The PhD-Programme creates an interdisciplinary framework for dialogical understanding of the structural nature of conflict and the development of sustainable conflict resolution strategies. The combination of practical elements with high standards for university education is what makes the wasatia Graduate School unique.
The operational base in Germany allows spaces of understanding to emerge. Young doctoral students are exposed to other national and religious narratives (contested narratives). No other country in the world has a broader experience in coming to terms with the past than does Germany after two dictatorships.
At the societal level, strategically positioned experts are trained in the fight against anti-Semitism: Palestinians learn from the encounter with German history; Germans assume a historically-developed responsibility; Israelis participate in the learning process and discover their own roots in Germany and Europe.
Teaching Holocaust, a concept where doctoral students are taught academically about the Shoah and then guided through concentration camps in Auschwitz and Buchenwald, in order to raise awareness of the German history during Nazism and the culture of remembrance.
Concerning the politics of the past, confrontation with one's own—often traumatic—past is promoted in protected spaces: for only those who are reconciled within and with themselves can be reconciled with others. And only those who can empathize with others and their fate will bring the potential for peace back to their homeland.
In bringing students from Israel and the Palestinian Territories to Germany and allow them to interact with German and other international students they also learn from country-cases such as Ireland, South Africa, and the Balkans. The PhD-program supports five objectives:
1. To enable the doctoral students to pursue an advanced university degree in an academic discipline, while simultaneously gaining sensitivity to cultural, ethnic and interreligious challenges (anti-Semitism, Islamophobia);
2. To develop strategies to enhance leadership potential, problem solving skills, critical thinking, analytical and communication skills, and the development of professional knowledge and expertise (peace and conflict studies, reconciliation, dialogue skills);
3. To allow to build bridges of understanding between different religions through interreligious dialogue (Scriptural Reasoning);
4. To train the doctoral students prepare educational institutions and experts of influence in this important field as an essential item on the agenda for education, in order to pave the way for a peaceful world;
5. To address the urgent need to build a diplomatic corps of peacemakers, in order to improve public understanding and receptivity to facilitation and peace initiatives.