Peace and Conflict Studies Minor
Social conflicts are probably inevitable in human societies, but it is preferable to devise constructive ways, short of large-scale violence, for resolving conflicts.
Coordinator: Dr. Paula Rayman
Office: O'Leary 500K
The goals of the Peace and Conflict Studies minor are:
- To communicate basic facts and insights regarding war and large-scale conflicts, especially in the contemporary world;
- To discuss efforts and proposals for peacemaking, together with their principal strengths and weaknesses; and
- To develop a critical yet respectful and informed awareness of the diversity of policies and values about war and peace.
Requirements for the Minor
A minor in Peace and Conflict Studies will consist of 18 to 24 credits with at least 6 credits at the 300 level or above (includes required and elective courses). The requirements are as follows:
- PCS.125 Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies
- One of the following courses:
43.239 The World Since 1945
48.352 Sociology of Nonviolence
46.384 International Politics of Human Rights
- 4-6 electives from the list of Peace and Conflict Studies electives
Peace and Conflict Studies Minor Elective Courses
Other courses may be added with permission of program director
||Human Values in Western Culture
||War in Literature
||Literature of the Vietnam War
||The Modern World
||China and the Modern World
||Historical Dimensions of Globalization
||Modern Latin America
||World War I
||World War II
||United States Diplomatic History
||American East Asian Relations
||Problems of Modern Ireland
||Civil War and Reconstruction
||America and the World
||History of the Middle East and Islamic World
Criminology & Justice Studies
||Introduction to Homeland Security
||Weapons of Mass Destruction
||Terrorism (International and Domestic)
Peace and Conflict Studies
||Intro. To World Religions
||Theories of Justice
||Globalization and its Critics
||Intro to Comparative Political Systems
||Intro to International Relations
||Law and the Legal System
||Islam and Politics
||Constitutional Law and Politics
||Civil Liberties and Politics
||The Politics of Discord between the Arab East and the West
||European Politics: Tradition and Modernity
||Politics of China
||Middle Eastern Politics
||Latin American Politics
||Politics of the Pacific Rim
||Democratic Movements in South East Asia
||Politics of International Organizations
||Women in Islam
||The Politics of Identity in the Middle East
||Seminar in Political Communication and Media Studies
||Dynamics of Interpersonal Relations
||Seminar in Social Psychology: Resolving Social Conflict
||Sociology of War and Peace
||The Study of Minorities
||Sociology of Gender
||Sociology of Genocide
||Seminar on Peace, War, and Violence
||Seminar on Global Society
||Intro to Environmental Economics
||Literature, Politics and Genocide in Cambodia
||Village Empowerment: Overcoming Global Poverty
||Directed Study in Peace and Conflict
||Project in Peace and Conflict
||Introduction to Gender Studies
Alternative Elective Course(s)
These may be counted towards the minor, with the approval of the coordinator, provided they contain substantial amounts of Peace Studies material.
Peace Studies minors can also choose from a list of Peace Studies courses available at other schools in the NECCUM consortium, including the Peace Studies Minor at Salem State College. Where a Peace Studies course meets the university's General Education requirement in Values, Concepts and Choice, it can also be used to meet that requirement.
The Peace Studies minor is interdisciplinary. It also inevitably involves issues of human rights, social justice, scientific/technological change, and environmental degradation. In Peace Studies serious attention is paid to relationships between the local and the global. Social conflicts are probably inevitable in human societies, but it is preferable to devise constructive ways to resolve conflicts, other than large-scale violence, such as wars and terrorism. There is certainly a diversity of views among the UMass Lowell faculty teaching Peace Studies courses about how to resolve conflicts--and this should ensure the Peace Studies minor is interesting and educational!
Peace and Conflict Studies after Graduation
There are many reasons why a minor in Peace Studies should be helpful to any undergraduate, no matter what his/her major. The following are some examples.
- Any student will benefit from knowing about the various conflicts in tense regions like the Middle East, and South and Central Asia, which are addressed from a variety or perspectives in many Peace Studies courses.
- UMass Lowell graduates working in any field will have to deal with the increasing ethnic diversity of the local workforce, and with minority-rights issues that are heavily influenced by conflicts in the Caribbean basin, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other regions. These issues are important in such varied fields as business, education, engineering, health care, human services, and law enforcement.
- The economy in the Merrimack Valley, Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire is greatly affected by current and future actions by defense contractors, and by programs for selling arms abroad--topics considered in several Peace Studies courses.
- A student going into counseling or human services should be familiar with the psychological and social impacts of terrorism, the Cambodian genocide, and the Vietnam War.
Other Activities Related to the Peace and Conflict Studies Program
Each semester there are various other events in which the Peace and Conflict Studies program is involved. Since 1989, Peace and Conflict Studies has sent student and faculty delegates to the national conferences of the Peace Studies Association (now renamed the Peace and Justice Studies Association), of which the UMass-Lowell program is a founding member.
Since Fall 1991 several Peace and Conflict Studies faculty and students have been active in the Peace & Conflict Studies Institute (PACSI), a major goal of which is public education on peace- and conflict-related questions. PACSI has since 1996 sponsored annual Days Without Violence, in collaboration with Middlesex Community College and many agencies on and off campus. PACSI has organized training and public discussions on conflict resolution. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, PACSI has sponsored presentations on policy issues such as the war on terrorism, civil liberties and the military budget; and organized participatory discussions on reactions to terrorism and Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.
The Peace Studies program welcomes comments and suggestions from any member of the university community.