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Olivier Urbain

Founder and director of the Transcend: Art & Peace Network, an online organization promoting research on the links between peacebuilding and the arts.
Former Director of the Toda Peace Institute (Tokyo and Honolulu).
Member of the Board of Directors of the International Peace Research Association Foundation.

Research Interests

In the field of peace studies, I focus on peacebuilding and the ways in which people can avoid and prevent violence by strengthening elements of the culture of peace here and now in their daily lives and communities. Further, I focus on “the application of music in peacebuilding” from various angles. I am currently exploring the implications of music psychology, in particular music and emotion, in peacebuilding activities.


Born in 1961 in Tournai, Belgium. Amateur blues pianist. Obtained academic degrees in Belgium, the US and the UK. Delivered numerous lectures and presentations as university professor, as director of the Toda Peace Institute, and as Senior Research Fellow of MOMRI in around 20 countries.

Academic Degrees

PhD in Literature, University of Southern California, USA (1990).
PhD in Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK (2009).
Awards, Honors and Accomplishments
Recipient of several scholarships while a graduate student at the University of Southern California (1985-90).
Founder (2002) and former convener (2002-2008) of the Art & Peace Commission of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA).
Member of the Board of Directors of the International Peace Research Association Foundation

Publications (selection)

Music and Conflict Transformation: Harmonies and Dissonances in Geopolitics(editor).
London: I.B. Tauris (2008).
Music and Solidarity: Questions of Universality, Consciousness and Connection (co-editor).
Piscataway: Transactions (2011).
Music, Power and Liberty: Sound, Song and Melody as Instruments of Change (co-editor).
London: I.B. Tauris (slated for 2015).
“A statement of values for our research on music in peacebuilding: a synthesis of Galtung and
Ikeda’s peace theories.”
In The Journal of Peace Education, Vol. 13, Iss. 3, 2016.