Fall 2024 Courses

Any interested student may enroll in IIPS 20101 Introduction to Peace Studies for the fall, and students considering a supplementary major or minor in peace studies are encouraged to take this course as soon as feasible to help with their discernment. Students are also welcome to enroll in other IIPS courses but seats may be limited until all initial web registration periods have passed.

Peace studies students can explore the full list of spring courses eligible for the major and minor, including electives cross-listed from other departments, in the forthcoming Fall 2024 Undergraduate IIPS Course Booklet. Full details for each course can also be viewed in NOVO or PATH Class Search under the subject "Institute for International Peace Studies" (IIPS).

Introduction to Peace Studies

IIPS 20101 01 (CRN 14067)
Gwendolyn Purifoye
MW 2:00-3:15

IIPS 20101 02 (CRN 13009)
Maira Hayat
TR 11:00-12:15

IIPS 20101 03 (CRN 19633)
Jason Springs
TR 2:00-3:15

This course is open to undergraduate students from all majors. It carries the WKIN-Integration attribute and counts toward the Liberal Arts 6 requirement in the core curriculum. 

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.

Race Locales: Race, Space, and Place in the U.S.

IIPS 30205 01 (CRN 19634)
Gwendolyn Purifoye
MW 3:30-4:45

This course examines the socio-histories, movement, and settlement patterns of racial minorities in the U.S. The course will focus on how race and racial imaginaries shape the movement and settlement of racial minorities. It will include deep examinations of these mobility patterns and how they are constructed and articulated through laws, policies, and social arrangements. Special attention will be paid to the racialization of the United States, American-ness as whiteness, and the consequences for the social and physical landscape. And finally, the course will consider how the racial construction of America is manifested and buttressed through the built environment and the consequences.

How to Change the World: The Strategies and Tactics of Nonviolent Action

IIPS 30803 01 (CRN 19635)
Jason Springs, David Cortright
TR 11:00-12:15

This course teaches the fundamentals of effective organizing for peace and social justice. Students will become familiar with theories of nonviolent change and the methods of social action. Topics of focus include the principles of strategy, the use of media communications and coalition building. The course will examine lessons from previous peace movements for addressing the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine today. It will look at the relationship between social movements and institutional politics with reference to the November 2024 elections. Relevant historical and contemporary examples will be reviewed, including the civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, the Women’s March and the climate change movement. Course work consists of readings, lectures, videos, guest speakers and class discussion on the identified topics. Students will participate in class activities and team learning exercises.

Perspectives on Peacebuilding

IIPS 33101 01 (CRN 15308)
Atalia Omer
MW 12:30-1:45

IIPS 33101 02 (CRN 17472)
Ashley Bohrer
MW 5:05-6:20

This course is reserved for peace studies majors and minors.

This junior-level seminar is a required course for the supplementary major and 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.

Truth Commissions: Conceptual Foundations and Case Studies (1.0 credit)

IIPS 40100 01 (CRN 19636)
Josefina Echevarria Alvarez
R 2:30-4:30, 08/26/24 to 10/18/24

Truth commissions have been established around the world to uncover, document, and recognize human rights violations and atrocities as well as to honor victims at moments of transition from dictatorships to democracies and from wars to post-war contexts. In most cases, expectations about their results are set high: victims, the international community, prosecutors, and civil society organizations expect that the truths uncovered become undeniable. As a result, for many people truth commissions stand as an act of reparation in and of themselves, and also serve as catalysts for larger processes of reconciliation and the dignification of victims. In this course, we will study the conceptual foundations of truth commissions and learn from different case studies, including Colombia, Guatemala, Northern Ireland, Kenya, and South Africa. We will seek to comprehend truth commissions’ contributions to processes of peacebuilding and reconciliation, analyze their implementation and identify gaps and opportunities to advance peacebuilding, and engage in conversation about the challenges of creating a "never again" culture.

Business and Peace: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1.0 credit)

IIPS 40101 01 (CRN 17473)
Timothy Fort
F 9:00-4:00, 09/06/24 and 10/04/24 and 11/08/24

This course is reserved for students pursuing a major, supplementary major, or minor within the Keough School of Global Affairs.

Could business be an instrument of peace or is it more likely to be an agent of division that foments conflict? While the course will touch on questions of whether trade and economic development as well as different economic systems impact causes of violence, the class focuses specifically on the role of for-profit and non-profit institutions within the context of current economic systems. This course draws upon three perspectives to undertake a 360-degree assessment of this question about business’s role. First, it will examine the ways in which the actions of business exploit populations, profit from war-making, and sometimes actively engage in the promotion of violence. Second, it looks at an area of academic inquiry sometimes called Business For Peace, in which the ways in which businesses can be instruments of peace have been explored. The ways businesses might do this include being more actively involved in peacemaking and peacekeeping in zones of conflict as well as more general, incremental forms of peace building that could occur both in and outside of zones of conflict. Third, the course looks at newer, nuanced theories from political theorists that assess the positives and negatives of the role of business in engagement in peace.

Colonialism and Imperialism: Past and Present

IIPS 40305 01 (CRN 20593)
Ashley Bohrer
MW 2:00-3:15

This course introduces students to the histories of colonization and imperialism, looking at the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of foreign rule. We will look simultaneously at an analysis of these structures as well as at social movements' attempts to move beyond them. We will ask the question: is the world really postcolonial or do we live in a new, reconfigured form of empire? How do structures of empire and colony intersect with issues of gender, race, sexuality, and religion?

Religion, Nationalism, and Settler Colonialism

IIPS 40520 01 (CRN 19637)
Atalia Omer
MW 9:30-10:45

This interdisciplinary course will examine the conceptual logic of using a settler-colonial lens to interpret the history and politics of Palestine/Israel. We will explore the religious dimensions of settler colonial narratives and practices and their intersections with secular, religious, and apocalyptic nationalisms. We will ask what the deployment of a settler-colonial lens illuminates, what it obscures, and why. We will scrutinize the recent proliferation of scholarship that has taken a comparative settler colonial approach. We will triangulate it with the literature on Israel’s Jewish identity, its meaning, and how and why it shifted over the decades. We will likewise engage in another set of conversations on nationalism and political theologies and identify the relevance of global anti-racism social movements and their uses and abuses of Palestinian struggles and Israeli narratives.

Peace Studies Senior Seminar

IIPS 43101 01 (CRN 13436)
Asher Kaufman
TR 2:00-3:15

This course is reserved for senior peace studies majors and minors. It carries the WRIT-Writing Intensive attribute and counts toward the Writing 2 requirement in the university core curriculum.

This writing-intensive seminar is the required capstone course for the supplementary major and 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.

Section Theme: Intractable Conflicts—The Israel-Palestine Conflict as a Case Study. In this senior seminar we will study the conflict between Israeli-Jews and Palestinian-Arabs as a form of an intractable conflict. We will begin by studying what intractable conflicts are and then move to exploring the history and root causes of our case study. We will read on past attempts to find solutions and analyze the reasons for their failure. We will look at political, social, cultural and psychological dynamics that are at the foundation of this conflict and how it is a classical archetype of intractable conflicts. Students will be able to write their senior seminar on a topic related to this conflict or choose a different intractable conflict for their final paper.

Engaging in Mediation Policy and Practice

IIPS 50805 01 (CRN 19638)
Laurie Nathan
M 3:30-6:15

This skills-oriented course focuses on mediation policy and practice. It covers the skills of conflict analysis, strategic planning for peacemaking, mediating conflict, and policy development and advocacy. It will address conflict at both the international level and the local level.