James R. Mancham Peace and Diplomacy Research Institute


The Institute is committed to providing comprehensive research and training that will be delivered by highly experienced practitioners. It will promote interdisciplinary research on a wide range of topics related to peace and diplomacy, and governance and democracy, with a particular emphasis on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Western Indian Ocean region.  Such research projects will be of immediate policy relevance and have a significant influence in promoting regional stability and governance.

Thematic Research Areas

• Civil Society
• Conflict Analysis and Prevention
• Democracy and Governance
• Gender Issues
• Geopolitics of the Indian Ocean
• Health and Peace Nexus
• Human Rights and Justice
• Maritime Security
• Mediation, Negotiation and Dialogue
• Nonviolent Social Change
• Peace Processes


The Seychelles National Unity and Reconciliation Process

The Institute is monitoring and evaluating the truth, national unity and reconciliation process that is currently ongoing in Seychelles. There was a period of single-party governance in the modern history of Seychelles and the present investigation focuses on alleged abuses of power. The hearings are scheduled to take place over a three-year period and the project was launched at the start of this process. Comparisons will be made with similar inquiries in other countries.

Project Leader: Diana Benoit

Geopolitics of the Indian Ocean Region

Since the ending of the Cold War, the Indian Ocean has seen a redrawing of the geopolitical map. India has assumed a more active role in the region; the United States has entrenched itself with two major military bases, in Djibouti and Diego Garcia; and France maintains an important presence in the area, assisted by the location of its overseas territories. But the main change has come with the growing activity of China, which is using the ocean to develop strong links with Africa, which it sees as a source of raw materials. China has also strengthened its influence in the Bay of Bengal and along the northern periphery of the Indian Ocean. Seychelles is a small island state which now finds itself in a strategic location, within a network of great power activity.

Project Leader: Emeritus Professor Dennis Hardy

A number of projects converge on these various changes:

Maritime Security

The Institute is actively conducting research in the field of maritime security and it is one of the core project partners in the international project SAFE SEAS funded by the British Academy (see www.safeseas.net for further information). The leading researcher in this field is Professor Christian Bueger of the University of Copenhagen.

Project Leader: Professor Christian Bueger (Honorary Professor, University of Seychelles)

Independent Qualitative Research on Somali Piracy

The Institute is also part of an in-depth independent piracy research led by M&C Saatchi World Services. The aim of the research is to determine why young Somalis become pirates and identify opportunities for deterrence.  Download the research findings.

Project Liaison: Diana Benoit

Food Security

Especially, but not only, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, food security has become a subject of increased interest. One effect of the pandemic has been to reveal the fragility of global networks. Together with the fact of a rising world population, it is asked whether there will be sufficient food available in the future. The problem is especially acute in a small island state.

Project Leader: Emeritus Professor Dennis Hardy

Nonviolence in Theory and Practice

Through a productive partnership with the Durban University of Technology, the Institute has been able to forge links with a number of specialists in aspects of nonviolence. The link with Professor Geoffrey Harris is especially valuable.

Project Leader: Professor Geoffrey Harris (Honorary Professor, University of Seychelles)

Peace & Diplomacy Research Institute

Contact Us

Ms. Diana Benoit
Peace and Diplomacy Research Institute

Anse Royale
P.O. Box 1348
Mahé, Seychelles

+248 4381222


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