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Rina Alluri new UNESCO Chair at the University of Innsbruck

Peace researcher and co-director of the master's program "Peace and Conflict Studies", Ass.-Prof. Dr. Rina Alluri, was inaugurated as the new UNESCO Chair of Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck on 26th of January 2023.

The UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies was established in 2008, making it the second oldest UNESCO Chair in Austria. Last week, peace scholar Rina Alluri took over the chair during a ceremony in the auditorium of the University of Innsbruck. She succeeds Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Dietrich.

After greeting speeches by the rector, Univ.-Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Tilmann Märk, the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and History, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dirk Rupnow, and Mag. Martin Fritz, Secretary General of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO, Rina M. Alluri shared her perspectives in the lecture "On Peace: Reflections on Knowledge and its Liberation". The subsequent panel discussion on the futures of peace, dialogue and global citizenship was attended by Univ.-Prof. DDr. Pablo Argárate, UNESCO Chair for Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue for Southeast Europe at the University of Graz and Dominic Ellwardt, Youth Representative of the Austrian UNESCO Commission.  

Martin Fritz congratulated the new Chairholder and pointed out the importance of the UNESCO Chair program for the implementation of the Global Sustainable Development Goals:

"The UNESCO Chairs play a central role for the networking and cooperation of scientific disciplines. In the current world situation, multilateral cooperation is one of the conditions for sustainable development. The UNESCO Chair in Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck has been part of this network for more than ten years and we are very pleased to continue the good cooperation with Dr. Rina Alluri."

A new generation in Innsbruck
In September 2022, the continuing education course "Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation," which had been in existence for 20 years, was transformed into a regular master's program. The course was founded by Alluri's predecessor Wolfgang Dietrich. Rina Alluri is co-director of the new master's program and spokesperson for the INNPeace research center – she also heads the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Innsbruck. The Master's program in Peace and Conflict Studies brings students from all over the world to Innsbruck to study peace and conflict theories as well as practices related to critical peace pedagogy, decolonization, justice and reconciliation, queer and intersectional approaches, humanitarian operations, and related topics.

"What could be more timely than a program that deals with peace: the former university course now became a regular master's program; after a generational change there is a young international team that brings new approaches and approaches. The fact that UNESCO has agreed to hand over its chair to Rina Alluri underlines once again the good development in recent times. This is something we can build on in the future", said Dirk Rupnow, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and History, where the program is located.

Rector Tilmann Märk emphasized to be glad and grateful that UNESCO and especially the Austrian Commission for UNESCO continue to support the new Master's program in Peace and Conflict Studies through this chair. 

The UNESCO Chairs Program

The UNESCO Chairs Program was established in 1992 to promote international cooperation and networking among higher education institutions. Today, the global network counts more than 850 institutions in 117 countries. The chairs conduct research and teach in a wide range of fields including education, natural and social sciences, culture and communication.

Through the network, higher education and research institutions around the world pool their human and material resources to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. In many cases, the chairs build important bridges between academia, civil society, local communities, research and politics. Among others, they help develop viable policies and new teaching initiatives, foster innovation through research, and enrich existing university programs. The chairs are also committed to collaborating with universities in countries of the Global South.


Dr. Rina M. Alluri is Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Innsbruck. She is co-director of the Master's program in Peace and Conflict Studies and spokesperson of the INNPeace research center. She received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Basel and did post-doctoral research at the University of Zurich. Her research interests include topics around economics and peace, conflicts over natural resources, conflict-affected diasporas, decolonizing peace education, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). As a peace scholar and practitioner, she focuses on conflict contexts in Asia and Africa. Alluri is of Indian and Filipino descent and a Canadian citizen.

"I am very excited to explore how this chair can help us deepen the collaborations we already have and think about where adjustments can be made. And to expanding our networks more strategically", said Rina Alluri.


Prof. Dr. Rina M. Alluri
© University of Innsbruck
LTR: Dirk Rupnow (University of Innsbruck), Martin Fritz (Secretary-General Austrian Commission for UNESCO), new UNESCO Chairholder Rina Alluri, Tilmann Märk (University of Innsbruck), Pablo Argárate (UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue for South-East Europe), and Dominic Ellwardt (Youth Representative of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO).
© University of Innsbruck
"On Peace: Reflections on Knowledge and its Liberation" – Inaugural lecture by Rina Alluri
© University of Innsbruck