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The Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR) to begin operations in a few months



By Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen
TFF Peace Antenna and TRANSCEND member




1. Introduction - PATRIR

A vital new initiative is being launched to promote peacebuilding and peaceful conflict transformation in Romania and Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

The Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR), is due to begin work in January, 2001. Already, however, a great deal is being done to lay the foundations for this new Institute.

In order to make this effort successful, we are asking for your support, and are inviting you, as individuals and through your organisations, to cooperate together with PATRIR in ways that will help to strengthen the work of the Institute.

Below you will find a complete outline and description of the Institute, including its structure, vision, and methodology. If you would like to receive more information, or to explore ways in which we could cooperate together, please feel free to write to us at


2. PATRIR Outline

PATRIR: Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania

The Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR) is both an institute, organisation, training centre and network, linking together scholars, grassroots activists, and critical thinkers throughout Romania. Its aim is to address the core challenges facing Romania and the countries of south and eastern Europe, to strengthen and empower grassroots organisations and citizens action, to mobilise people for active peace work and peaceful conflict transformation, and to address the structural causes of poverty, human rights violations and economic and social injustice. PATRIR is an institute and an organisation for research and active peace work. The four methods of PATRIR work are based upon Action, Research, Training and Dissemination.

PATRIR is a force for radical and constructive critique, for the empowerment of people and promotion of active democracy, self-determination, sustainable development, and peaceful conflict transformation.



PATRIR will be built upon three complementary pillars: (i) the PATRIR Network made up of scholars and critical thinkers throughout Romania dealing with issues related to peace and conflict, development, globalisation, poverty, structural violence, gender, human rights, and ecology; (ii) cooperation with the universities of Babes-Bolyai (Cluj), Black Sea University (Bucharest), and Valahia University (Targoviste) [a fourth university in northern Romania should be identified, possibly the University of Iasi], with courses in peace and development studies to be offered at each of the universities, and; (iii) the PATRIR Centre in Cluj-Napoca, the coordinating nucleus for PATRIR as an organisation, and the main PATRIR Institute, Training and Peace Action Centre in Romania.



The core method of all PATRIR work is praxis, combining research and critique with active peace work and peaceful conflict transformation. PATRIR as an organisation will work together with citizens groups and peoples movements in Romania, Eastern Europe, and internationally to strengthen grassroots democracies and the empowerment of local communities. PATRIR will cooperate with researchers, students, individuals, governments, and civil society groups to address the structural transformations brought about in Eastern Europe through the adhesion of Eastern European countries to the global market and processes of capitalisation and globalisation.

PATRIR as an organisation, institute and network is dedicated to strengthening human rights and the rights of the people of Romania and eastern Europe to self-determination, to promoting global solidarity and democracy, and to addressing the core challenges of globalisation and free-marketisation. PATRIR is committed to promoting democratic structures and citizens participation both within Romania and globally. To this end, PATRIR will work to strengthen cooperation between groups and organisations within Romania, and to strengthen cooperation with similar solidarity and peoples based organisations throughout eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Western Europe and North America.



The PATRIR model combines a network of researchers and scholars throughout Romania with the PATRIR Institute in Cluj-Napoca. PATRIR researchers will be individuals, scholars and professors working throughout Romania addressing core issues of peace and conflict, development, globalisation, poverty, structural violence, gender, human rights, and ecology.

PATRIR research will be based upon the method of Diagnosis-Prognosis-Therapy, combining clear and powerful critique with creative therapy and suggestions for what can be done. The PATRIR Institute in Cluj-Napoca will work to coordinate all PATRIR research programmes and the publication of PATRIR Research Papers and Books.


The six core programmes of PATRIR research will be:

Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation

Nonviolence and Peace Strategies

Politics and Governance

Globalisation, Human Rights, and Social and Economic Development

Alternative Defence and Security

Ecological Sustainability

Social, economic and political transformations resulting from the events following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and continuing transformations in Romania and throughout Eastern Europe will be one of the core research foci of the Institute and Network. This will be placed within a context of globalisation, capitalisation, and the spread of free-market democracy, together with a search for viable and creative alternatives challenging the negative and destructive effects of current economic and political maldevelopments.

