Fall 2019 Courses
Any interested sophomore, junior or senior may enroll in IIPS 20101 Introduction to Peace Studies for the fall term. Students who are not in the Undergraduate Program in Peace Studies are welcome to enroll in IIPS electives if seats remain available after all initial web registration periods have passed.
Peace studies students can explore the full list of fall courses eligible for the major and minor, including electives cross-listed from other departments, in the Fall 2019 Undergraduate Course List. Full details for each course can also be viewed online in NOVO or Class Search under the subject "Institute for International Peace Studies" (IIPS).
IIPS 20101 01 (CRN 16922)
IIPS 20101 02 (CRN 14504)
Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors Only
The Cold War ended in 1989, but civil war, genocide, and state repression continue to occur across the globe, while millions barely have the means to survive in the face of overwhelming poverty. Nevertheless, the world has also witnessed the emergence of sophisticated civil society networks and social movements to address these challenges, as well as governmental and transnational institutions committed to promoting justice and peace in the aftermath of political violence. This course introduces students to the various ways scholars and activists define peace and the challenges faced in securing peace. This course surveys: (1) the major causes of direct and structural violence; (2) various definitions of "peace" and the conditions under which it occurs and is sustained; and (3) the comparative success of various strategies such as building peace movements and promoting nonviolent social change.
Human Rights and Human Wrongs
IIPS 30554 01 (CRN 19297)
Over the past seventy years, human rights have become a dominant discourse in international politics. Following the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), there has emerged an increasingly important but contentious debate about the nature of human rights. But what, exactly, is a right? And what is a human right? How do we justify human rights, and are these justifications philosophically sound? How extensive should rights be? In this political theory class, we examine the origins, content and scope of human rights and consider their political value as well as challenges to their use.
IIPS 30602 01 (CRN 19299)
Jerusalem is a holy city for many religions. It is believed to represent heavenly eternal peace but is also the source of earthly and historical violence. What are the sources of this contested legacy? What are the prospects of building peace with justice in such a volatile context? This interdisciplinary course will explore the memories, histories, theologies, politics, and social realities of the city of Jerusalem as a microcosm of the broader conflict and occupation primarily through novels, autobiographies, and poetry. We will explore the interface between religion and politics by asking how Jerusalem fits into secular and religious Jewish Zionist ideologies as well as how Christian Zionists’ conceptions of the end-time informs a commitment to maintaining Jewish political hegemony over the city. We will likewise trace the changing meanings of Jerusalem in Palestinian, Muslim, and global social justice discourses, including in LGBTQI activism and Africa-American Palestine solidarity claims and actions as well as Jewish critics of Israeli policies. To bring to life the many contemporary narratives of Jerusalem, we will explore the stories people from Jerusalem have written as well as how others employed Jerusalem in their stories. Through these stories, we can obtain some of the embodied smells and emotions and long histories attached to the city of Jerusalem as well as trace the ways in which this city has functioned as a metaphor for multiple religious-cultural and political imaginations.
War, Peace, and the Catholic Imagination
IIPS 30603 01 (CRN 19301)
The Catholic Church boasts a rich tradition of reflection and action on war and peace. This course introduces students to the most well-known and well-developed part of that tradition—just war and pacifism—and considers the relationship between the just war-pacifism strands of the tradition and the development of a theology, ethics and praxis of peacebuilding (i.e. the Church's approach to conflict prevention, conflict transformation and post-conflict reconciliation). The course emphasizes the "living" nature of the tradition; the link between theory and practice, principles and policy; and the importance of grounding ethics and action on war and peace in an understanding of Christian vocation. It examines these broad topics in light of specific cases, such as the Iraq interventions, humanitarian intervention, nuclear disarmament, the landmines campaign, the role of the UN, conscientious objection, and the Church's role in both Track Two diplomacy and truth and reconciliation processes. Through this course, students have an opportunity to engage directly with Catholic leaders who work on these issues and to write a research paper that contributes to the Catholic Peacebuilding Network's efforts in the Philippines, Colombia, the Great Lakes region of Africa, and South Sudan.
IIPS 30803 01 (CRN 19303)
Learn how to be an effective advocate for social change! This course engages in a study of the principles and practices of nonviolent social change as developed by Gandhi, King, Barbara Deming and others. It addresses topics such as the religious roots and philosophy of nonviolence, principles of strategy, digital organizing, social and conventional media, fundraising, policy advocacy, and coalition building. Relevant historical and contemporary examples are reviewed, from civil rights and Vietnam anti-war movements of the past to Black Lives Matter and women's rights movements today. Coursework consists of readings, videos, and class discussions on identified topics along with guest lectures by social change practitioners. Students also have the opportunity to learn by doing through participation in class activities and team learning exercises.
