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Peace and Conflict

Course Number: PS 211
Transcript Title: Peace and Conflict
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: September 25, 2013
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: Yes
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit

Prerequisites

WR 115, RD 115, MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores

Course Description

Explores the causes and manifestations of violence in actions involving oneself, society, one's nation, and the global community. Alternatives to oppressive behavior, undemocratic institutions, and the violent resolution of conflict are considered. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

  1. Actively participate in policy making processes, while showing respect for diversity, equity in relationship to others, and functional interdependence as a value.
  2. Examine historical and cultural contexts in which movements for social change and political liberation have succeeded in the past and communicate about how movements may succeed in the future.
  3. Communicate in ways likely to encourage democratic values, while nonviolently resolving conflict among individuals and groups of people who are seeking to change social institutions which perpetuate systems of privilege and discrimination.
  4. Apply critical thinking skills with regards to controversial issues that include making personal value judgments, while demonstrating empathy for other people and differing points of view.
  5. Engage in lifelong learning that includes the ability to conceptually organize information while practicing ethical and social requirements of responsible citizenship.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will distribute a course syllabus which clearly includes the criteria for assigning course grades.

  • Exams comprised of essay and/or objective (like short answer) elements which require integration, application, and critical examination of course concepts, issues, and themes.
  • Short analytical or application papers on specific concepts, issues, or themes.
  • Term or research papers, using a variety of research strategies.
  • Oral presentations resulting from group research, analysis, and critical evaluation.
  • Participation in class discussions, role plays, case studies, workshops, and/or other activities.
  • Response papers or journals reflecting on life experiences, events, and social/political phenomena.
  • Service-learning tasks: involving service to community, reflection, and application of course criteria.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, Issues

After completing this course, the student should have a basic understanding of:

  • Concepts including "peace", "conflict", "violence", "nonviolence", "oppression", "democracy", and "justice" as these are manifest in different paths to peace and conflict resolution.
  • How different idea systems, economic systems, and socio-political realities help create, perpetuate, and/or resolve crises and conflicts on interpersonal, group, societal, international, and global levels.
  • Selected case studies illustrating the dynamics of conflict and providing opportunities for discussing alternatives to oppressive behavior, undemocratic institutions, and the violent resolution of conflict.
  • The relationship of personal behavior and lifestyle choices to crises and conflicts which took place in the past, continue into the present, and may or may not be transcended in the future.
  • How one's own values and actions impact what is seen as right and wrong, good and bad, and the prospects for a future to unfold that is more to one's liking.

Competencies and Skills

  • Write and communicate orally in a clear, organized, and effective manner.
  • Think critically about current public policy issues and analyze complex social and political realities.
  • Develop peacemaking strategies for effective intervention and de-escalation of conflict situations as well as peacebuilding strategies for long-term conflict resolution and reconciliation.
  • Use varied and effective research techniques and strategies.
  • Develop and refine group process skills, which may include listening, brainstorming, cooperating, negotiating, or otherwise communicating regarding shared tasks.
  • Develop an ability to listen to and empathize with diverse perspectives and experiences.
  • Integrate coursework with current events and trends through examination of popular media and various sources of news.
  • Develop and practice active citizenship skills.