Kroc Institute to have major presence at ISA-LAC Conference

Author: Lisa Gallagher

The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and its Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) team have a powerful presence at the inaugural conference for the ISA Latin America and the Caribbean Region (ISA-LAC). Participants include a mix of staff members, faculty, students and alumni of the Institute who will take part in presentations, workshops and roundtable discussions.

The ISA-LAC conference will take place September 13-15, 2023 at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) campus in Bogotá, Colombia. Jointly organized with PUJ and Red Colombiana de Relaciones Internacionales (Redintercol), this year’s conference theme focuses on “The Worlds of Latin America: Global Turbulence and Local Transformations.”

Allison Kielhold and Cristian Sáez Flórez, research associates for the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM) at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, will present a draft of their paper, “Implementation of the 2016 Peace Accord: Progress, challenges and opportunities.” The piece was co-authored with Josefina Echavarría Alvarez, professor of the practice and director of the Peace Accords Matrix.

Cristian Sáez Florez and Allison Kielhold

As PAM researchers, Kielhold and Sáez support the real-time monitoring of the implementation of the 2016 Colombian Peace Accord. Using qualitative analysis with comparative data analysis, their research includes fact-checking and revising implementation activity evidence. Most importantly, “we bridge the gap between the team of practitioners in Colombia and the faculty at Notre Dame,” said Sáez.

Both Kielhold and Sáez are excited to be a part of this first conference. “It provides an opportunity to share the findings of our six-year long project with other scholars,” Kielhold said. “Having an opportunity to present what we have learned to our regional peers will help us foster the Kroc Institute’s PAM goal of being the nexus between research and practice.”

In addition to Kielhold, Sáez and Echavarría Alvarez’s presence at the conference, Ph.D. students Isabel Güiza-Gómez (peace studies & political science) and Patrick McQuestion (peace studies & political science) will showcase their work.

Güiza-Gómez will present a paper she co-authored with Abby Córdova, associate professor of global affairs at the Keough School of Global Affairs, and Juan Albarracín, Notre Dame alum and assistant professor of political science at the University of Illinois, Chicago, titled, “Explaining Attitudes toward Violence against Grassroots Peacebuilders during the Post-War Period: The Case of Colombia.” McQuestion will serve as a discussant for their panel. Separate from this panel, he will present on “Activating PDET initiatives: conditions for post-accord investments.” His paper uses quantitative program data related to the Colombian Peace Accords’ rural development program, to understand regional implementation tendencies.

“This is an excellent opportunity for me to receive feedback from experts on Colombia’s peace process and rural development,” McQuestion said.

Meanwhile, Richard (Drew) Marcantonio (Ph.D. ‘21), assistant teaching professor at the Mendoza College of Business, and Echavarría Alvarez will also present their paper, “Environmental Peacebuilding and its Inclusion in Peace Accords.” The piece analyzes inclusion both broadly and specifically in the case of Colombia, working through challenges, best practices and future areas of work.

Representing more than 100 countries, ISA has more than 6,500 members worldwide and endeavors to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies.

Originally published by Lisa Gallagher at on September 13, 2023.