Dr. Tatsushi (Tats) Arai (新井立志) is an Associate Professor at Kent State University’s School of Peace and Conflict Studies. He is a peace researcher and conflict resolution practitioner with twenty-five years of international experience. Dr. Arai has led or co-led conflict resolution initiatives in over twenty countries across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East as well as in the United States. Prior to joining Kent State in 2019, Dr. Arai had served as a United Nations Senior Mediation Advisor on a when-actually-employed basis and as the Sergio de Mello Endowed Visiting Chair in the Practice of Post-Conflict Diplomacy at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He was also a Professor of Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation at the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute in Vermont and previously taught international relations at the National University of Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide. He received a PhD from George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution (formerly S-CAR/ICAR) in 2005 and its Distinguish Alumnus Award in 2015.
Dr. Arai's research focuses broadly on peacebuilding and multi-track diplomacy (engaging both government and civil society actors) with a sustained commitment to transforming large-scale intractable conflicts. Dr. Arai’s current research explores (1) how to identify and strengthen mediative social processes and functions within and across conflict-affected societies, (2) how to foster functional coexistence between adversaries who view each other as an existential threat, and (3) how to make use of applied peacebuilding practice for methodological innovations in action research.
Dr. Arai’s recent peacebuilding practice as a mediator, dialogue facilitator, trainer, mentor, and designer of systemic social change includes supporting a Nigerian-led initiative in building a sustainable reconciliation platform for the community reintegration of rehabilitated former Boko Haram members; training Syrian and Lebanese humanitarian professionals in mediation skills; facilitating capacity-building workshops for diplomats from Muslim-majority countries; promoting interfaith and inter-communal coexistence in Singapore and Myanmar (including in Rakhine State), and conducting Interactive Conflict Resolution workshops on the Taiwan Strait as well as on China-Japan relations. (Dr Arai's TED Talk on his peacebuilding practice is available here.)
Dr. Arai is a Japanese citizen and lives with his tri-national family in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. He speaks English and Japanese and has a functional knowledge of French.
LeBaron, M. and V. Pillay (as lead authors), and T. Arai, N. Carstarphen, and K. Bhangoo. 2006. Conflict across Cultures: A Unique Experience of Bridging Differences. Boston: Intercultural Press. (Sample chapters.)
Peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters (selected)
Arai, T. 2021. Conflict Resolution and Historical reconciliation in East Asia: Lessons from China-Taiwan Civil Society Dialogues. In: Development in Reconciliation Studies: Memories, Emotions, and Values – Series for the Development in Reconciliation Studies 1: Principles and Methods, ed. Toyomi Asano. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten Publisher. (In Japanese; English summary)
Arai, T, M. Ragueneau, and G. Schinina. 2019. Integration of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Transformation and Mediation. Chapter in The Manual for Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support. International Organization for Migration (IOM), Geneva. (Served as an IOM scientific committee for the production of the manual.)
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with T. Arai as the principal author. 2018. Enacting a Culture of Peace: Adult Learners’ Guide to Peace Education in Myanmar. Yangon, Myanmar: UNESCO Myanmar. (In Burmese; English description.)
Arai, T. 2018. Demobilization, Dissociation, Reintegration, and Reconciliation in Northeastern Nigeria: Findings from the Field Research and Capacity-Building Activities. Report for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) - a UN migration agency.
For more information about Dr Arai's publications and peacebuilding initiatives, please visit his website. A request for a PDF version of any of the publications which may not be found above as well as all forms of inquiry on peacebuilding practice and policy support are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University (2005)