This study seeks to analyze the effectiveness of interfaith versus single-faith peacebuilding programming at reducing levels of violence in instances of violent religious conflict. After reviewing the literature, I used contact theory and constructivism to form my hypothesis that interfaith programming is more effective compared to single-faith programming at reducing violence. Using a mixed-methods approach, I conducted a most similar systems case study design to analyze the effectiveness of different forms of faith-based programming within the conflict in Northern Ireland. I also analyzed geographical data to test for relationships between the types of programming and conflict violence. Although there was not enough data to draw conclusions about my original hypothesis, I formulated an alternate hypothesis, suggesting that a decrease in conflict violence over time leads to more opportunities for interfaith programming. This hypothesis was better supported by my results. The results also provided further support for the arguments put forth by contact theory and constructivism but showed a need for more systematic data collection on faith-based peacebuilding programming as a whole as well as on its effects and outcomes for communities.


Krain, Matthew


Global and International Studies


Social and Behavioral Sciences


peacebuilding, interfaith peacebuilding, single-faith peacebuilding, religious conflict, religious violence, Northern Ireland

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



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