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.
502 Research Methods in Conflict Analysis and Peace Science
This required course provides an essential introduction to the systematic analysis of conflict and to the relationships that exist across the social sciences that inform our understanding of social conflict and the emerging field of conflict analysis and peace studies. As such, the seminar introduces the basic approaches of conflict analysis and peace studies research. It familiarizes students with the diverse tools that are used to understand and analyze the emergence and evolution of conflict in a variety of settings. Initial sessions provide the intellectual foundation and theoretical framework for “conducting” conflict analysis and its relationship to principles in mediation and conflict resolution. Subsequent sessions apply the framework to selected domestic and international disputes and explore appropriate strategies for their 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.
507 Foundations of Peace Education
Foundations in Peace Education covers the historical, cultural and political influences of U.S. based public education and examines the role of the federal, state, and local governments in educational policy, funding, assessment standards, and curriculum and instruction. Additionally, it assists students in developing a rationale for building and implementing multicultural curricula and develop strategies for deconstructing institutional and instructional barriers of multicultural and peace education.
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.OL Mediation and Conflict Coaching Conflict
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.
521 International Organizations in Dispute Resolution
International governmental (IGOs) and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are among the most important actors in international relations. After learning about their legal status and political role in the contemporary international system, candidates study universal, regional, and sub-regional IGOs working in a broad range of fields (e.g. the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Council of Europe, the European Union, OSCE, NATO, the World Bank, etc.) and analyze NGOs and their role in peace and conflict resolution and their interaction with states and IGOs.
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.
523 Post-Conflict Relief and Development
Fourteen of the 20 poorest countries are currently in or emerging from conflict. As a result, NGOs and their donors increasingly are grappling with the fine line between “development” and “relief.” The first half of this course examines traditional development approaches. Students learn about the different roles of donors (NGOs, bilateral, multilateral, and foundations), the relationship between donors and recipients, strategies, impact and effectiveness. The second half of the course examines international efforts to consolidate and to jump-start a nation’s social, economic, and political recovery from conflict. Students then examine the continuum between development and relief and the challenges posed for the international community.
524.OL 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.
527.OL Peace Education 1: Theory and Principles
This course provides a brief overview of the history of education as it has been employed for social change. It explores Education for Transformation, Popular Education and Experiential Learning theories. The course focuses on the principles of peace culture as they apply to the classroom as well as overall school climate. Students are assigned weekly readings from leaders in the field and are required to post responses. Depending upon enrollment size, students are assigned work groups where they are required to respond to cohorts’ postings.
528.OL Peace Education 2: Methodologies and Practical Application
This course explores the methods teachers, counselors and conflict interventionists use to build a culture of peace in educational settings. Students are required to investigate how these methods are applied in real world situations and learn how to evaluate their efficacy. Students are assigned weekly readings containing peace education methods, case studies of practical application and theoretical framework of monitoring and evaluation of methods. Depending upon enrollment size, students are assigned work groups where they are required to respond to cohorts’ postings.
529 Advanced Mediation
This course is a practicum in advanced mediation/facilitation process. Students examine the range of strategies available for managing conflict, including techniques that have proven most constructive in the field of peace and conflict resolution: consensus-based and transformative mediation. The first part of the course introduces students to the basic framework of mediation and examines three faces of leadership, how cultural differences affect communication, a study of the eight tools needed to mediate, and conduct simulations for several of the strategies for interpersonal, community and international mediation. The second part of the course is focused on a Practicum, examining conflict in a variety of contexts.
532 Advanced Seminar in International Law
This course focuses on areas of international law that are of special policy relevance to the field of peace and conflict resolution. Following a module format, students explore this evolving field through case studies, court decisions, and emerging international norms and agreements.
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.OL 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.
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.
585 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.
585 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).
585 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.
561 Graduate Colloquium
The graduate colloquium serves as an open and informal forum to assist students in developing their study abroad and internship arrangements for the second year. Policies and procedures are discussed as well as relevant timelines for study abroad programs in peace and conflict resolution. Internship possibilities are discussed and explored according to student interests. The graduate colloquium meets weekly beginning after the second week of classes.
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.
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.