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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

The following courses are offered on a regular basis in the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution Program. With the exception of the Introduction to Peace, Justice and Conflict Resolution (PJCR 100), all courses are cross-listed with departmental offerings.

PJCR 100


Photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm XThe course investigates critical questions about justice, peace, and methods for the peaceful resolution of conflict. In particular, participants consider how social movements, using non-violent approaches, influence political and social institutions. They evaluate restorative and retributive approaches to justice, as well as and procedural versus distributive approaches. They consider the potential and the limitations of third-party intervention processes in conflict situations, including international ones. They reflect on approaches to conflict and negotiation in light of the ethical and political stakes involved.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X

PJCR 204


Explores core questions about war through novels, memoirs, and films, such as “To what extent can combat experience be conveyed through words and images?” “What myths do societies create about war?” “How can literature and film perpetuate or contest such myths?” “Why do people sacrifice in the name of an abstract entity such as ‘the nation’ with which they identify?” “How does another group become ‘the enemy’?” “What accounts for the attraction that war holds for many people?”

PJCR 217


A study of sociological theories of social movements; an exploration of contemporary examples. Prerequisite: Any 100-level Sociology course.

PJCR 222


An introduction to conceptual, practical, and spiritual dimensions of peace and justice. Peace and justice are treated as the by-products of intrapsychic, interpersonal, situational, organizational, regional, national, and global conflict.

PJCR 342


This course examines how and why warfare effected western societies. It will look at the traditional components of military history but will also examine the wider issues concerning the way warfare has influenced politics, social arrangements, economics, and technology.

PJCR 349-350, 353-354


Examines the processes and policies of the United Nations. Offers the opportunity to participate in local and national model United Nations conferences. Permission of instructor required.

PJCR 398


This course explores the ways that social and political conditions and demands affect artist's aesthetic choices. Although many of the examples discussed in class are drawn form the visual art, other art forms such as literature, drama, music, and dance are included as appropriate. The class will examine thematic topics through history such as art and social protest, art in the service of governments, and commercial art. It also looks at issues of controversy in contemporary art worlds as they affect artistic production.

PJCR 412


Photo of Anwar Al-Sadat with Jimmie Carter

Anwar Al Sadat, President Jimmy Carter,
and Menachem Begin.

The clash between Jewish Zionists and the Arab peoples of Palestine and surrounding countries has been a focal point of world politics for roughly the last 100 years. It has involved six wars, as well as near-continual violence short of outright war. This course is designed to make the major issues comprehensible and to enable students to begin to form their own assessments of what is needed for a just and lasting resolution.

Through readings, films, discussion, and simulation exercises, the class explores the political, social, economic, psychological, and cultural dynamics of the conflict, as well as questions such as why the conflict has proven so difficult to resolve, how the conflict resembles and differs from other cases of protracted conflict between ethnic and national groups, and what factors have motivated U.S. policy toward the conflict.




Intensive examination of the international human rights regime including philosophical sources; legal instruments; governmental and non state actors; and impacts on states and international order.  Considers classic civil and political rights as well as emerging rights of children, minorities, and indigenous peoples.  W=Writing Intensive Course.

PJCR 416


The historical evolution of American public policy toward minorities. This includes the legal/constitutional changes, migratory patterns, social institutions and political mobilization. Contemporary problems and issues are evaluated within this context.



Ethnic conflict threatens political stability in countries around the world. From Iraq to Bolivia, from Spain to Indonesia, conflicts have erupted over a wide variety of "ethnic" issues in recent years. Yet despite its ubiquity, ethnic politics remains poorly understood: Why do people identify with ethnic groups? Why does ethnic identity sometimes lead to private ritual, sometimes to peaceful mobilization through mass movements or political parties, and sometimes to violent conflict, pogroms, and genocide? Most pressingly, are there solutions to ethnic conflict, particularly in deeply-divided, violence-ridden countries?

This course gives an overview of current theories of ethnic politics, covering ethnic identity formation, ethnic mobilization, and conflict reduction measures. While focusing on ethnic groups in the developing world, the course includes significant attention to the broader commonalities of ethnic politics and includes readings on ethnic politics in the developed world.

PJCR 455


This course examines theories of conflict and violence at interpersonal, intergroup, and international levels. Additionally, theories of peace, and attempts at conflict resolution, management, and control, will also be covered.

The following courses may also be taken for credit toward the PJCR minor:

103: Introduction To Criminal Justice

106: Social Problems And Social Policy

165: Clash of Civilizations: Islam, West, and the War on Terror (Core class)

167: Gandhi and the 20th Century (Core class)

208: Racial And Ethnic Groups

209: Social Stratification

215: Mass Media and Society

252: India, Pakistan, & Southern Asia

254: The History of the Modern Middle East

270: Anti-Semitism

275: Human Rights in Film (1 credit)

285: Issues of Social Justice in Visual Culture

293: History of Modern China

295: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age

303: Violence in American Society

308: Post-Conflict Justice and Reconciliation

347: War in Modern Society

351: U.S. Foreign Relations to World War I

360: Crisis Management in Complex Emergencies

369: Race, Gender and Crime

370: Empire in Modern History

372: The Holocaust in Modern History

374: The Vietnam Era

376: Revolution: Modern Latin America

381W: Art and Politics

387: Native American History

418W: Conflict Management

435: South African Politics and Society

436: International Conflict: Mediation and Negotiation

446W: 20th-Century Russia: Romanovs to Putin

449: War and Peace in Christian Perspective

450W: The Cold War

461W: African American History: Multiple Voices

465W: Reform in America

482W: Inter-American Relations

485W: China in Revolution

488W: China & the West