U.S. Institute of Peace Grants for Projects on International Peace, Conflict Resolution

By Turpen, Bill L. | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 2003 | Go to article overview

U.S. Institute of Peace Grants for Projects on International Peace, Conflict Resolution


Turpen, Bill L., Washington Report on Middle East Affairs


Each year, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) sponsors two types of grants. The Solicited Grant has a designated topic or theme of "special interest to the Institute." This past year's two topics, for instance, were, "The Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction," and "Bridging the Divides: Improving Relations with, and within, the Muslim World."

Topics for Unsolicited Grants are open, as long as the proposal "fits within the Institute's general mandate of international conflict resolution." Proposals of an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary nature are welcome. The Fall 2003 deadline has passed, but information on the Spring 2004 competition is available at .

Now for the bad news: President George W. Bush recently appointed Daniel Pipes to the USIP board. Because it was a "recess appointment," Pipes did not require Senate confirmation and may remain on the board for a truncated 18-month term. Perhaps his presence will have no effect on the grant selection criteria. On the other hand, the fairness of the process could well be compromised. The situation bears close watching.

Pipes may be busy for the next few months, anyway. He is being sued. A sociology adjunct professor at the University of Oregon claims Pipes falsely labeled him as "anti-Semitic," and as a "left-wing extremist" who "indoctrinates" his students. These, of course, are the same familiar Campus-Watch/Middle East Forum accusations, but Douglas Card is taking the matter to court.

Card claims he has attempted to resolve this matter in the past, but that Pipes remains uncooperative and refuses to retract the offending column, "Extremists on Campus." This, despite Card's support from Jewish leaders in Eugene, Oregon and a favorable letter published in Portland's Jewish Review.

Other academics under attack by Pipes, his Campus-Watch organization, and the Middle East Forum include Prof. Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University. Dr. Dabashi reports his e-mail was flooded with hate mail after he was featured in a Pipes article in a New York tabloid, and that other academics were singled out as well. Dabashi was obliged to obtain a new e-mail address from the university, while threatening e-mail to his old address is forwarded to the police.

Institutes in Turkey

Opportunities for study in Turkey next semester include two projects led by Dr. Manoucher Khosrowshahi of Tyler Junior College. From March 5 to 14, participants will study "the crossroads of civilization. . .the splendor of Western Turkey." The all-inclusive cost is $1,875, which includes airfare from Dallas.

A second institute for eastern Turkey will be held from May 14 to 30. Its cost is $3,150, again all-inclusive. Both projects accept students, faculty and non-academic participants. Contact Professor Khosrowshahi at . Enrollment will be on a first-come, first-served basis, and college credit may be arranged for these projects.

Another opportunity in Turkey, "Constructing the Past in the Middle East: A Summer Institute," is restricted to scholars with a Ph.D. or equivalent. To be held in Istanbul, this institute is funded by the Getty Grant Program in partnership with the International Institute and the Office of Summer Programs at UCLA. Art historians Irene A. Bierman of UCLA, and Robert S. Nelson of the University of Chicago will lead participants in a month-long program of monuments, religion, understanding the past, nation states, and global vs. local issues. The program includes a one-week field trip to selected sites in Turkey.

"While the Middle East will be the center of the intellectual activities," according to the organizers, "the Institute will emphasize that the problems explored are not merely regional; they inform and direct peoples and states globally. …

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