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Welcome to the Joint Civil-Military Interaction (JCMI) Research and Education NETWORK website.

Current civil-military relationships often fall short of what is needed to meet emerging human security needs. Changing global antagonisms and hybrid conflicts call for innovative, Whole-of-Society approaches to conflict transformation.  

Today’s wicked problems require interventions that mobilize all aspects of society in a joint peacebuilding response. Approaches to contemporary complex peace operations requires strategies and practices that integrate stakeholders of civil society, governments, the military, and academia. There are no wholly military-centric, nor exclusively civil-centric answers to today’s complex issues.

Resilience is recognized as the first-line-of-defense in meeting the human-security challenges of an unpredictable world. Though resilience is recognized as an a prior good, and the benefits of resilient individuals, communities, and nations are well accepted, there is limited work available on how to make resilience happen; specifically, how to educate individuals to resolve and transform stakeholder conflicts in complex environments populated by numerous stakeholders, i.e., non-governmental organizations, governmental organizations, international organizations, military organizations, local stakeholders, etc. often with competing agendas.

Nation-state capacities to respond to violent and non-violent crises are being challenged by an ever-increasing number of Black Swans. Whole-of-society collaborative response structures and systems are essential for building societal resilience in reacting to crises. A growing number of actors in an operational environment can lead to destructive stakeholder conflict. Current analyses of stakeholder conflict and its impact on building resiliency focus primarily on what needs to be done to limit negative outcomes with little emphasis on how.

Violent conflicts and humanitarian disasters are experienced at community levels. Irrespective of this circumstance, Civil-Military responses to conflicts and humanitarian disasters are often focused at political and strategic levels of engagement leaving the operational and grassroots unattended.

The escalating number of armed interventions around the globe, defined by military humanitarian doctrine, requires new forms of peace leadership that incorporate all aspects of society. Peace and stability operations demand individuals skilled in working in a complex operational environment, one no longer dominated exclusively by states. Responsibility-to-Protect and Responsibility-to-Rebuild doctrines require peace and stability operators to function at all levels of society integrating Track I (formal), Track II (NGO and IO), and Track III (grassroots) diplomatic efforts, simultaneously.

Today’s complex environments are often occupied by state sanctioned armed combatants, non-state actors, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, media, and local populations, among others. Multi-level, multi-modal peace leadership now includes conflict prevention, assistance to civilian governance, and expanded forms of military-civilian cooperation. Single-minded approaches to peacebuilding are simply no longer relevant.

We ask:

  • How do Civil-Military actors interact to build resiliency?
  • How can Civil-Military actors enhance cross-cultural information sharing and communication?
  • What methodologies can be employed by Civil-Military actors to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers? 
  • What is the overlap of nation building with human security?

A logo shows who you are, and our logo is a combination of those things that define us as a network. We chose an escutcheon to display our connection to the military. Our colors, blue representing our academical heritage and silver our striving for cooperation and peace. The eleven lines on the bottom half stand for the eleventh month, hour, and day of 1918; a recognition of the armistice ending World War One and the hope it presented to end all wars. The lamp of knowledge, to show our heritage as a network of knowledge transfer, enlightening difficult relationships and carrying this light into the future. The laurel wreath as a symbol of our connection to education and its relation to the JCMI network.

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Thomas Matyók is Executive Director of the Joint Civil-Military Interaction Research and Education Network and Senior Lecturer in International Relations, US Foreign Policy, and Global Studies at Middle Georgia State University. Tom has been professionally involved in conflict resolution as a mediator, negotiator, facilitator, trainer, executive and conflict coach, dispute systems designer, researcher, and professor. He has consulted for private, civic, military, religious, and community organizations. Dr. Matyók has been interviewed for radio and television regarding international conflicts and national security issues. He has negotiated significant international agreements and has been recognized for his abilities by the United States Coast Guard and United States Army as well as national and international human rights organizations. He has presented and testified to industry and government officials regarding cross-cultural conflict and slavery in the transnational merchant marine. He has also received the honor of being recognized as a Fulbright Scholar. His current research interests are Civil-Military Interaction, Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Professional Military Education, and Peace and Stability Operations. Tom is active with the Institute of War, Peace, and Justice where he focuses on researching and teaching peace operations in hybrid and asymmetric environments.

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