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Olivier Urbain

Member of the Board of Directors of the International Peace Research Association Foundation (IPRAF). (2017~)
Visiting Research Professor at Queen’s University Belfast (Northern Ireland). (2015~)
Former Director of the Toda Peace Institute (Tokyo and Honolulu). (2008~2017)

Research Interests

In the field of peace studies, I focus on preventive peacebuilding and on how people can avoid and prevent violence at all levels, 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 potential of musicking to enhance conviviality and social skills in Japanese high schools and other institutions.


Born in 1961 in Tournai, Belgium. 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 director of MOMRI in around 20 countries.

Academic Degrees

PhD in Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK (2009).
PhD in Literature, University of Southern California, USA (1990).

Awards, Honors and Accomplishments

Member of the Board of Directors of the International Peace Research Association Foundation (IPRAF) (2017~)
Founder (2002) and former convener (2002-2008) of the Art & Peace Commission of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA).
Recipient of several scholarships as graduate student at the University of Southern California (1985-90).

Publications (selection)

“Overcoming Challenges to the Application of Music in Peacebuilding.” In Peace Review (Pending) (2019).

“Business and Music in Peacebuilding Activities: Parallels and Paradoxes.” In College Music Symposium, published online on November 30, 2018. Vol. 58, No. 3. Available at business-and-music-in-peacebuilding-activities-parallels-and-paradoxes (2018).

“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.

Music, Power and Liberty: Sound, Song and Melody as Instruments of Change (co-editor with Craig Robertson).London: I.B. Tauris (2016).

Music and Solidarity: Questions of Universality, Consciousness and Connection (co-editor with Felicity Laurence as main editor). Piscataway: Transaction (2011)

Music and Conflict Transformation: Harmonies and Dissonances in Geopolitics (editor). London: I.B. Tauris (2008).