2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog

Peace and Conflict Studies

Students may complete a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies.


Marc Howard Ross, Coordinator


Michael H. Allen, Political Science
Alison Cook-Sather, Education
Deborah Harrold, Political Science
Tamara Neuman, Anthropology
Clark R. McCauley, Jr., Psychology
Mary Osirim, Sociology
Michael T. Rock, Economics
Marc Howard Ross, Political Science

The goal of the Bi-College concentration is to present a range of social science theories and methods relevant to explaining human conflict and cooperation in settings ranging from local small communities to the international system. It reflects Bryn Mawr’s and Haverford’s interest to the study of war and social conflict, peacemaking, and social justice as well as related issues of human rights. The concentration offers students the opportunity to sustain a thematic focus across disciplinary boundaries and to enrich their major program in the process. Students in the concentration can pursue a wide range of theoretical and substantive interests concerning questions such as: intra-state and international causes of conflict; the economics and ethics of scientific, health, and medical research and practices; cooperative and competitive strategies of negotiation and bargaining; intergroup relations and the role of culturally constituted institutions and practices in conflict management; social movements; protests and revolutions; representations of others (of women, of non-Western societies) and the social and political implications of those; the role of religion in social conflict and its mitigation; human rights and transitional justice in post-conflict societies; and social justice, identity, and human rights questions arising from ethnic, religious, biological, gender, and/or cultural diversity and the implications of these for the distribution of material and symbolic resources as well as the practical capacities to engage individuals and groups across constructions of difference by linking practice and theory. Students in the concentration are encouraged to explore alternative conceptions of peace and social justice in different disciplines/fields, cultural contexts, and historical moments. The concentration fosters the connections between the intellectual scaffolding needed to analyze the construction of social identities and the social, political, and economic implications of these constructions for the distribution of material and symbolic resources within and between societies. It provides students support as they take on the challenges and opportunities of engaging individuals and groups to move their communities and societies towards peace and social justice.

Concentration Requirements

The concentration is composed of a six-course cluster centering on conflict, cooperation and social justice within and between nations. Of these six courses, no more than three may be in the student’s major. The Peace and Conflict Studies concentration builds upon the long-standing interest in war, conflict and peacemaking, and social justice, as well as questions derived from work in the fields of anthropology, economics, history, political science, social psychology, and sociology. It draws on these fields for theoretical understandings of matters such as bargaining, social, economic, and political sources of conflict, cooperative and justice and examines competitive strategies of negotiation, intergroup relations, human rights, transitional justice, post-conflict peacemaking, and the role of institutions in conflict management.

Students meet with the coordinator in the spring of their sophomore year to work out a plan for the concentration. All concentrators are required to take three core courses: the introductory course, ANTH/POLS 111 (offered as ICPR 111 at Haverford); either ANTH/POLS 206 or an equivalent 200 level course; and ANTH/POLS 347. It is advised that concentrators complete at least two of these three courses by the end of their junior year.

Students are required to take three additional courses chosen in consultation with the coordinator, working out a plan that focuses this second half of their concentration regionally, conceptually, or around a particular substantive problem. These courses might include international conflict and resolution; ethnic conflict in general or in a specific region of the world (e.g., South Africa, the Middle East, Northern Ireland); a theoretical approach to the field, such as nonviolence, bargaining, or game theory; an applied problem, such as reducing violence among youth, minority-majority relations, the arts and peacemaking, community mediation, or post-conflict peacebuilding and reconciliation.

Peace and Conflict Studies courses currently available at Bryn Mawr include:

ANTH B111/POLS B111 Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies
ANTH B206/POLS B206 Conflict and Conflict Management: A Cross-Cultural Approach
ANTH B261 Palestine and Israeli Society
ANTH B337 Settler Colonialism
ANTH B347/POLS B347 Advanced Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies
CITY B348/POLS B348 Culture and Ethnic Conflict
ECON B285/POLS B385 Democracy and Development
POLS B141 International Politics
POLS B217 State/Transformation/Conflict
POLS B358/PSYC B358 Political Psychology: Ethnic Conflict
POLS B383 Islamic Reform and Radicalism

Peace and Conflict Studies courses currently available at Haverford include:

HIST H240 History and Principles of Quakerism
ICPR H281 Violence and Public Health
ICPR H301 Human Rights: Development and International Activism
POLS H151 International Politics
POLS H253 Introduction to Terrorism Studies
POLS H257 The State System
POLS H339 Transitional Justice
POLS H345 Islam, Democracy and Development
POLS H339 Transitional Justice
POLS H357 International Relations Theory: Conflict and the Middle East
POLS H362 Global Justice
POLS H365 Solidarity Economic Movements