More violent conflicts occurring today than anytime since 1945.

On October 14, 2022, The Pearson Institute for Study and Resolution of Global Conflict at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy will gather global policymakers, leading scholars, and subject-matter experts at the 2022 Pearson Global Forum. Entitled “Discrimination and Marginalization,” the Forum will delve into how the marginalization and discrimination of populations that cut across ethnic, racial, gender, and other lines affects conflict, and how conflict, in turn, has an impact on the nature and severity of those who are marginalized. 

The annual event will also explore how the international community is dealing with dozens of active conflicts, and quickly shifting relationships between and among nations. 

James A. Robinson

“The Forum’s importance is particularly pronounced given that the world is currently experiencing the highest number of violent conflicts since 1945, the year World War II drew to a close,” said James Robinson, Institute Director of The Pearson Institute. “This level of violent conflict and human rights violations has forcibly displaced an estimated 84 million people, which takes a devastating toll and poses vexing dilemmas for policymakers.”

Some of the highlights of this year’s Global Forum include: 

  • A keynote address by Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General, United Nations
  • Social Cost of Discrimination: This panel will focus on the economic cost of gender and racial inequality, the long-term impact of trauma associated with the economic deprivation of families on the brain development of children, and the effect of gender discrimination on international peace and security. Speakers include: Pablo Castillo Diaz Policy Specialist, UN Women, United Nations; Marianne Bertrand, University of Chicago; and Caren Grown, World Bank Group.
  • Discriminatory Bias in Media Coverage of Conflict: This panel will explore how and why certain decisions are made to cover conflicts: whether at the network or journalist level; how ratings and viewership play a role, including whether some conflicts are simply so protracted that the public has lost interest; how longstanding issues of racism come into play; and more. Speakers include: Timour Azhari, Bureau Chief for Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, Reuters; Mark Bauman, President and CEO, Grid; Katherine D. Kinzler, University of Chicago; and Sasha-Ann Simons, Host, Reset, WBEZ Chicago.

The Forum will also examine the themes of this year’s event through two country case studies, Colombia and Lebanon.  And, the event will also feature a conversation with Christopher Blattman, a professor of global conflict studies at Harris and the author of Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace.

Sheila Kohanteb

“The exploration of these issues surrounding how discrimination and marginalization are intertwined with conflict is incredibly timely,” said Sheila Kohanteb, the Forum’s Executive Director. “Our hope is that this year’s agenda has wide appeal to practitioners, academics, and others with an interest in these important issues both broadly and for particular areas of study.”

To that end, a new Pearson Institute/AP-NORC poll will be released in conjunction with the Forum. The poll explores American’s views on U.S. standing in the world, the foreign policy goals they find most important, and the spread of misinformation.

The Pearson Global Forum is held in-person at the Harris School in Chicago and live streamed for those who cannot attend. It is free for the media and the public. Registration is required. The full conference agenda is available here.