Peace & Conflict Studies (PECS)
Zulfiya Tursunova, Assistant Professor, Chair
Peace and conflict studies is an interdisciplinary major that studies the nature of conflict and violence, the possibilities of social change and the means for resolving and transforming conflict nonviolently. The major draws on Guilford’s Quaker heritage by seeking the roots of situations of injustice and oppression, exploring nonviolent social change, emphasizing each individual’s search for truth within different levels of community and focusing on practical problem-solving.
Peace and conflict studies melds two related fields of study, conflict resolution and peace studies, in a complementary, creative interaction. It encourages an interdisciplinary, holistic relationship between personal and social change, structured modes of conflict resolution and creative nonviolent activism, careful analysis of structural violence and exploration of spiritual foundations for peaceable living and action. Students in peace and conflict studies engage in critical analysis in several key components of the field: central concepts in peace research, the interrelation between the personal, local and global levels of conflict and possibilities of transforming conflict, theories of war and peace and methods and practices of conflict resolution, reduction and transformation. Students build skills that help them to solve problems of violence and conflict, to listen carefully and caringly to others in the midst of conflict and to contribute to organizing groups and actions concerned with social change and conflict resolution and transformation.
A peace and conflict studies internship involves practical experience that focuses on social change, nonviolent intervention, conflict resolution or transformation, and/or building a culture of peace. The internship includes critical reflection on the student’s experience and analysis of activities, experiences and structures that contribute to the reduction and transformation of violence and/or the maintenance of systems of violence and domination. Students should register for PECS 390 with the director of peace and conflict studies.
Independent Studies and Senior Theses
If students have special interests that they wish to pursue that are not covered in peace and conflict studies courses, they may arrange an independent study with an interested faculty member or pursue a senior thesis. We recommend that independent studies be done in the junior or senior year.
The Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in peace and conflict studies.
|PECS 103||Voices of Liberation||4|
|PECS 110||Introduction to Peace & Conflict Studies||4|
|PECS 150||Special Topics||1-8|
|PECS 201||Mediation Training||1|
|PECS 206||Challenges of Global Democratization (PSCI 206)||4|
|PECS 215||War and Peace in the Middle East||4|
|PECS 235||Peacebuilding in Divided Societies||4|
|PECS 236||Conflict Transformation for Peacebuilding and Justice||4|
|PECS 246||Mediation & Conflict Intervention||4|
|PECS 250||Special Topics||1-8|
|PECS 260||Independent Study||1-8|
|PECS 301||Facilitation Training||1|
|PECS 315||Human Rights||4|
|PECS 316||Globalization: Economics & Social Justice||4|
|PECS 330||Nonviolence: Theories and Practice||4|
|PECS 345||Social Change: Promoting Peace||4|
|PECS 350||Food Justice,Soverignty,Peace||1-8|
|PECS 355||Culture, Conflict, Negotiation||4|
|PECS 360||Independent Study||1-8|
|PECS 363||Reconciliation and Justice||4|
|PECS 401||Mediation Trainers Practicum||2|
|PECS 450||Special Topics||1-8|
|PECS 460||Independent Study||1-8|
|PECS 465||Senior Seminar||4|
|PECS 468||Religion, Spirituality and Social Change||4|
|PECS 470||Senior Thesis||1-8|
|PECS 490||Departmental Honors||1-8|
Analyzes different forms that oppression and liberation take around the world, from the perspective of activists and scholars from these regions and diverse religions. Each of them articulates the complexity of each type of oppression caused by a complex set of socio-cultural factors ranging from local to global, with religion sometimes serving as a tool for liberation and oppression at the same time. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Art/humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).
Explores the relationship of peace and social justice to conflict resolution through the use of key concepts in the fields, such as positive and negative peace. Explores the relationship of theory and practice and introduces students to academic journals and internet sites for peace and conflict studies, to professional organizations and practitioner/ activist organizations in peace and justice and conflict intervention work. Fulfills social science and intercultural requirements (1998). Social/behavioral science and sociocultural engagement requirements (2019).
May also be offered at 250, 350 and 450 levels.
Examines issues and challenges relating to democracy and democratization in a variety of historical and contemporary settings across the world. The course uses the basic principles, theories, conceptual tools and comparative methods of political science to understand the underlying drivers of democratization and the various paths that countries go through on the road to democracy. Fulfills social science and intercultural requirements (1998). Social/behavioral science and sociocultural engagement requirements (2019).
