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Tolstoy Cup match helps mark Peace Studies milestone


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War will battle Peace in a football match held as part of a conference to mark a milestone anniversary for Peace Studies at the University of Bradford.

The Tolstoy Cup, a once annual football match between the University of Bradford's Peace Studies and King's College London's War Studies, will return on Sunday 9 June between 14:00 and 16:00 at the University’s sports park, Laisteridge Lane, Bradford.

The Cup – named after Leo Tolstoy’s 1869 novel War and Peace - once featured in the Financial Times as one of the top five college sporting rivalries. Peace Studies has won nine of the 12 matches since it was first played in 1992.

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The friendly clash, last played in 2018, is part of the Peace Studies Golden Jubilee Conference, held at the University of Bradford between Thursday 6 June to Sunday 9 June. The event is the culmination of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. Supported by the Quaker Peace Studies Trust, it was the UK’s first School of Peace Studies when it opened in 1973.

Professor Adam Curle, an eminent British peace academic who had been involved in conflict resolution in Africa and Asia, was the centre's first Chair, where he remained until 1978. 

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Professor Prathivadi Anand, Head of the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, said: “This is a special moment especially given that Professor Tom Woodhouse, an Emeritus professor and a world leading authority on Sports, Peace and Development, joined this department during the time of Adam Curle and has been actively involved in the Tolstoy Cup right from its inception in 2008. 

“The football match signifies that the skills needed for peace and the skills needed for a winning team have many things in common including teamwork, stable and clear rules, a willingness to accept and respect the decisions of rule-enforcers (referees), fairness and ethics and so on. 

“Many sports personalities are UNICEF ambassadors and sports can open up new ways to reach into our communities to build a peaceful society bottom-up."

Other events held as part of the Peace Studies Golden Jubilee Conference include a distinguished guest lecture by Professor Michael Woolcock, of The World Bank and Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, held on Thursday 6 June between 13:00 and 15:30.

A Gingko sapling grown from a seed of a tree that survived the atomic bombing will be planted in the university’s Peace Garden on Friday 7 June from 13:00 to 13:30. The sapling was donated by Mayor Kazumi Matsui, of Hiroshima, who also serves as the President of ‘Mayors for Peace’.

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Professor Pranab Bardhan, from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, will give the 27th Bradford Development Lecture, ‘Distributive Conflicts, Democratic Crisis, and Empowerment of Workers’, on Saturday 8 June between 11:45 and 13:15.

Dr Nozizwe Madlala Routledge, Director of the Quaker United Nations Office, presents the fourth Adam Curle Peace Lecture on Saturday 7 June from 16:00 to 18:00.

Panel discussions on the history of peace studies in Bradford and globally will take place as part of the conference.

An Online Panel, ‘Understanding the causes of electoral violence: African and Indian perspectives’ is on Friday 7 June from 09:30 and 11:30. Speakers are Samson Itodo, Independent Researcher, Nigeria; Ashref M Maktouf, Lawyer and Independent Researcher, Tunis and West Africa and Professor Manjari Katju, University of Hyderabad, India.

A photo exhibition, ‘Celebrating the Partnership between the Quaker Peace Studies Trust and Peace Studies at Bradford’, will be launched on Thursday 6 June from 15:30 and 16:30.

Over the last 50 years, academics from the university’s Peace Studies have lent their expertise to organisations including the UK Government, United Nations, various humanitarian organisations and NATO, and worked alongside peacekeepers in conflicts including Israel-Palestine, the Balkan Wars and the Iraq War.

The Department of Peace Studies and International Development runs eight Master's programmes as well as the BA International Relations, Politics and Security Studies.

The conference is free to attend, go to to register.