Olga Vorkunova (PhD in History) was Associate Professor of Regional Studies at the Department of Regional Studies, Institute of International Relations and Social and Political Sciences, Moscow State Linguistic University. She was also Senior Researcher at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations, and (m.o.) the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Associate Professor at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization University (source).
Dr. Vorkunova was a highly esteemed member of the European Peace Research Association Board, as well as the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) Council. She was also the Executive Secretary of IPRA’s Peace Education Commission (PEC). She was well versed in theories of peace and of peace mediation, and had adapted Johan Galtung’s peace theories and Transcend Method of peace mediation to conflicts in Russia and the Post-Soviet space. Olga also organized “Winter School” events in Pskov, Russia, where she invited peace researchers to teach students about peace research and peace education. She had a comprehensive network of contacts in Europe and Central Asia, and did peace and mediation courses directed to mediate conflicts in Caucasia.
Olga was very devoted to peace and peace research, and was also a great bridge builder between Russian and Western peace researchers. For the last 12 months Olga was working tirelessly to convene a Peace Education Conference (online) in Moscow, planned to be held on October 27-29 2021, but in the beginning of October she caught Covid-19, was hospitalized, and on October 25 she passed away.
We mourn the loss of Olga, a great person and colleague, who so tragically passed away while working tirelessly for peace and peace education.
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Nils Vidar Vambheim
Associate Professor, Department of Education, University of Tromso