Department of Political Science


Melanie Garson

Teaching Fellow in Conflict Resolution

Melanie Garson

Field/Dissertation Topic

International Relations/Conflict Resolution. Stabilising peace agreements in protracted social or intractable identity conflicts.


Melanie is a MPhil/PhD candidate in the School of Public Policy at UCL supervised by Dr Alex Braithwaite and Dr Kristin Bakke. Her main research interest is the role of reconciliation initiatives, particularly grass roots initiatives, in stabilising negotiated/mediated peace agreements and bringing about conflict resolution in protracted social or intractable identity conflicts. She is also interested in methods to induce attitudinal change or reverse hatred thinking in such conflicts thereby contributing to the establishment of stable peace.

Provisional Thesis Title

The Third Pillar: Supporting Settlements to End Protracted Social Conflicts

Research Interests

  • Conflict resolution for protracted social and intractable identity conflicts.
  • Mediation and negotiation of settlements in protracted social conflicts.
  • The effect of hatred thinking/rhetoric in protracted social conflicts.
  • Construction of settlement agreements.
  • Inducing attitudinal change of parties in conflict.
  • Grass roots reconciliation activities in conflict zones.
  • Track-two diplomatic processes.
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Academic Background

Melanie holds a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Medford, MA), where she specialised in conflict resolution and negotiation. She holds a BA (Hons.) in Oriental Studies from Girton College, Cambridge. She is holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Law and is a non-practising solicitor under the Law Society of England and Wales.

Professional Background

Prior to starting her PhD, Melanie worked as a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution department of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where she was a member of the Commercial Disputes Group with experience in Public International Law, International Arbitration, and International Corporate Investigations. During her time at Freshfields she designed simulations to teach newly-qualified solicitors mediation techniques as well as lecturing in negotiation technique. She also coordinated and edited a multi-jurisdictional book “Corporate Internal Investigations: An International Guide” (OUP, 2008).

Melanie has also worked as the Director of Development and New Programmes for the Centre for Jewish Arab Economic Development (Israel), developing and designing new programmes to promote the Centre’s mission including women’s micro enterprise, joint Jewish Arab business ventures, as well as public policy initiatives to gain awareness for the unrecognised Bedouin, and to promote equal access to public resources. She has worked as the Director of Communications for Peaceworks LLC (New York), is a “not-only-for-profit” company that promotes peace through doing business by fostering joint business ventures in conflict regions. She has also interned in the People-to-People department of the Economic Cooperation Foundation (Israel), and worked as a Programme Assistant for Education Programmes for the United Nations Association of the USA (New York.)