Spring 2020 Courses
Any interested first year, sophomore, or junior may enroll in IIPS 20101 Introduction to Peace Studies for the spring 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 spring courses eligible for the major and minor, including electives cross-listed from other departments, in the Spring 2020 Undergraduate Course List. Full details for each course are also available online in NOVO Browse Classes under the subject "Institute for International Peace Studies" (IIPS).
IIPS 20101 01 (CRN 24551)
IIPS 20101 02 (CRN 24552)
First Years, Sophomores, Juniors Only
Armed conflict and state repression continue to occur across the globe, millions of people face overwhelming poverty, and systemic challenges like climate change imperil collective survival. Nevertheless, we have 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 at the local, national, regional and global levels. This course introduces students to the various ways scholars and activists define peace and the challenges faced in securing peace. It 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.
Structural and Cultural Violence
IIPS 30308 01 (CRN 30778)
This course offers an in-depth analysis of the roles of structural and cultural violence in peace studies. Unit 1 explores field-formative debates over the nature, basis, and viability of “structural violence” and “cultural violence” as analytical concepts, asking how they have shaped (or failed to, but perhaps ought to shape) the field of peace studies. We will examine their critical appropriations of early critical theory and assess comparable theoretical approaches such as reflexive sociology (Pierre Bourdieu, Loic Wacquant), post-structural analysis (Michel Foucault), and later critical theory (Nancy Fraser, Axel Honneth) while asking what advantages lenses of structural and cultural violence have vis-à-vis these resources for peacebuilding and where they need to be supplemented. Unit 2 studies cases in which some version of these analytical lenses have been deployed for purposes of peacebuilding. We examine recent uses of these lenses to examine poverty, global development, and global health in building peace (Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Paul Farmer, Peter Uvin), religious/cultural identity (Veena Das), and race, class, and gender (Joshua Price, Alex Mikulich, Laurie Cassidy).
Perspectives on Peacebuilding
IIPS 33101 01 (CRN 25533)
IIPS 33101 02 (CRN 30779)
Majors, Minors, Concentrators 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.
Peace, Ecology, and Integral Human Development
IIPS 40409 01 (CRN 31938)
Emmanuel Katongole, Clemens Sedmak
Environmental issues are increasingly a major source of conflict. Climate change-related conflicts about (more and more scarce) resources and secondary conflicts that arise because of the resource conflict both pose a major challenge to the planet. Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si has offered ways to think about an integral ecology that takes the environment, life on the planet, the human condition, and culture seriously. The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor cannot be separated, and thus Laudato Si has to be read against the background of the concept of Integral Human Development. This concept, inspired by the works of Joseph Lebret, O.P., was introduced by Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Populorum Progressio (1967) and refers to “the development of the whole person and the development of all persons." This course therefore explores the connection between peace, (integral) ecology, and (integral human) development. The course will work with one particular case study, the “Bethany Land Institute” project in Uganda, through regular class sessions and a required week-long immersion in Uganda during the midterm break.
Conflict Resolution: The Theory and Practice of Mediation
IIPS 40801 01 (CRN 30780)
This foundational course presents theories, cases and skills related to international mediation in high intensity conflicts (e.g. South Sudan, Yemen and Colombia). We will review the literature on international mediation and conflict resolution; explore relevant theories and examine their validity in actual cases; and share practitioner experiences of mediation initiatives led by the United Nations, the African Union and other organizations. We will also introduce and practice the skills of peacemaking analysis alongside the planning and facilitating of agreements. The course will deepen understanding of international mediation and offer students a foundation for practical engagement.
Peace Studies Senior Seminar
IIPS 43101 01 (CRN 20283)
IIPS 43101 02 (CRN 21703)
Majors, Minors, Concentrators 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.
Dimensions of Quality Peace
IIPS 50602 01 (CRN 30781)
Recently scholars have started to use the concept of quality peace to understand the nature of peace in societies emerging from violent conflict. This course examines the dimensions of quality peace—an approach to understanding how war and peace shape social, political, and economic outcomes. Over the semester, students will learn how war and peace determine the variation in key quality peace indicators such as human rights practice, democratization, economic development, public health, women's rights, and so on. Students will develop skills in analyzing these issues and learn how types of war termination might help break the cycles of conflict trap and the human misery caused by war. Students will be encouraged to share diverse experiences and ethical perspectives in dealing with these issues.
Islamic Ethics of War and Peace
IIPS 50604 01 (CRN 22297)
Topics such as "Islam and Violence," "Islam and War," and "Islam and Peace" have become increasingly popular in the media over the past decade. To develop deeper insight into these topics as well as the current events that generated them, it is important to understand the worldview of Islam. This course examines the major principles of Islamic ethics and the key theories of classical and contemporary Muslim ethicists, and applies these ethical principles and theories in analyzing contemporary Muslim perspectives on war and peace. Cognizant of the various contexts within which ethical questions are debated, students will be encouraged to explore the impact of modernity, post-modernity, globalization, and liberalism on Muslim ethical discourses. They will also be asked to compare the ethical principles and theories of Islam with those of other philosophical and religious theories in order to discover points of difference as well as convergence. Students are not expected to emerge from this course as experts, but they will gain conceptual lenses that enable them to better appreciate how—and under which conditions—Islam and Muslims are implicated in conflict, violence, and peacebuilding at both the global and local level.
To meet with the director of undergraduate studies, contact:
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 K. Van Overberghe
Assistant Director for Academic Administration and Undergraduate Studies