Research News

New Earth Institute Research Consortium: The Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4)


Protracted violence continues to plague Darfur, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Congo, Somalia and other war-torn lands. Given the increasing complexity and volatility associated with contemporary forms of geopolitical conflict and violence, an interdisciplinary group representing multiple conflict and peace studies entities at Columbia University has launched the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4).

Housed at the Earth Institute, AC4 is a research consortium that seeks to convene the many resources present within Columbia University to study complex issues related to conflict, violence, peace-building and sustainable development. In particular, it will focus on improving understanding of the interface between critical changes in physical systems and social systems, such as between climate change and social conflict.

AC4 will support innovative, interdisciplinary, scholar-practitioner activities that address many difficult, unresolved issues in the areas of violence prevention, conflict resolution, and sustainable development and peace. Its mission is to foster a unique community of learning, experimentation and development for scholars, practitioners and policymakers working together across relevant disciplines to generate leading-edge ideas, practices and technologies for fostering violence prevention, conflict resolution, and sustainable development and peace.  Aside from funding and facilitating research, practice and scholarship in these areas, AC4 seeks to further our knowledge of the necessary and sufficient conditions for sustained engagement and collaboration across disciplines, nations and worldviews. 

Already engaged in multiple projects and initiatives, AC4 offers funding opportunities for both faculty and graduate students at Columbia University. Information regarding these projects, initiatives and opportunities can be located on the recently launched AC4 Web site:  

For additional information please contact Jeffrey J. Schiffer, AC4 research coordinator, at: