2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    
    Oct 21, 2020  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog

Peace and Conflict Studies Concentration


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Overview


Introduction


The academic discipline of peace and conflict studies starts with the proposition that “peace” is not simply the absence of conflict: is also the presence of justice and equality, and a set of social conditions ensuring access for all to the basic necessities of life. “Making peace” therefore involves addressing a wide range of policy problems, including not only the the elimination of violence, but also responses to oppression and economic inequality and the pursuit of environmental justice. Scholars and practitioners of peace and conflict studies at Clark are united by their commitment to understanding the roots of violence and inequality, and to finding nonviolent solutions for social and environmental conflict rooted in equality and justice.  The Program in Peace and Conflict Studies therefore invites students to ask a range of questions: how can conflict lead to constructive change? What are the alternatives to violence? How does conflict manifest between individuals, within communities, across societies, and between states? And how do peace, conflict, and conflict resolution vary around the world and at different points in history?

 

The study of peace and conflict requires both idealism and practicality. As a discipline, peace and conflict studies offers a range of practical skills, including conflict mediation, the ability to address policy problems at both micro and macro scales, community organizing, and other skills. By acquiring the skills to effectively deal with conflict and to propose sustainable and practical solutions, students in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program are prepared for careers in business, government, and nongovernmental organizations. The program also encourages students to explore and participate in a wide array of activities oriented toward positive social change.

 

Clark University’s long-standing Peace Studies Program began in 1987.  Since 2016, it has been a part of the Center for Gender, Race, and Area Studies. The program is interdisciplinary, with courses from the departments of Economics, English, Geography, History, International Development, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. Students interested in peace and conflict studies may add an interdisciplinary concentration in peace and conflict studies as a complement to a major in another department or they can fulfill the requirements for a self-designed major in peace and conflict studies. Students may also elect to double major in peace and conflict studies and another discipline.

 

We are excited about your interest in the program, and we hope that this handbook will answer whatever questions you may have.  You can also contact any of the core faculty with questions.

Undergraduate Concentration


Peace and conflict studies is an interdisciplinary academic field that aims to understand the causes of armed conflict; develop ways to prevent and resolve war, genocide, terrorism, gross violations of human rights; and build peaceful and just systems and societies (see https://kroc.nd.edu/about-us/what-is-peace-studies/). The peace and conflict studies concentration encourages students to explore the individual, local, national, and international dimensions of peace and conflict. How can we transform conflicts in our society and worldwide so that they generate development and justice rather than oppression and destruction? When is nonviolent struggle effective? When is violence justified? Students will investigate these questions and develop skills to wage peace.

 

Undergraduates may concentrate in peace and conflict studies to complement any major. Students may also design a major in peace and conflict studies via the University’s self-designed major (https://www.clarku.edu/academics/undergraduate/programs/major/student-designed/). The concentration draws together the knowledge of several disciplines, including Chemistry, Comparative Literature, Economics, Education, English Literature, Environmental Studies, Geography, History, International Development and Social Change, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Screen Studies, Sociology, and Theatre.

 

Course work, research and internships enable students to apply their theoretical understanding of the issues of peace and conflict to situations in the U.S. and worldwide.  Students who complete a concentration in peace and conflict studies are prepared to enter careers and graduate study in such fields as public policy, international development, labor relations, environment and ecology, and international relations, and to take an active role in shaping policies in the public sector and civil society (see also http://www.marquette.edu/explore/what-can-you-do-with-a-major-in-peace-studies.php).

 

For more information, please visit the Peace and Conflict Studies Program’s website.  The concentration draws together the knowledge of several disciplines, including Chemistry, Comparative Literature, Economics, Education, English Literature, Environmental Studies, Geography, History, International Development and Social Change, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Screen Studies, Sociology, and Theatre.

 

Course work, research and internships enable students to apply their theoretical understanding of the issues of peace and conflict to situations in the U.S. and worldwide.  Students who complete a concentration in peace and conflict studies are prepared to enter careers and graduate study in such fields as public policy, international development, labor relations, environment and ecology, and international relations, and to take an active role in shaping policies in the public sector and civil society (see also http://www.marquette.edu/explore/what-can-you-do-with-a-major-in-peace-studies.php).

 

For more information, please visit the Peace and Conflict Studies program’s website.

Program Focus


As an interdisciplinary academic field, peace and conflict studies draws on political science, feminist theory, environmental studies, international development, sociology, history, anthropology, theology, psychology, philosophy, and other fields to:

1) understand conflict at the personal, interpersonal, local, national, and global levels;  
2) develop new ways to address complex problems such as political violence, environmental injustice, and violations of human rights;
3) equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in nonviolent resistance and develop sustainable alternatives to oppressive and violent systems

One of the strengths of peace and conflict studies as a discipline is that it integrates knowledge from many different academic disciplines and levels of analysis. An economic analysis may lead to different conclusions than a sociological analysis. Conversely, a solution to conflict at the national level can create problems at the local level, or vice versa. Thus, students are asked to examine conflicts on different levels, including the interpersonal level, the local and community levels, and the national and global levels to consider how these levels interact, and to investigate how conflicts may be resolved creatively rather than destructively.

