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A culture of peace and leadership education

Erich P. Schellhammer (School of Humanitarian Studies, Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 8 August 2016




The purpose of this paper is to explore the connections between the principles of a culture of peace and leadership education. It argues that leadership should be informed by the values of a culture of peace. This, in turn, compels leadership education to teach mindsets, values and competencies aligned with a culture of peace.


The paper explores the evolution of leadership theory within the context of an increasingly complex world. It then uses United Nations materials to identify principles for a culture of peace as it is now widely acknowledged by the world community. Identifying correspondence between both theoretical realms the paper identifies peace leadership education goals that are supported by established peace organizations and by philosophical and psychological scholarship.


The paper establishes a direct link between the values of a culture of peace and leadership that is adequate as well as successful to address the complexity of today’s world. It also identifies key principles that need to be adopted by leadership education to prepare students to become effective leaders. The paper also explores essential educational tools for leadership educators.

Practical implications

The theoretical framework presented in this paper can be used to adjust leadership education to give practical guidance for aspiring leaders. It is also useful for peace and conflict studies programmes interested in developing peace leaders.


The interrelationship between leadership studies and peace and conflict studies constitutes a new field of academic inquiry. The present paper is one of the first in the field and is intended to further establish this new disciplinary orientation.



Schellhammer, E.P. (2016), "A culture of peace and leadership education", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 205-215.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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