Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice Studies

Students may complete a concentration in Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice Studies.

Advisory Committee

Alison Cook-Sather, Mary Katherine Woodworth Chair and Professor in the Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program and Director of Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Program

Jill Stauffer, Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Director of Peace, Justice & Human Rights, Haverford College

Lee Smithey, Associate Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of Peace and Conflict Studies, Swarthmore College

Michael Allen, Professor of Political Science on the Harvey Wexler Chair in Political Science and Co-Director of the International Studies Program

Laurie Cain Hart, Anthropology, Haverford College

Ignacio Gallup-Diaz, Associate Professor of History (on leave semesters I and II)

Barak Mendelsohn, Political Science, Haverford College

Susanna Wing, Associate Professor of Political Science, Haverford College

The Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice Studies program reflects Bryn Mawr’s interest in the study of conflicts, peacemaking, and social justice and offers students the opportunity to design a course of study, to sustain a thematic focus across disciplinary boundaries, and to enrich their major program in the process. Students are encouraged to draw courses from the programs at Haverford and Swarthmore as well

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; 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; the role of religion in social conflict and its mitigation; human rights and transitional justice in post conflict societies; and social justice and identity questions arising from ethnic, religious and cultural diversity and the implications of these constructions for the distribution of material and symbolic resources in society as well as the practical capacities to engage individuals and groups across constructions of difference by linking practice and theory. A list of courses students have included in their concentrations can be found at brynmawr.edu/peacestudies/courseoptions.html. Below is a more general description of the concentration requirements.

Students in the concentration are encouraged to explore alternative conceptions of peace and social justice in different cultural contexts and historical moments by emphasizing 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 and the challenges and opportunities to engage individuals and groups to move their communities and societies towards peace and social justice.

Concentration Requirements

Students who wish to take the concentration meet with a faculty advisor by the spring of their sophomore year to develop a plan of study. All concentrators are required to take three core courses: (1) an introductory course (Multicultural Education at Bryn Mawr; Introduction to Peace, Social Justice and Human Rights at Haverford; or Introduction to Peace and Conflict studies at Swarthmore); (2) a 200-level course (such as Conflict and Conflict Management, International Law, Politics of Humanitarianism, or Forgiveness, Mourning, and Mercy in Law and Politics); and (3) a project involving community participation and reflection through participation in bi-semester meetings, attendance at lectures and workshops, and development of a portfolio in their junior and senior years. This final requirement earns students a single credit that is awarded upon the successful completion of all components.

In addition, students are required to take three courses chosen in consultation with their advisor, 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; social justice, diversity and identity, ethnic conflict in general or in a specific region of the world (e.g. Southern Africa, the Middle East, Northern Ireland); a theoretical approach to the field, such as nonviolence, social justice movements, bargaining or game theory; an applied approach, such as reducing violence among youth, the arts and peacemaking, community mediation or a particular policy question such as immigration or bilingual education.

The following courses are pre-approved. To see if other courses might be counted toward the concentration, contact the program director, Alison Cook-Sather, acooksat@brynmawr.edu.

COURSES

ANTH B200 The Atlantic World 1492-1800

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the way in which peoples, goods, and ideas from Africa, Europe. and the Americas came together to form an interconnected Atlantic World system. The course is designed to chart the manner in which an integrated system was created in the Americas in the early modern period, rather than to treat the history of the Atlantic World as nothing more than an expanded version of North American, Caribbean, or Latin American history.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Africana Studies; Latin Amer/Latino/Iberian Peoples & Cultures; International Studies; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): HIST-B200
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ANTH B281 Language in Social Context

Studies of language in society have moved from the idea that language reflects social position/identity to the idea that language plays an active role in shaping and negotiating social position, identity, and experience. This course will explore the implications of this shift by providing an introduction to the fields of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. We will be particularly concerned with the ways in which language is implicated in the social construction of gender, race, class, and cultural/national identity. The course will develop students’ skills in the ethnographic analysis of communication through several short ethnographic projects. Prerequisite: ANTH B102, ANTH H103 or permission of instructor.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Counts towards: Child and Family Studies; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): LING-B281
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s):Weidman,A.
(Fall 2015)

CITY B348 Culture and Ethnic Conflict

An examination of the role of culture in the origin, escalation, and settlement of ethnic conflicts. This course examines the politics of culture and how it constrains and offers opportunities for ethnic conflict and cooperation. The role of narratives, rituals, and symbols is emphasized in examining political contestation over cultural representations and expressions such as parades, holy sites, public dress, museums, monuments, and language in culturally framed ethnic conflicts from all regions of the world. Prerequisites: two courses in the social sciences.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): POLS-B348
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

ECON B385 Democracy and Development

From 1974 to the late 1990’s the number of democracies grew from 39 to 117. This “third wave,” the collapse of communism and developmental successes in East Asia have led some to argue the triumph of democracy and markets. Since the late 1990’s, democracy’s third wave has stalled, and some fear a reverse wave and democratic breakdowns. We will question this phenomenon through the disciplines of economics, history, political science and sociology drawing from theoretical, case study and classical literature. Prerequisites: ECON 200; ECON 253 or 304; and one course in Political Science OR Junior or Senior Standing in Political Science OR Permission of the Instructor.
Counts towards: International Studies; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): POLS-B385
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