Perspectives on Peacebuilding
IIPS 33101 01 (CRN 15175)
IIPS 33101 02 (CRN 15749)
Peace Studies Majors, Minors Only
This junior-level seminar is a required course for either the Supplementary Major or Interdisciplinary Minor in Peace Studies. The course focuses on strategic peacebuilding, an analytical framework for investigating the causes and dynamics of conflict, conflict resolution and transformation, and post-conflict reconstruction and justice. The seminar (1) deepens student knowledge of foundational concepts and questions in peace studies; (2) introduces students to a variety of methodological approaches common in peace studies research; and (3) explores the relation between ethical, empirical and practical approaches in the field. The course provides students with the tools necessary to carry out later research in their capstone seminar and encourages a deeper understanding of how their own research interests connect to peace studies. This course is open only to peace studies majors and minors.
IIPS 40408 01 (CRN 19306)
This course focuses on preventive diplomacy, which entails diplomatic action to prevent conflicts from becoming violent and to prevent low-level violence from spreading or escalating into large-scale violence. This vital form of conflict prevention is widely practiced by the United Nations, regional organizations, and a number of states, but it has not been subject to extensive research. The course examines case studies on domestic and international preventive diplomacy; develops a theoretical framework to explain success and failure; and shares practitioner experiences. It also offers training in practical skills related to preventive diplomacy.
IIPS 40607 01 (CRN 19307)
This course explores the ways in which religious ethicists, social critics, and activists have employed conceptions of love and violence for the purposes of criticizing and resisting oppressive political conditions and for radically transforming existing social arrangements. We begin by exploring the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau concerning the moral status of civil disobedience in the context of the U.S. abolitionist struggle, with particular attention to the influence of the Bhagavad-Gita upon their thinking. We examine the ways that both Thoreau's writings and the Gita influenced Mahatma Gandhi on questions of non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi's exploration of the power of non-violence in light of the Sermon on the Mount from the Christian new Testament, and his correspondence with the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. We also investigate how this mosaic of influences came to inform Martin Luther King, Jr.'s work, the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. during the 1960s, Malcolm X, and the black power movement. We engage critical perspectives on these thinkers and ideas and then conclude with a brief examination of principled vs. strategic and revolutionary forms of non-violence in the work of Gene Sharp.
Moral Vocabularies of Contemporary Islam
IIPS 40610 01 (CRN 19308)
How does one make sense of the moral vocabularies of contemporary Islam? Prominent in the media are debates about Sharia, known as Islamic law, and on other occasions, people talk about Islamic ethics and values in Muslim societies and communities. These categories are often not self-evident to the most casual observer. How do we get a better grasp of moral debates in Muslim societies on questions as diverse as suicide terrorism, organ transplantation, democratic politics, and fetal life? These ethical debates impact policy questions ranging from gender, democratic citizenship, technology, and sexual violence to matters such as Islamic family law and constitutional debates. This course explores a select sample of these questions from an ethical and moral perspective. Students get an introduction to Muslim moral philosophy, a history of the jurisprudence, and a set of case studies dealing with concrete questions. They also get an opportunity to become familiar with the interpretation of the primary religious sources of Islam that result in diverse iterations and accounts of Muslim ethics in various contexts.
IIPS 40611 01 (CRN 19311)
Fr. Emmanuel Katongole
From a Christian theological point of view, peace is both a gift and a mission. Using life stories of exemplary Christian peacebuilders from around the world, the course highlights five practices and disciplines: scriptural imagination, lament, hope, advocacy, and spirituality, all of which define the Christian vision and practice of peace. The course serves as an extended argument for why and how the Church matters for peace in the world, but also to display that the pursuit of peace is not the reserve of a few experts (peacebuilders), but the gift and mission of every Christian—"anyone in Christ."
Peace Studies Senior Seminar
IIPS 43101 01 (CRN 10002)
David Anderson Hooker
IIPS 43101 02 (CRN 15176)
Peace Studies Majors, Minors Only
This writing-intensive seminar is the required capstone course for either the Supplementary Major or Interdisciplinary Minor in Peace Studies. This advanced course consists of readings and discussions that explore a familiar peace studies theme in greater depth. The centerpiece of the course is a seminar paper that students research and write on a subject of their choice, selected in light of the course theme and drawing on research methods from both peace studies and students' primary majors. This required course is open only to peace studies majors and minors.
To meet with the director of undergraduate studies, email:
Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies
To learn more about the program or declare a major or minor in peace studies, email:
Anna Van Overberghe
Assistant Director for Academic Administration and Undergraduate Studies