Spring 2022 Courses

Any interested student may enroll in IIPS 20101 Introduction to Peace Studies for the spring term. Students who are not pursuing a supplementary major or minor in peace studies are welcome to enroll in other IIPS courses if there are no restrictions or if seats remain after all initial web registration periods have passed. Restrictions will be removed on most sections once peace studies majors and minors have enrolled in their selected courses.

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 2022 Undergraduate IIPS Course Booklet. Full details for each course can also be viewed online in NOVO or PATH Class Search under the subject "Institute for International Peace Studies" (IIPS).


Introduction to Peace Studies

IIPS 20101 01 (CRN 23810)
Garrett FitzGerald
MW 12:30-1:45

IIPS 20101 02 (CRN 23811)
Ashley Bohrer
TR 11:00-12:15

Open to all undergraduate students and majors.

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.


Peace Studies Proseminar

IIPS 20100 01 (CRN 31740)
Laura Miller-Graff
F 9:25-10:15

Reserved for peace studies supplementary majors and minors.

This 1.0 credit course is designed for students pursuing the peace studies supplementary major or interdisciplinary minor who seek more active reflection on the role of peace studies in their academic study, professional discernment, and personal development. The course seeks to (1) familiarize students with professional opportunities and career paths in the field of peace studies; (2) support student engagement in co-curricular opportunities—such as assisting with faculty research, pursuing internships and field work, conducting independent research projects, engaging in advocacy and activism, etc.—that enhance these many professional trajectories; and (3) acquaint students with the diverse faculty of the Kroc Institute and their particular areas of expertise. The course will meet once per week throughout the semester, and registered students are expected to attend every class.


Black Lives Matter Uprisings of 2020: Revolutionary Violence vs. Revolutionary Nonviolence

IIPS 30425 01 (CRN 28665)
Jason Springs
TR 9:30-10:45

Is violent resistance and destructive populist uprising in response to injustice and structural violence ever justified? How do these developments compare and contrast to the debates surrounding violent vs nonviolent rebellion during the U.S. Civil Rights and Black Power Movements? How should the oppressed respond to their oppressors—conceptualize, fight for, and deploy power? What is the difference between rebellion and social movement, and how do their differences affect prospects for transforming systemically unjust and structurally violent conditions? This course explores answers to these questions by examining the conflicts surrounding the Movement for Black Lives over the last decade, while examining examples from the Civil Rights movement as cases for comparison. We will examine the background theories and ethical frameworks by which activists and practitioners conceptualize, implement, and justify—and argue with one another about—the necessities and limits of violent vs. nonviolent action and re-examine the roles that rebellion can play (and has played) in transforming injustice and structural violence, as well as in conceptualizing and pursuing liberation. What does the peace studies concept of “conflict transformation” have to contribute to these understandings and debates? We will consider challenges posed by rioting, property destruction and ‘looting,’ and the risks and possibilities of avoiding so-called “backlash” responses of state repression and counter-protest.


Contemporary Civil Wars

IIPS 30564 01 (CRN 31739)
Rachel Sweet
TR 2:00-3:15

Most current wars are civil wars, and these are longer and more violent than other forms of conflict. This course explores the politics of contemporary civil war. It examines the logic of rebel strategy, key trends in violence, and transnational dynamics including trafficking, terrorism, and international intervention. It takes a multi-scale approach to probe the roles of armed groups, civilians, national militaries, humanitarian organizations, and United Nations peace operations. It examines how the interaction among these actors reshapes the strategies, local economies, and duration of war. Students will compare the voices and experiences of civilians and rebels in warzones with intervention and conflict mitigation at the global level, and will examine implications for post-conflict transitions and conflict mitigation strategies. Students will build skills in conflict analysis, evidence, and assess gaps between public narratives of civil war and clandestine actions.


How to Change the World: Principles, Strategies, and Methods of Nonviolent Action

IIPS 30803 01 (CRN 31738)
David Cortright
MW 11:00-12:15

This course will help students learn how to participate more effectively in movements and campaigns that can change the world. It will examine theories of nonviolence and the strategies and methods of effective social change, from organizing protests to engaging in policy advocacy. The instructor, Prof. David Cortright, brings to the course decades of his own practical leadership experience in major social movements and policy change campaigns, from opposition to the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons in earlier decades, to contemporary efforts to implement peace in Colombia and learn lessons from failed U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The course will examine principles of strategy and tactics, methods of effective media communications and models of leadership. It will review historical and contemporary cases of social movements, including Black Lives Matter and Sunrise Movement, to illustrate how social change works in practice. Coursework will consist 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 24561)
A. Rashied Omar
TR 11:00-12:15

Reserved for peace studies majors, minors, and concentrators.

