Over the years, social changes in Thailand’s southern border provinces have caused conflict,
misunderstanding, and mistrust between parties, resulting in the ongoing violence in the deep south of Thailand.
Institute for Peace Studies, Prince of Songkla University, with its primary role being to provide education at
both undergraduate and graduate levels, is well aware of the need to resolve such disputes.
Having offered the Master of Arts Program in Conflict and Peace Studies since the 2008 academic year,
the Institute, in collaboration with the Research and Development Office, Prince of Songkla University,
has finally established a research unit called the Peace Studies for Southern Development Research Unit under
a contractual agreement of three years from July 17, 2013 to July 16, 2016, with the purpose being to support
research and academic work undertaken by our lecturers, students, and other interested individuals,
in the areas of Political Science, Public Administration, Social Sciences, and Peace and Conflict Studies.
Within the aforementioned academic disciplines, the Unit also provides collaborative opportunities for community members to acquire and develop research skills necessary for the effective practice of community conflict resolution through its extracurricular and academic service activities.
Despite the fact that the Unit has been forced to cease its operation following the expiration of the agreement, there are still ongoing conflicts, not only in Thailand’s southern border provinces but throughout the country, e.g. conflict over natural resources or conflict between the public and voluntary sectors over large-scale construction projects, etc.
The Institute for Peace Studies, Prince of Songkla University, is an academic institute dedicated to the proposition that peace is possible, aiming to contribute to the promotion of and produce specialists in peaceful conflict resolution, as well as seeking to engender a mutual understanding in order to bring peace to the region, leading to the need for constant research and academic skills development activities.
The Institute for Peace Studies also plans to establish the College of Interdisciplinary Peace Studies in response to current and future conflict situations of all kinds in the Thai society, Southeast Asia, and many different nations and regions worldwide.
In order for the Institute to encompass a growing number of lecturers’ and students’ academic work as a result of the future establishment of the College, to limit and prevent conflict escalation through the advancement of knowledge in the fields of Political Science, Public Administration, Social Sciences, Economics, Natural Resources, Community Rights, History, Religion, and Peace and Conflict Studies, and to ensure continuity of the research and academic work carried out by members of the Unit at the time of the execution of its initial agreement, there is an absolute necessity that the Peace Studies for Southern Development Research Unit be re-established so as to maintain its momentum and progress further in bringing about long-lasting and durable peace in southern Thailand.