The Peace Studies program is concerned with analyzing alternative ways that may be used to transform individual behavior, national policy and human institutions in order to promote peace and justice in the world. The program promotes discussion and study on issues of conflict and its management, within the lives of individuals, societies and the world at large. It sponsors research on meditation, mediation, negotiation and ways to reduce violence, build diverse communities and use nonviolent action to defend human rights and promote justice.
Undergraduates may concentrate in peace studies to complement any major. Students may also design a major in peace studies via the University’s self-designed major. The concentration draws together the knowledge of several disciplines in the context of the search for peace, while enhancing students’ critical-thinking skills and awareness of the connections between local and global issues. Departments and programs represented in peace studies include government, history, international development and social change, philosophy, psychology and sociology.
Course work, research and internships enable students to apply their theoretical understanding of the issues of peace to practical situations. The concentrator will develop an active understanding of the relationship between the three spheres of peace: personal, societal and global. These are interlocked, each influencing the others in cyclical patterns. Conflicts often involve links between the hearts of individuals, the structures of societies, and global competition and cooperation. Hence, the concentrator should be engaged in understanding how personal development and societal and global structure can transform conflicts. Students who complete a concentration in peace 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. They are prepared to take an active role in shaping constructive policies in the public sector and civil society.
The Peace Studies Office provides information on internships, jobs and careers; a library; and a computer link to international conferences and bulletin boards.