This junior 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.


Digital Peacebuilding and Peacetech

IIPS 40301 01 (CRN 31737)
Lisa Schirch
TR 9:30-10:45

This course explores how social media and other new technologies are profoundly reshaping the world, impacting democratic institutions, social cohesion, conflict, and the peacebuilding field. We will engage in deep-rooted analysis of technology's positive and negative impacts on society, drawing on neuroscience, psychology, political analysis, and economic research of the profit models, affordances, and designs of current technology platforms. Students will analyze the impact of digital technology on fifteen global conflicts and explore twenty spheres of digital peacebuilding. The course includes a policy analysis of proposed government regulations on technology companies. Participants will learn through case studies and policy dialogues to identify best practices for using social media to support peacebuilding.


Environmental Anthropology and the Intersectionality of Justice

IIPS 40302 01 (CRN 32284)
Maira Hayat
MW 2:00-3:15

As the Flint, Michigan water situation began to attract attention and condemnation, Michigan State Representative, Sheldon Neeley, describing the troops on the ground and the Red Cross distributing water bottles, said that the Governor had “turned an American city into a Third World country.” At a Congressional hearing, the Chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee said, “This is the United States of America – this isn’t supposed to happen here. We are not some Third World country. What is a “third world problem?” This introductory environmental anthropology course examines how such imaginaries materialize in development programmes and literature, and bespeak charged geopolitical, racial histories; and invites reflection on what futures for working in common they enable and constrain. We will examine how crises are imagined and constructed, and the governance regimes they give rise to. How does water – as natural resource, public good, kin, human right, need, commodity – determine the contours of such regimes? We will also study chronic, quieter environmental problems and the responses they (do not) generate. Working through a variety of writing genres – ethnography, policy literature, and corporate publicity material – will enable students to appreciate what anthropology can contribute to the conversation on environmental justice. Class readings will draw on examples from a wide range of settings across the world, and group projects, in partnership with local environmental organizations and efforts (or done independently), will (i) narrate histories and map geographies of water access and toxicity, and (iii) imagine futures of more equitable water access in South Bend. The course is offered as an introduction to environmental anthropology and takes students through key themes – infrastructure, race, class, privatization, justice, violence – by focusing on water. It requires no background in anthropology. Students will cultivate the ability to read and write with care and to critique responsibly; develop a sense of overarching trends in anthropological approaches to categories such as nature, environment, ecology, violence and justice; relate contemporary issues of water in/accessibility, toxicity and privatization across disparate geographies.


Peace, Ecology, and Integral Human Development

IIPS 40409 01 (CRN 27191)
Emmanuel Katongole
MW 3:30-4:45

A major source of conflict – increasingly so – is environmental issues; both climate change-related conflicts about (more and more scarce) resources as well as secondary conflicts (conflicts that arise because of the resource conflict, i.e. climate migrants) 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. 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, OP, has been introduced by Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Populorum Progressio (1967). It refers to “the development of the whole person and the development of all persons. The course explores the connection (intersectionality) between peace, (integral) ecology, and (integral human) development. It will do so with in-class room teaching sessions and working with select case studies on integral ecology.


The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict through Films

IIPS 40416 01 (CRN 28663)
Atalia Omer
MW 9:30-10:45

What is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict about? How did it start? How might it be resolved? Some interpretations rely on claims of ancient hatreds. Others invoke sacred and biblical narratives as their authority for claims to a land deemed holy by many different religions. Still others underscore the ills and legacies of settler colonialism and indigenous accounts of historical presence. Some invoke international law and human rights to make their claims. This course will explore these arguments surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through screening and discussion of cinematic representation, narrative argument, and documentary films. Multiple genres provide powerful tools to introduce students to multiple perspectives, conceptions of history, experiences of injustice and grievances and loss, and imagining peace and justice. Each screening will be paired with relevant and interdisciplinary reading material. The students will emerge from this course with a detailed and complex understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the present dating back to the late Ottoman period, the British control of historic Palestine, and the definitional moment of 1948 which is marked both as Israeli independence and the Palestinian catastrophe (the Nakba).