The peace and conflict studies curriculum at Clark fosters the development of critical thinking skills about peace, justice, the analysis of conflict and how its resolution is affected by personal, societal, and global factors. It exposes students to ideas and methods that allow them to explore peace-building strategies that cross disciplinary boundaries. Finally, it offers students the opportunity to engage in environmental, economic, and social justice projects that engage with these issues in a practical way.

Peace and Conflict Studies Program graduates become researchers, educators, negotiators, mediators, government officials, businesspeople, activists, and professionals in organizations focused on human rights, dispute resolution, environmental protection, international law, and human and economic development.

Requirements and Advising


The Concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies

Six courses are required for the concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies:

•    Introduction to Peace Studies
•    One course with a geographic focus, addressing the dynamics of peace and conflict in a particular country or region.
•    Two courses addressing individual or community processes of peace and conflict, addressing questions such as: How do individuals and groups experience and make sense of conflict and violence? What is the effect of violence and oppression on the individual and on groups? Why do people help others in times of conflict? How do local communities engage in resistance to violence and oppression, and build sustainable peace through bottom-up organizing?
•    Two courses addressing national and international dimensions of peace and conflict, focusing on questions such as: Why do states go to war? Why do states and nonstate actors engage in terrorism and violence against civilians? How do states create lasting peace treaties? What is the role of institutions in preserving and shaping global peace?

One of the latter four courses may be replaced with an independent study, internship or honors thesis.  Courses (not including Introduction to Peace Studies) must come from at least two different departments.

Checklist:
1.    Intro to Peace Studies
2.    Peace and Conflict Studies: individual and community (2)
3.    Peace and Conflict Studies: national and international (2)
4.    Geographic focus (1)

When declaring the peace and conflict studies concentration, students must choose an advisor. To do so, obtain a Concentration Declaration Form from the Registrar’s Office, which must then be signed by your prospective advisor (any of the four core faculty members listed below, or others by permission) or the Director of Peace and Conflict Studies.


A Student-Designed Major in Peace and Conflict Studies

The university allows students to complete student-designed majors in topics of their choosing. Students interested in a student-designed major focused on peace and conflict studies can use the following template, which meets the university’s requirements for a student-designed major and builds on the concentration in peace and conflict studies.

Twelve courses are required for the self-designed major in Peace and Conflict Studies:

•    Introduction to Peace Studies
•    A theory course (providing a theoretical approach to peace and conflict, violence, and justice)
•    A skills and/or methods course, equipping students with tools for conducting empirical research or applied work in the field of peace and conflict
•    Two courses addressing peace and conflict with a particular geographic focus, each focusing on a different country or region
•    Three courses addressing individual or community processes of peace and conflict, addressing issues of peace and conflict at the local and personal level. (For further detail, see the requirements for the concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies)
•    Three courses addressing national and international dimensions of peace and conflict. (For further detail, see the requirements for the concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies.)
•    A capstone course, thesis or internship demonstrating the student’s ability to apply the knowledge acquired in this major to solving theoretical or practical issues related to peace and conflict.

As per the requirements of all student-designed majors, courses must be from at least three different departments (not including Intro to Peace Studies), and the committee should include at least one core faculty member of the peace and conflict studies concentration.

Checklist:
1.    Intro to Peace Studies (1)
2.    Theory (1)
3.    Skills and Methods (1)
4.    Geographic Focus (2 different)
5.    Peace and Conflict Studies: individual and community (3)
6.    Peace and Conflict Studies: national and international (3)
7.    Thesis, internship or capstone (1)

Student-designed majors are required to have a committee that includes their advisor and two additional faculty members. Each of the three committee members must represent different academic departments. Consult with your advisor to identify prospective Peace and Conflict Studies faculty for your self-designed major committee. For further information on the requirements for a student-designed major, please see: http://catalog.clarku.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=25&poid=4742&returnto=2097
 

 

Courses


The following is a list of Clark’s peace and conflict studies offerings. Students may petition the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee to receive concentration credit for courses other than those listed below, including courses that are available through the Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts.

Core Faculty


Jude Fernando, Ph.D.
Ora Szekely, Ph.D
Johanna Ray Vollhardt, Ph.D.
Kristen Williams, Ph.D.

Affiliated Faculty


Michael Butler, Ph.D.
James Cordova, Ph.D.
C. Wesley DeMarco, Ph.D.
Joseph de Rivera, Ph.D.
Patrick Derr, Ph.D.
Anita Fabós, Ph.D.
Douglas Little, Ph.D.
Ken MacLean, Ph.D.
Sarah Michaels, Ph.D.
Morgan Ruelle, Ph.D.
Valerie Sperling, Ph.D.
Andrew Stewart, Ph.D.
Shelly Tenenbaum, Ph.D.

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