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Modern Peace Building

Learn about Modern Peacebuilding


  • The history of the formation of the Former USSR.

  • How the USSR developed through the years.

  • What were the causes of the USSR’s collapse.

  • How different countries formed and why they are so different from each other.

  • Current events that are shaping the future of Post-Soviet countries and the rest of the world.

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Andre Kamenshikov

David Kirshbaum


David's professional training is as a psychotherapist for the severely and chronically mentally ill and the elderly. He also studied yoga with the SYDA Foundation with the hopes of combining yoga with psychological treatment. He received his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and practiced for 8 years in both California and Georgia.

A longtime activist, David has previously been involved with environmental issues, mainly the organizing of watershed alliances in the area of Atlanta, Georgia. In 2005, he joined Nonviolence International (NI) in Washington, DC, where he was focused on Palestine and international law, and internship recruitment for the office.  In 2014, David was asked to open a NI office at the UN in New York City to help with the issues of disarmament and peace.  Now he is the Director of the Nonviolence International Peace Research  Program in Tuscon, Arizona, 

The course will include personal stories and personal points of view on the past and present situations of the Post-Soviet states.

In this course, we focus especially on explaining how different ethnic, cultural,

and national groups affected the

collapse of the former USSR.

From more authoritarian countries like Turkmenistan that can be compared to North Korea to countries like Estonia introducing a new form of digital democracy and where political and civil rights are widely respected, we will explore different drivers that have influenced the development of new countries and why they took such different paths from each other. Finally, we will discuss the challenges of rising authoritarianism in Belarus and Russia, current events in and around Ukraine, and why these developments are so important not only for future of these countries, but how they might affect the rest of the world.

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This course is prepared by Nonviolence International New York, a global innovative organization with an emphasis on advocacy, education, and communication. It conducts and produces important research on a growing number of issues, including peace, disarmament, and American politics, as well as operates an extensive internship program within the United Nations.