Peace and Conflict Studies
Full course description
In this course, we will focus on contemporary conflict resolution. The course will cover many issues related to the theories, causes and models of violent conflict in the first part, and then conflict resolution, including prevention of conflicts, (issues of early warning and early action), halting ongoing violent conflict, the role and forms of mediation, peacekeeping and how to end violent conflict, build peace and transform societies to reconcile their differences in the second part.
Tutorials are enriched with case studies, interesting links, presentations and movies.
The objectives of this course are to survey the theory and practice of violent conflict and its resolution. The course will discuss some current issues in conflict studies related to the identity, community, belonging, human needs, structural issues, greed and grievances, discourses of violence and conflict, possible causes of communal violence, economic and environmental issues, third-party intervention, mediation, peace-building and reconciliation in the different stages of preventing, containing and ending violent conflict, as well as to gain insight into basic elements of peace and security studies, conflict management and international politics. Specifically objectives of the course is:
- To discuss and learn what conflict means and why groups resort to violence;
- To discuss conflict types and trends in the contemporary world;
- To get familiar with conflict models and conflict studies, such as primordial, constructivist, discursive and cultural approaches;
- To discuss ontological and epistemological issues regarding conflicts studies;
- To apply these models, concepts and theories to several conflicts;
- To understand the main techniques of conflict resolution such as mediation, problem-solving workshops and the efforts of International Organisations such as United Nations;
- To discuss peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention in conflict resolution;
- To get introductory knowledge on ending conflicts and post-conflict reconstruction, peacebuilding and reconciliation processes.
At least two 2000-level courses in Humanities or Social Sciences.
Some background knowledge on important conflicts in history, on the current conflicts in the world, on IR theories and methods of social sciences are helpful in this course. International Relations and Philosophy of Science are recommended courses.
- Jolle Demmers, Theories of Violent Conflict: An Introduction, 2nd Edition, 2017
- Additional articles and book chapters.