Relations Council in Northern Ireland.." The New Humanitarian :Inspiration, Innovations and Blueprints for Visionaries.. First ed. vol. 1 Ed. Chris Stout. Westport CT: Greenwood, 2008
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "Measuring Social Inclusion and Cohesion ¿ the Challenges.." Expert Group Meeting on Creating and Inclusive Society: Practical Strategies to Promote Social Integration., Paris, France, 10 - 13 September 2007. United Nations Press., 2008.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "Paving the way.." Rev. of Paving the Way, by Ron Fisher.. Political Psychology 2008 vol. April 2008. March 8th 2008: 3.
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "¿From Violence to Agreement ¿ the work of the Community Relations Council in Northern Ireland.'." The New Humanitarians : The New Humanitarian: Inspiration, Innovation and Blueprints for Visionaries. vol. Vol 1 Ed. Chris Stout. Praegar Press, 2008
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "Breaking Down the Walls - Lessons Learned from Northern Ireland." Israeli-Palestinian Journal Summer issue 2006. (2007).
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. "Fitzduff,M: (2007) Ten things Leaders ought to know ¿ and do ¿ about Conflicts and War. In Leadership is Global Eds Link,W, Corral T, Gerzon, M. Shinyo-en Foundation, Japan.." Leadership is Global. Ed. Eds Link,W, Corral T, Gerzon, M.. Tokyo: Shinyo-en Foundation, 2007
  • Fitzduff, Mari Christine. `Core Competencies for Graduate Programs in Coexistence and Conflict.¿. Woodrow Wilson Center.. DC: 2007.
  • Fitzduff,Mari Christine; Co edited with Chris Stout, Chris Stout. "The Psychology of Resolving Global Conflicts: From War to Peace." Praeger (2006).
  • Mari Fitzduff, Gordon Peake, Cathy Gormley Keenan. "War Lords versus Peace Lords.." UNU/INCORE (2005).
  • Fitzduff, M and Church C. "NGO's at the Table.." Rowan and Littlefield (2004).
  • Fitzduff,Mari Christine. Beyond Violence - Conflict Resolution Processes in Northern Ireland. Brookings Institute/United Nations University Press, 2002.
  • Gernika Gogoratuz, Gernika-Lumo. "Mas alla de laViolencia' Procesos de resolucion de conflicto en Irlanda del Norte',." (1998).
  • Fitzduff,Mari Christine. Community Conflict Skills'. A handbook for anti-sectarian work. (also 1990 and 1995). Published by Commmunity Conflict Skills project/Community Relations Council project, 1988.