Mimi GerstbauerFaculty

Raymond and Florence Sponberg Professor of Ethics in Political Science, African Studies, and LALACS, and Co-director in Peace Studies

Raymond and Florence Sponberg Professor of Ethics

One of my first "political memories" is a Vietnamese refugee living in my basement when I was a little girl in Cincinnati.  Later, his whole family came to the United States. I began traveling internationally at age 5 and visited several continents by age 9. My interest in world politics had begun! My interest in Peace Studies also has deep roots, but was solidified when I studied abroad in Nicaragua in college and had the opportunity to document the peacebuilding work of a Nicaraguan development agency in remote eastern areas of Puerto Cabezas and Nueva Guinea. Arriving not long after decades of war had ended, my work included interviewing many peace activists, community leaders, and guerrilla leaders. I was inspired! My first article, published in "Peace Review", emerged from this research. 

I still enjoy studying away.  In Spring 2020 I taught at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan.  Yes, that was cut short by Covid.  You can check out my blog: mgerstbajapan.home.blog

I served as a Fulbright Scholar in Poland for 6 months in 2015. (You can check out our blog "The Gerstbauer Gig in Poland" at mgerstba.wordpress.com).  My time in Warsaw, a city resurrected from the ashes of war, gave me many new stories to tell about the Politics of Reconciliation, my current research interest.  Perhaps the most exciting place for this political scientist was Gdansk, a city on the Baltic. In Gdansk World War II began.  In Gdansk, Communism began to unravel for good.   One of the photos at right shows a section of the Berlin wall on the left and Gdansk shipyard wall on the right.  Some brave strikers in the Gdansk shipyard in the early 1980s began the Solidarity movement....a huge factor in the ultimate crumbling of the Iron Curtain and Communist Europe.  And, it was a nonviolent movement!

Dr. Mimi Gerstbauer is a political science professor but also contributes to several interdisciplinary programs.  She teaches international relations courses, US foreign policy, Latin American politics, politics of developing nations, and introduction to Peace Studies. Her research interests include nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in international politics and peacebuilding, faith-based actors in peacebuilding, post-war reconciliation processes, and the role of forgiveness and apologies in international politics. Gerstbauer authored a book on inter-state reconciliation -  U.S. Foreign Policy and the Politics of Apology (Routledge, 2017).  Other publications include:  "The Whole Story of NGO Mandate Change: The Peacebuilding Work of World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, and Mennonite Central Committee," Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly; “Transnational Peacebuilding: Bringing Salt and Light to Colombia and the United States,” Development in Practice; and The New Conflict Managers: Peacebuilding NGOs and State Agendas (in New Threats and New Actors in International Security, Palgrave). Gerstbauer has been at Gustavus since 2001. She graduated summa cum laude from Wheaton College (IL), worked as a domestic Peace Corps volunteer in a Puerto Rican neighborhood of Chicago for a year, and then completed her M.A. in Peace Studies and Ph.D. in Government at the University of Notre Dame.  She lives in St. Peter with her husband, Fabian, three sons, and an expanding menagerie of pets and board games.


B.A. Wheaton College (IL); M.A in Peace Studies and M.A. in Government, Ph.D. University of Notre Dame.

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
POL-130 International Relations 32 2023/FA, 2022/FA, 2021/FA, 2021/SP, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2017/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, 2005/FA, 2004/FA, 2003/FA, 2002/FA, 2002/SP, and 2001/FA
POL-250 Politics of Developing Nations 21 2023/FA, 2022/FA, 2021/FA, 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/FA, 2017/FA, 2016/FA, 2015/FA, 2013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, 2005/FA, 2004/FA, 2003/FA, 2002/FA, and 2001/FA
POL-230 Latin American Politics 13 2024/SP, 2018/SP, 2016/SP, 2013/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, 2007/SP, 2006/SP, 2005/SP, 2004/SP, 2003/SP, and 2002/SP
POL-399 Senior Seminar 12 2024/SP, 2021/FA, 2019/FA, 2018/SP, 2016/SP, 2014/SP, 2004/FA, 2003/FA, 2003/SP, 2002/FA, 2002/SP, and 2001/FA
POL-340 Issues for U.S. Foreign Policy 10 2023/SP, 2020/FA, 2018/FA, 2017/SP, 2011/FA, 2010/SP, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, 2004/FA, and 2002/FA
PCS-211 Introduction to Peace Studies 9 2018/SP, 2016/SP, 2014/SP, 2013/SP, 2011/SP, 2009/SP, 2007/SP, 2005/SP, and 2003/SP
PCS-221 Conflict & Resolution 4 2024/SP, 2023/SP, 2021/SP, and 2019/SP
POL-099 Senior Thesis 4 2010/FA, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, and 2006/SP
POL-268 Career Exploration 4 2006/JN and 2005/JN
POL-335 International Organizations 3 2006/SP, 2004/SP, and 2002/SP
POL-244 ST:Int Comm/Model UN 2 2019/SP and 2017/SP
PCS-246 Community Peacebuilding in Col 1 2023/JN
LAS-246 Community Peacebuilding in Col 1 2023/JN
NDL-248 Faith and Learning 1 2011/JN
POL-344 ST:Pol Reconciliation 1 2010/FA
NDL-128 Forgiveness Stories 1 2004/JN
FTS-100 First Term Seminar 1 2003/FA
PCS-096 Peace Studies Senior Thesis 1 2003/SP
PCS-095 Peace Studies Senior Seminar 1 2003/SP
POL-135 Nicaraguan Revolution 1 2003/JN
Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.