Peace Studies and History

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What are the historical or root causes of violent conflict? How have various social movements evolved over time? In what way is history manipulated for the sake of attaining political goals? How is foreign policy informed by historical information or knowledge? 

The Peace Studies and History program equips students with the analytical and conceptual tools of history to address these and related questions. Doctoral students work in a wide range of history subfields, enabling them to focus on questions related to colonialism, imperialism, contemporary conflicts, and the historical foundations of socioeconomic inequalities on global and local levels.

With its attention to the elements of time and change and a nuanced approach to case studies, history brings a valuable perspective to peace studies and enriches the analysis of conflict. Peace studies, in turn, with its unique concepts, language and body of literature, enriches a historian’s study of violence and understanding of peacebuilding strategies.

Faculty Contact: Asher Kaufman, Professor of History and Peace Studies

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Student & Alumni Testimonials

"There are few programs today beyond the Kroc Institute which allow students of history to intentionally link their studies of past conflicts and contexts to present day episodes and expressions of violence--whether direct, physical violence or more structural manifestations of social and cultural violence. My historical research on interactions between the United States and Israel-Palestine, by state and non-state actors, has been shaped and strengthened through the interdisciplinary language and concepts of peace studies. Likewise, as a historian of religion, culture, politics, and gender I have come to recognize, both in and outside of the classroom, that my historical training has uniquely contributed to expanding the focus and methods of the field of peace studies studied at Kroc." — Anna Fett, Ph.D. student in peace studies & history