Honors Program

Spring Showcase Presenters

Luisa Pires Luciano

Title: “Case Studies in the Conflict Transformation Process: An Analysis of Rwanda and South Africa”

Major: Political Science             Minors: Women’s Studies; International Studies Certificate;                                                                                                              Peace and Conflict Studies Certificate

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Quinton Dixie (Philosophy)

External Reviewer: Dr. James Toole (Political Science)

Honors Program Council Liaison: Dr. James Toole (Political Science)


Luisa Pires Luciano is a Political Science major who has been accepted into Georgetown University and American University for graduate programs in conflict resolution in Washington, D.C. next semester. She is getting the Blauvelt Award for service in the Political Science department, and has been selected to represent the class of 2016 at commencement this May. Luisa has been a member of the Model UN team for three years and president for two, during which she led the group to the American Model United Nations Conference in Chicago, one of the largest in the country. Two years ago, she was selected as one of the students to attend the Bahroom International Program in South Korea, where she studied Korean culture and history. Last summer, Luisa went to Germany to participate in the Europe and Middle East in Transition program, which prepared her for her honors project with classes on conflict management. Luisa got three scholarships for this program. Scholarships came from the Honors Program, IPFW Office of International Education, and the Office of Sponsored Programs.


As the international community faces more and more conflicts each day, the field of conflict management has become increasingly important. Two main theories guide experts and governments around the world in their attempts to deal with difficult situations. The first, conflict resolution, argues for a more short-term approach and is mostly concerned with addressing the immediate causes of conflict. Critics of this approach suggest it fails to effectively deal with underlying causes of conflict and have come up with a second and more recent approach called conflict transformation. This approach stresses the importance of conflict and its ability to affect positive change in a society by transforming the way two opposing sides view and deal with each other. Conflict transformation has gained significant traction in the conflict management field, but has it actually been applied effectively in the world? By analyzing the case studies of Rwanda and South Africa, this paper argues conflict transformation has not yet been achieved in either one of the countries, but recognizes the efforts made by South Africa to do so.