Forced Migration and Refugees: Law, Policies, and Practice

IIPS 40417 01 (CRN 28661)
Erin Corcoran
MW 11:00-12:15

Millions of people around the world have been forced from their homes by interlinked factors including persecution, armed conflict, natural disasters, development projects and socio-economic deprivation. Resolving large-scale displacement represents a critical challenge for contemporary peacebuilding and development processes. This course is designed to introduce students to various theoretical and methodological frameworks that inform and shape forced migration laws, policies and practice. Specifically students will: (i) examine international, regional, national and local responses to the problem of forced migration; (ii) investigate the obstacles to effective protection and assistance for refugees and displaced persons; (iii) explore the challenge of resolving displacement crises, and (iv) discuss some of the moral dilemmas raised by forced migration.


Social Movements, Conflict, and Peacebuilding

IIPS 40807 01 (CRN 28657)
Ann Mische
TR 2:00-3:15

In many of the recurring conflicts around the world, at issue are demands for justice. Whether these revolve around economic inequality, political repression, environmental devastation, civil and political rights, ethnic or religious exclusion, or discrimination on the basis of race, class, gender, sexuality or disability status (to name just a few), social movements are often the carriers of these calls for justice. In this course, we will examine how social movements emerge from, contribute to, and suggest resolutions for various types of social conflict, as well as explore their potential contributions to sustainable peacebuilding. We will examine theory and research on how social movements emerge, escalate, consolidate and decline; how they choose (and change) protest tactics; how they articulate their visions and goals; how they generate emotions, solidarity and commitment; how they interact with networks of allies, opponents and powerholders; and how they influence (or fail to influence) agendas, policies, and regimes. We will put a particular emphasis on the comparative study of social movements in different regions of the world, as well as on the challenges and opportunities posed by transnational movements that seek to organize across borders.


Peace Studies Senior Seminar

IIPS 43101 01 (CRN 20258)
Caroline Hughes
MW 12:30-1:45

Reserved for peace studies majors, minors, and concentrators.

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.

Section Theme: Peace and the Global Economy. What is the “global economy” and how does it affect the prospects for peace? How do transnational flows of international finance, trade agreements, foreign direct investment, and multinational corporations contribute to conditions for peace or for war? In this seminar, we will examine contemporary structural changes in the global economy and the ways in which these might correlate, cause, or otherwise contribute to patterns of peace and violence in the world. Should these global phenomena loom centrally in our understandings of conflict and peace in a time of structural change to the global economy, or should we prioritise the significance of local context?


Coloniality and Climate Change

IIPS 50405 01 (CRN 32255)
Maira Hayat
MW 9:30-10:45

How does the global south figure in writing on climate change? Can there be a role for the global south in the climate justice conversation that recognizes its vulnerability to climate change but goes beyond portraying it as always and only vulnerable and devasted or menacing? In this class we will begin with the premise that the answer is yes: not only is such a role possible, but it must actively be created if the climate justice conversation is to be an equal and inclusive one. Anchored in representations of climate refugees, extreme weather events, particular geographies and conflicts, and informed by scholarship on racialized constructions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ migrants, this class will collectively work through the intersections between the political and ecological that contour the realities, as well as representations of human movement today. Our collective endeavor will be to (i) understand and critique existing writing on climate change, (ii) recognize and question the role of the global south in such writing and (iii) craft a new lexicon that is cognizant of colonial pasts and their continuity, and relates geographies, histories and politics.


Trauma and Peacebuilding

IIPS 50800 01 (CRN 31736)
Susan St. Ville
MW 2:00-3:15

In this course we will critically examine issues of trauma and healing as they emerge in conflict situations and as challenges to peacebuilding. The course will be structured in three parts. In Part one, we will examine how theorists from such different disciplines as psychology, psychoanalysis, philosophy and cultural studies have conceptualized trauma and the necessary steps to recovery. In part two, we will review recent anthropological accounts that have emerged from areas of extreme trauma. These accounts will provide the backdrop for assessing the adequacy of the dominant theories of trauma and healing models, especially when these models are taken into cross-cultural contexts. In part three of the course we will reflect on the implications of our examination of trauma and healing for peacebuilding on both the micro and macro levels. We will consider the challenges and possibilities for working with victims of trauma in various cultural situations as well as the reality of secondary traumatic stress experienced by practitioners. On the macro level, we will consider how trauma research might broaden our understanding of ideals of reconciliation, forgiveness and restorative justice, as well as the advisability of truth-telling commissions and war-crimes tribunals.