This course examines relevant questions pertaining to issues of war and peace in one of the most volatile regions of the world: the Middle East. It examines various dimensions/themes of war and peace in the Middle East and explores several case studies from the region (the Arab-Israeli Conflict, the Iraq-Iran war, the Gulf War and the Iraq war, to name a few). This course helps students understand the root causes of conflict in the region and the strategies used to address them. Fulfills intercultural requirement (1998). Sociocultural engagement requirement (2019).
This course explores the various methods and techniques of peacebuilding and conflict resolution that have been applied in the midst of deep-rooted conflicts in divided societies. Several case studies (such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, and South Africa) will be critically reviewed and examined to distill essential elements of peacebuilding during on-going conflict.
Provides an overview of various models of conflict transformation and expands our understanding of the conceptualizations of conflict, justice and peace. This skill-based course is designed to introduce students to third party-intervention methods. These methods include: interpersonal nonviolent communication, sustainable peacebuilding, negotiation, mediation, community-based conflict transformation, public apology processes and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC), indigenous methods of conflict transformation, TRACK II diplomacy and art-based approaches. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirement (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).
4. Prepares students to be effective mediators in conflict by providing a blend of theory and practice in the models and skills of third-party intervention. Explores key concepts, analytical frameworks and different models within the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) movement; includes required weekend mediation training workshop.
May also be offered at 360 and 460 levels.
May also be offered at the 390 level. A peace and conflict studies internship involves practical experience that focuses on social change, nonviolent intervention, conflict resolution or transformation, and/or building a culture of peace. The internship includes critical reflection on the student’s experience and analysis of activities, experiences and structures that contribute to the reduction and transformation of violence and/or the maintenance of systems of violence and domination. Students should register for PECS 390 with the director of peace and conflict studies.
Provides an overview of the formulation and spread of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One of the course’s main goals is to develop a critical understanding of the concept of human rights by paying attention to how power operates, and avoiding conflating the need to ensure the well-being of all human and other (in the case of certain other world-views) beings with the human rights movement in its dominant form. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirement (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).
Examines sociological explanations for how these global and concomitant local events and structures came about, along with ethical evaluations of values that influence some of the dominant global ideologies, as well as their consequences. These analyses serve to relativize and question the assumptions and theories that claim the current global economic structures as the inevitable evolutionary stage of human society.
Non-violence is not only an alternative to taking up arms but a strategy of resistance to oppression or specific policies in the form of acts of civil disobedience. While non-violence includes these, the course aims to analyze it in all its fullness, as a way of life and spirituality that addresses certain forms of thinking and living as violent and includes nature and the rest of animal life among the subjects to be treated non-violently. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirement (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).
Explores the role of individuals and groups in social change. Specifically, it looks at the role of social identity and conceptions of justice implicit in the dynamics of individual and group conflict. By taking an interdisciplinary approach to global conflict analysis and resolution as well, its connection to the study of social movement organization, the course will focus particular attention on the role of justice and identity in conflict formation, escalation and de-escalation. The course explores justice and identity as critical to both local and global peace. It also looks at the value commitments implicit in social change by exploring different strategic intervention models and frameworks.
Focuses on the role of culture in conflict and negotiation. Addresses different cultural approaches to conflict and the various methods of dispute resolution, particularly the different styles of negotiation applied by different cultures; explores issues of communication styles, mores, values and norms from a cross-cultural perspective.
This course explores the multidimensional aspects of the relationship between reconciliation and justice in a post-conflict context. The course examines case studies of reconciliation projects in several different countries to explore the tension between the demand for reconciliation and the demand for justice as well as the challenges such tension poses for the application and design of reconciliation projects to promote sustainable peace rather than short-term settlement.
Provides a capstone experience for PECS majors. Includes independent research project built on students’ prior scholarship; a forum for sharing research; reflection, planning and preparation for next steps after graduation. This course is required for senior peace and conflict studies majors. Limited to senior PECS majors or minors.
Analyzes the role of religion and spirituality in motivating and sustaining struggles for social change. The course aims to develop an understanding of the current thinking about the intersection between religion and conflict; an ability to comparatively articulate the practical problems encountered by social movement activists/third party professional engaged in both religious and secular attempts at peace; and an appreciation of the interconnection between the body and mind, the seen and the unseen, the sacred and the profane.