International Peace and Conflict Resolution Courses (IP)

501 Introduction to Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution

This required course provides a graduate-level introduction to the interdisciplinary field of peace and conflict studies, its relationship with other academic disciplines, and careers in the field of conflict resolution. It draws upon a variety of disciplines, especially in the social sciences, to examine the interrelationship between personal, collective, national and global levels of violence and war and efforts to reduce it. Course objectives include familiarity with the causes, symptoms and dynamics of conflict, violence, and war (from interpersonal to global) and conflict resolution.

504 Foundations of Conflict Analysis

This required first year research and writing course focuses on developing students’ abilities to think critically, research effectively and build strong arguments. Through a combination of lecture and workshop style classes, students practice these skills while working on a research project relevant to their interests and course of study.

511 Introduction to International Law

This seminar introduces students to the fundamental rules and principles of public international law, including the concept of state sovereignty, implementation methods, the sources of international law, and their significance. Particular emphasis is placed on the peaceful settlement of disputes, including arbitration and international adjudication, and the rules governing the use of force and the responsibility for unlawful acts on the international level. M.A. candidates learn about the use of international law in the course of conflict resolution.

515 Mediation

Transformation in general can be divided into three main areas based on the role of the conflict specialist. Conflict specialists work toward transformation as third party neutrals, as advocates, and as justice facilitators. In each area the conflict worker aims at empowering the disputants to make their own decisions, actively have a say in the processes, in short, author their own histories. This course focuses on two of those three areas: Mediation and Conflict Coaching. In this class students will learn the process and major skills in mediation (neutrality) and conflict coaching (advocacy). As an online course students will interact with other students, multimedia and various websites, and with the teacher. This course will give students a good sense of what happens in mediation and conflict coaching as well as practical exposure to the skills and strategies needed to be effective in both.

520 International Security

This course advances a thorough and in-depth analysis of international security issues, themes, theories and cases through an examination of security from three levels of analysis: the international system, state and domestic level politics and individual decision makers. Within each level of analysis we will study various theories used to explain the sources of instability and stability in order to understand what drives state and actor behavior in terms of foreign policy, war, cooperation, and expansion.

522 Conflict Resolution in Deeply Divided Societies

This course focuses on understanding the phenomena of conflict and war in deeply divided societies and differing paradigms for building peace. The course first lays a foundation for interpreting the diverse landscape that increasingly has given rise to violent conflict during the transition to globalization and liberalization in the aftermath of the Cold War. The course then applies these perspectives to different concepts of peace building using current perspectives from the field of conflict resolution and from selected case studies of international and regional efforts to resolve conflict in divided societies.

524 Conflict Management

Conflict is a normal and an inevitable part of our daily lives. It is present in most personal relationships, in homes, in schools, in the workplace, and among groups in our society. Conflict is often associated with destructive outcomes such as aggression, anger, damaged relationships, violence, and wars. However, conflict has a positive and productive side. Conflict presents an opportunity for personal change and transformation, strengthened relationships, improved communications, problem solving, collaboration, and social change. How conflict is managed influences whether conflict outcomes are constructive or destructive. The objectives of this course are to increase awareness, develop skills, and gain knowledge of constructive conflict management processes and approaches. The course begins with deconstructing conflict and explores how our personal histories affect our perceptions regarding conflict and our conflict styles. Interpersonal communication skills such as active listening and assertiveness are developed. Students are introduced to mediation, negotiation, and nonviolent action from both a practical and theoretical standpoint.

533 Conflict Transformation

This practicum in the mediation process examines the range of strategic choices available for managing conflict, including techniques that have proved most constructive in the field of peace and conflict resolution: consensus-based mediation. The first part of the course introduces students to differing approaches to managing and resolving conflict, how the mediation process works and variety of contexts in which it is likely to be used with success. The second part of the course is devoted to designing and conducting a mediation on a selected case in contemporary international relations.

535 Economics, the Environment and Development

This course examines a new class of conflict that has risen to prominence in the international arena: conflict that is rooted in environmental degradation and resource scarcity. The course covers emerging concepts of environmental security, which, together with other sources of tension, such as poverty, social inequity and ethnic intolerance, are increasingly leading to violent conflict. Principles of international economics, regional development and the role of international organization are addressed as well as new paradigms for environmental conflict management and sustainable development.

537 Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is a growing social movement that begins with a fundamental rethinking of the very nature of what justice is. It offers a model that facilitates a vision of justice that is participatory for those involved in and affected by harmful behavior, potentially empowering to victims, offenders, and, in some cases, the affected community, and holds the goal of making right (as much as possible) the harm caused by the offending behavior. At present RJ is a fairly broad umbrella of practices, including victim-offender mediation, family group conferencing, peacemaking circles, victim-offender dialogue in crimes of severe violence, truth and reconciliation commissions, and others. This course compares the ethos and implications these programs as they impact and/or challenge current judicial practices, explores strengths and weaknesses of Restorative Justice in current discussion, investigates emerging areas of practice such as in prison populations and schools, and traces the role of facilitators in Restorative Justice practices.

