The International Centre for Ethnic Studies ICES

A Social Science and Policy Research Institute

The International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) is a world leader in the study of violent group conflict. Established in September 1982, the Centre was a pioneer in the field of conflict studies and research when the subject of conflict was not the fashionable subject for academic research and teaching that it is today. The work it has done covers South Asia and many other parts of the world which is also unusual for a think tank located in a small developing country. However, ICES also soon concluded that the study of violent group conflict needs to be studied and understood in its broader socio-economic, political context and global context. Thus the focus of the ICES soon widened to encompass a much broader research and publication agenda that extended to, among other things, sustainable development, governance and gender. The ICES vision is animated by six themes: … (full text Profile).

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About / ICES History – A narration by Prof K M de Silva:


Early in 1981, I had two American visitors, one of whom, Donald Horowitz, I had known since the late 1960s when he visited the island for the research he was doing on the abortive coup d’état of 1962 in Sri Lanka. The other was Robert Goldmann, a programme officer of the Ford Foundation in New York. They had come to invite me to a Ford Foundation sponsored conference to be held in August 1981 at the Taita Hills Game Park about 200km from Nairobi, Kenya, where a group of scholars and administrators from many parts of the world would discuss the theme of Ethnic Problems in the Developing and Developed World.

Robert Goldmann had persuaded the Ford Foundation to establish a research institute for the study of ethnicity and conflict, and the policies and mechanisms useful in managing such conflicts. There was unanimous support for this from the participants at the conference.

We believed that such a research institute was important, and some felt that it was a vital necessity. There were very few such institutes in the world, but none in any part of Asia … (full text).

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