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Dr Iain Atack

Head of Confederal School of Religions, Peace Studies and Theology
Assistant Professor in International Peace Studies


Iaian Atack

Contact details
Tel: 00353-1-8964777
Fax: + 353 (0) 1 896 672 5024

Iain Atack has a B.A. in philosophy and an M.Phil. in peace studies from Trinity College Dublin and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Toronto. He obtained his D.Phil. from the University of Ulster for a thesis on Contingent Pacifism and Moral Pluralism. His book on Nonviolence in Political Theory was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2012. His book The Ethics of Peace and War was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2005 as part of its series on World Ethics. He has published articles on topics ranging from nonviolence and pacifism to development and peacebuilding. His research interests include the ethics and politics of nonviolent action and dimensions and processes of peacebuilding.

Dr Atack’s current PhD students are working on a wide variety of topics including: peace education using videoconferencing between secondary school students in the U.S. and the Middle East, the role of secular humanitarian organisations in religious contexts, peace journalism in the Horn of Africa, gender and peacebuilding in the Benue Valley, Nigeria, gendered indicators for the impact of development aid in Nicaragua, and challenges to peacebuilding by secular Palestinian civil society organisations in Gaza.

He has worked for a number of peace and development NGOs in Canada, Ireland and Sri Lanka, including Quaker Peace and Service, Peace Brigades International and Canadian Friends Service Committee. He is a member of the board of Action from Ireland (Afri) and chairperson of the Irish Forum for Peace in Sri Lanka (IFPSL). The IFPSL organized the People’s Tribunal on Sri Lana in January 2010, hosted by the ISE and Trinity College Dublin. He is also a board member of the International Peace Bureau.

Areas of expertise
Peacebuilding and conflict prevention, the ethics and politics of nonviolence, Sri Lanka, comparative peace processes, NGOs in development

Modules taught
The Politics of Peace and Conflict
Conflict Resolution and Nonviolence
Armed Conflict, Peacebuilding and Development

Select publications
Atack, I. (2012) Nonviolence in Political Theory, Edinburgh University Press.

Atack, I. (2009) “Peace Studies and social change: the role of ethics and human agency” Policy and Practice.

Atack, I. (2006) “Nonviolent political action and the limits of consent” Theoria.

Atack, I. (2005) The Ethics of Peace and War, Edinburgh University Press.

Atack, I. (2004) “Peacebuilding as conflict management or political engineering” Trocaire Development Review.

Atack, I. (1999 "Four criteria of development NGO legitimacy" World Development.

Last updated 10 March 2015 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).