Lester R. Kurtz 

Lester Kurtz is Professor of Public Sociology at George Mason University, where he teaches peace and conflict studies, comparative sociology of religion, and social theory. He holds a Master’s in Religion from Yale  and a  Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. He is the editor of the Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict (3 volumes Elsevier), The Warrior and the Pacifist (Routledge), co-editor of Women, War and Violence (2 volumes, Praeger), Nonviolent Social Movements (Blackwell’s), and The Web of Violence (U. of Illinois Press) as well as author of books and articles including Gods in the Global Village (Pine Forge/Sage), The Politics of Heresy (U. of California Press), Evaluating Chicago Sociology, and The Nuclear Cage (Prentice-Hall). He is currently working on a book on Gandhi and has taught at the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and Tunghai University. He has lectured in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America and served as chair of the Peace Studies Association and the Peace, War, and Social Conflict Section of the American Sociological Association, which awarded him its Robin Williams Distinguished Career Award. He is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute of Nanjing Massacre History and International Peace. 

Lee A. Smithey 

Lee Smithey is Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Sociology in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. He studies social conflict and social movements, especially ethnopolitical conflict and nonviolent conflict methods. He has focused much of his work on conflict transformation in Northern Ireland. His book, Unionists, Loyalists, and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland (Oxford University Press), was launched at the Northern Ireland Assembly and won the Donald Murphy Book Prize for Distinguished First Book from the American Conference for Irish Studies. He is a Co-Primary Investigator of the Mural Mapping Project, a longitudinal and geo-spatial study of murals and public art in West Belfast and the Greater Shankill Road area. He has served as Chair of the Peace, War, and Social Conflict section of the American Sociological Association