Peoples movements, nonviolent action, democratic participation, and peaceful conflict transformation will be at the heart of the search for alternatives, influencing both PATRIRs research and action.



The PATRIR Training Centre will be one of the main pillars of PATRIR work. Though the Centre itself will be based in Cluj-Napoca, PATRIR training can be carried out in any location throughout Romania, or, in cooperation with PATRIRs partners and cooperating organisations, internationally. PATRIR training will be made up of 1 and 2 day(s) modules, 1 and 2 week(s) courses, and a three weeks summer school beginning in the summer of 2001. Like the research programmes, PATRIR training will focus upon peacebuilding and conflict transformation, development, globalisation, poverty, structural violence, gender, human rights, and ecology. Training programmes will also be developed in: Peace Journalism; Peace Education; Peace and Human Rights; Nonviolent Action and Peoples Movements; Mobilisation, Democratisation, Empowerment.

Participants in PATRIR training will be mainly: individuals active in citizens groups, social movements and civil society organisations in Romania and internationally, students, teachers, human rights activists, social workers, politicians, journalists, lawyers, community leaders, business people, and committed individuals. PATRIR training programmes will be both creative and challenging, skills and knowledge intensive, and highly participatory.

PATRIR trainers will be drawn from within Romania and internationally. Internationally, PATRIR trainers will be drawn primarily from the ICL/Praxis for Peace, TRANSCEND, the Transnational Foundation for Future and Peace Research (TFF), and the International South Group Network (ISGN). PATRIR trainers will all be leading trainers, researchers, and political activists with experience globally and/or within Romania.



In addition to Research and Training, PATRIR will also be actively involved in peaceful conflict transformation at the local, national, regional, and international levels. The majority of PATRIRs involvement in this area, however, will be focussed upon conflicts within Romania and South and Eastern Europe.

Within Romania, PATRIR will work closely with Romanian, Hungarian, and Romani organisations to address the Romanian, Hungarian and Romani conflicts within Romania, and to promote human rights and peaceful conflict transformation for all the people of Romania. PATRIR will also work closely with organisations and institutions in neighbouring countries working to address these issues.

PATRIR will also focus upon strengthening and cooperating together with citizens groups and civil society organisations in Romania and throughout the region working to address issues of social, economic and political injustice and for the promotion of democratisation and human rights.

Given the very dramatic state of environmental destruction in several parts of Romania and throughout South and Eastern Europe, PATRIR will also be involved in promoting ecological awareness and environmental sustainability, while working to promote a more holistic and healthy relationship between individuals, communities, and the environment. PATRIR Action will involve work-shops, direct action, dialogues with citizens groups, politicians, community and business leaders, and cooperation with schools and civil society organisations for awareness raising and mobilising people for active involvement in finding solutions to the challenges facing them.

PATRIR is a solidarity based organisation, committed to strengthening cooperation and contacts between citizens groups and civil society organisations/movements within Romania and Southern and Eastern Europe. Building these ties around issues on which joint action and programmes can be built will be one of the central fields of PATRIRs work.

PATRIR will begin work in January, 2001.


3. Request for Books and Materials

As books and materials in fields relating to peace and conflict transformation, development, gender, environmental issues, globalisation, etc., are currently in very short supply in Romania, PATRIR is launching a request for donations from authors, individuals and organisations who would like to send books, journals, articles, and other relevant material to help build the PATRIR Library and Resource Centre.

The PATRIR Library and Resource Centre will be open to the public and free of charge. PATRIR is also working together with translators and the Department of Languages of the University of Babes-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca to arrange for the translation of materials into Romanian to read a wider audience.

If you are an author, or editor of a newspaper, magazine, or journal, or an individual or organisation who would like to support the work of PATRIR, we would like to invite you to send copies of your materials and publications to:


For more information on what kinds of materials, books, and journals/newspapers are most relevant, please feel free to contact Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen at or Cristina Dumitru at



© Kai Frithjof Brand-Jacobsen 2000  


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