540 Social Life of War: Political, Cultural and Identity Process in Global Conflict
This course explores war and violent conflict from a socio-cultural perspective. The course explores the ways in which war and violent conflict reshape social structures, create new cultural processes in reaction to altered reality, and reconstitute identities. Students read and discuss ethnographic accounts that show how war and violent conflict are experienced at the personal, cultural and social level. This course enhances and complicates understandings of what conflict is and what it means for people and social groups who are forced to endure it.

542 International Health and Human Rights

This course explores the relationship between contemporary political, socioeconomic, cultural, environmental and demographic conditions and their impact on health and human rights from an international perspective. A major focus of the course is the evolution of health care delivery systems and governmental and non-governmental responses to health and human rights challenges. Other topics addressed include structural adjustment, population dynamics, child survival policies, water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS, appropriate technologies, international organizations, traditional healing, pharmaceutical policy, and human resources development.

543 Peace Perspectives of World Religions

Although religious differences often create barriers to peace making, and at times people create conflict in the name of their religion, all of the major religious traditions also have deep roots of peaceful living. This class explores the roots of peace making in Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Indigenous American Religions, and from these roots builds bridges of common ground, understanding, and acceptance of the other.

552 Kosovo and Serbia: Conflict, Governance and State Building

The course will concentrate on politics and political solutions to conflicts, including domestic political solutions and international post-conflict governance as well as state building. The course offers a unique opportunity to explore key aspects of the Serb-Albanian conflict over Kosovo: the roots and causes of the conflict, its history and consequences, the role of the international community in conflict management and peace building, post-conflict institution building, and prospects for reconciliation. The course also includes a field study to Serbia and Kosovo. Students will meet with officials from the Serbian and Kosovo governments and parliaments, local mayors, local conflict resolution professionals, and Western diplomats working there. Participants in this course will attain a better understanding of history, politics and ethnic relations in the Balkans, causes of ethnic conflict, problems of post-conflict institution building, destructive role of nationalist politics, and remaining challenges in resolving the conflict. A special emphasis is made on the issues of inclusive governance in multiethnic societies. (Pending approval)

574 NGOs in International Politics: Concepts and Challenges

Since the end of World War II, there has been a steady increase in the numbers of transnational non-governmental organizations (TNGOs) working across borders on issues as diverse as emergency relief, women’s rights, environmental sustainability and fair trade. In the 1990s, the TNGO sector expanded at an unprecedented rate and the amount of money channeled through these organizations sky-rocketed. Consequently, political scientists started paying more attention to the purpose, activities, power, and authority of TNGOs. This course examines key conceptual issues surrounding the legitimacy, authority, power and accountability of TNGOs with the objective of fostering a clear understanding of the unique role TNGOs play in international politics. We will also consider the challenges NGOs face in the international system. We will discuss: the tactics TNGOs employ to effectuate change; the relationship between TNGOs and the military; the funding landscape; the dark side of TNGO policies and the relationship between TNGOs from the Global South and the Global North. The course is grounded in case studies that explore TNGOs activities in the realms of women’s rights, human rights, development, peace-building, environmental protection and emergency relief.

578 NGO Management: Program Design, Implementation and Evaluation

This course provides an introduction to the concepts and skills needed to effectively manage non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and their international projects. Through discussion, experiential learning and case studies, the class will learn how to design a mission, strategic plan, marketing and fundraising strategy as well as how to manage human resources, external relationships and finances. In addition, students will learn how to conduct outcomes assessments and evaluations. Students will apply theory to practice by exploring the organizational and managerial challenges NGOs face through case study learning. Students also gain hands-on experience while working on projects proposed by the Philadelphia-based American Friends Services Committee (AFSC).

581 Study Abroad and Concentration (Second Year)

During their second year, graduate students in the IPCR program have the opportunity to take specialized courses in their chosen field of research at one of our partner institutions abroad or at the institution of their choosing, with Director approval. Most students will spend the fall semester of their second year fulfilling this requirement, but there are summer and other short options available.

583 Internship (Second Year)

The professional experience is practical training at the graduate level with a practitioner organization in the field. The internship requires 240 hours, lasting three to four months and offers candidates substantive experience in their chosen areas of specialization. Candidates prepare a learning contract with their supervisors and the program Director in order to determine their learning goals, resources and means of evaluation. All candidates keep a journal recording their activities and reflecting on what they learn.

589 Independent Study

This seminar serves to enable M.A. candidates to do significant supervised research in their chosen field of concentration, to interact with fellow candidates and faculty in a formal setting, and to get feedback on the progress of their research, and to present their final paper.

598 Capstone Seminar (Second Year)

Candidates return to campus in the spring of their second year to complete their thesis requirement. The seminar meets weekly and follows a workshop format. Capstone culminates in a public presentation of the thesis project during the university-wide Capstone day.

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International Peace & Conflict Resolution 
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