Lisa Schirch

Richard G. Starmann, Sr. Professor of the Practice of Peace Studies

Richard G. Starmann, Sr. Professor of the Practice of Peace Studies
O332 Hesburgh Center For International Studies
Notre Dame, IN 46556


Department: Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Research interests: Technology, media, human security, social cohesion, social justice, conflict assessment, dialogue, mediation, peace process design, religion, ritual, arts, nonviolent social movements, violent extremism

Lisa Schirch has 30 years of experience in peacebuilding research, policy advocacy, practice, and teaching. A political scientist by training, she earned her Ph.D. in 1989 from George Mason University’s Carter Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Her most recent book, Social Media Impacts on Conflict and Democracy: The Techtonic Shift (2021), features 13 local case studies from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. The book maps how digital technologies drive “social climate change,” including polarization, extremist anti-immigrant, and anti-minority purity narratives. 

Schirch’s current research focuses on the positive roles of technology in “peacetech” and “digital peacebuilding.” She also holds the title of Senior Research Fellow with the Toda Peace Institute, where she coordinates with civil society and technology companies to experiment and innovate new technologies that can scale social cohesion.