6th Annual John D. Stratton Conference

Seeking Peace in a World of Nations

Multi-disciplinary conference will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 on the campus of
Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio

The project of seeking peace between nations invites creative academic and practical work across a wide spectrum of disciplines. Why do international violence and other conflicts arise and how can they be prevented? What are the challenges unique to peacebuilding between nations as opposed to other groups (such as ethnic or religious groups)? In post-conflict situations, what are successful strategies for peacebuilding, such as those able to achieve security, the rebuilding of infrastructure, human rights protection and advocacy, humanitarian aid, and the prevention of future conflict? How have changing and rival conceptions of corporate identities and national sovereignty helped or hindered peace prospects? How does justice for victims of war and war criminals contribute to lasting peace? What are the roles of international law, national law, local governments, and NGOs? Which approaches to diplomacy, mediation, and conflict resolution are best suited to a global context? What are innovative strategies for addressing today’s specific conflicts?


We are pleased to announce the addition of a keynote speaker, Philip Shull. Mr. Shull retired as a senior diplomat with the U.S. Department of Agriculture after 31 years of foreign service. His overseas assignments included Korea, Argentina (including Uruguay and Paraguay), Hong Kong, Philippines, and three postings to China. Mr. Shull's talk will be entitled The Eagle and the Dragon:  Different Views, Common Challenges. The U.S.-China relationship has been called the most important in the world. These countries have the two largest economies in the world.  They also have two of the largest militaries and are two of the largest polluters.  They are both continental countries with proud and confident people.  Yet their histories, culture, and views vary widely on everything from the role of government in trade, the Rule of Law, and the role and responsibility of the individual.  Even their maps of the world are different . These differences have led to mutual frustration and tension. Former senior diplomat Philip Shull, born and raised in Wooster, Ohio,  will discuss these differences and pitfalls, and offer suggestions on how the Eagle and the Dragon might best coexist and cooperate. 

To read a sample of his work, click here



Amr Al-Azm-Shawnee State University-The Importance of Cultural Heritage in Enhancing National Identity: A Path Towards Post Conflict Stabilization and Reconciliation in Syria.

Zachary Dehm-Duquesne University-‘No Mas, No More, From the Hills of Salvador’ to the Plains of Georgia

John Mueller-Ohio State University-Tracing the Rise and Impact of Aversion to International War

Michhael Penn-Franklin and Marshall College-How Might We Address Ideological Arguments that Seek to Justify and Sustain the Practice of War?: Reflections on a Vision of a Commonwealth of Nations Articulated in the Writings of the Baha'i Faith

Luke Peterson-Duquesne University-American Folly: Neoliberalism and Militarism in the 21st Century

Brianna Sargent-Ashland University Alumni-Nations at War: A look at the international state of nature according to Hobbes 

David Whitten Smith-University of St. Thomas, Minnesota-Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota: Are Religions Helpful or Harmful?

Garrett Thomson-College of Wooster-Beyond Just War Theory

William Vaugn-Ashland University-On the Ethically Unthinkable with response from Greg McBrayer of Ashland University



February 29, 2020 at 8:30am - 4:30pm


Ashland University (Dauch College of Business-Room 115)


Elizabeth Buttil · · 419-289-5313


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$60.00 General Registration
$50.00 Member Registration
$25.00 Student Registration
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