HIST B127 Indigenous Leaders 1492-1750

Studies the experiences of indigenous men and women who exercised local authority in the systems established by European colonizers. In return for places in the colonial administrations, these leaders performed a range of tasks. At the same time they served as imperial officials, they exercised “traditional” forms of authority within their communities, often free of European presence. These figures provide a lens through which early modern colonialism is studied.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Latin Amer/Latino/Iberian Peoples & Cultures; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

HIST B200 The Atlantic World 1492-1800

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the way in which peoples, goods, and ideas from Africa, Europe. and the Americas came together to form an interconnected Atlantic World system. The course is designed to chart the manner in which an integrated system was created in the Americas in the early modern period, rather than to treat the history of the Atlantic World as nothing more than an expanded version of North American, Caribbean, or Latin American history.
Approach: Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Counts towards: Africana Studies; Latin Amer/Latino/Iberian Peoples & Cultures; International Studies; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): ANTH-B200
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B141 Introduction to International Politics

An introduction to international relations, exploring its main subdivisions and theoretical approaches. Phenomena and problems in world politics examined include systems of power management, imperialism, globalization, war, bargaining, and peace. Problems and institutions of international economy and international law are also addressed. This course assumes a reasonable knowledge of modern world history.
Counts towards: International Studies; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s):Allen,M.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B211 Politics of Humanitarianism

This course examines the international politics and history that underlie the ideas, social movement, and system of organizations designed to regulate the conduct of war and improve the welfare of those victimizes by war. It begins with ethical, legal and organizational foundations, and then examines to post-Cold War cases and beyond. Topics include just war theory, international humanitarian law, humanitarian action and intervention, and transitional justice. Prerequisites: one class in Political Science or comparable course by permission of the instructor.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B316 The Politics of Ethnic, Racial, and National Groups

An analysis of ethnic and racial conflict and cooperation that will compare and contrast the experiences of racial minorities in the United States and Muslim minorities in Europe. Particular attention is paid to the processes of group identification and political organization; the politicization of racial and ethnic identity; patterns of conflict and cooperation between minorities and the majority population over time; and different paths to citizenship. The course will emphasize how the politics of differentiation has similarities across setting and historical periods as well as important differences
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B348 Culture and Ethnic Conflict

An examination of the role of culture in the origin, escalation, and settlement of ethnic conflicts. This course examines the politics of culture and how it constrains and offers opportunities for ethnic conflict and cooperation. The role of narratives, rituals, and symbols is emphasized in examining political contestation over cultural representations and expressions such as parades, holy sites, public dress, museums, monuments, and language in culturally framed ethnic conflicts from all regions of the world. Prerequisites: two courses in the social sciences.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): CITY-B348
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B358 Political Psychology of Ethnic Conflict

This seminar explores the common interests of psychologists and political scientists in ethnic identification and ethnic-group conflict. Rational choice theories of conflict from political science will be compared with social psychological theories of conflict that focus more on emotion and essentializing. Each student will contribute a 200-300 word post in response to a reading or film assignment each week. Students will represent their posts in seminar discussion of readings and films. Each student will write a final paper analyzing the origins and trajectory of a case of violent ethnic conflict chosen by agreement with the instructor. Grading includes posts, participation in discussion, and the final paper. Prerequisite: PSYC B208, or PSYC B120, or PSYC B125, or one 200 level course in political science, or instructor’s permission.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): PSYC-B358
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s):McCauley,C.
(Fall 2015)

POLS B379 The United Nations and World Order

Initially founded in 1945 to address the challenges of international armed aggression, the United Nations has since evolved, and is now charged with confronting a wide range of threats, including atrocities, poverty, hunger, disease, and climate change. This class examines the organization’s pre-eminent role in international peace and security, economic development, and human rights and humanitarian affairs. Prerequisites: Students are required to have completed at least a year of Political Science or Peace and Conflict Studies courses (one class must be International Politics (POLS B250) or have the permission of the instructor.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

POLS B385 Democracy and Development

From 1974 to the late 1990’s the number of democracies grew from 39 to 117. This “third wave,” the collapse of communism and developmental successes in East Asia have led some to argue the triumph of democracy and markets. Since the late 1990’s, democracy’s third wave has stalled, and some fear a reverse wave and democratic breakdowns. We will question this phenomenon through the disciplines of economics, history, political science and sociology drawing from theoretical, case study and classical literature. Prerequisite: one year of study in political science or economics.
Counts towards: International Studies; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): ECON-B385
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s):Rock,M.
(Spring 2016)

PSYC B358 Political Psychology of Ethnic Conflict

This seminar explores the common interests of psychologists and political scientists in ethnic identification and ethnic-group conflict. Rational choice theories of conflict from political science will be compared with social psychological theories of conflict that focus more on emotion and essentializing. Each student will contribute a 200-300 word post in response to a reading or film assignment each week. Students will represent their posts in seminar discussion of readings and films. Each student will write a final paper analyzing the origins and trajectory of a case of violent ethnic conflict chosen by agreement with the instructor. Grading includes posts, participation in discussion, and the final paper. Prerequisite: PSYC B208, or PSYC B120, or PSYC B125, or one 200 level course in political science, or instructor’s permission.
Counts towards: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Crosslisting(s): POLS-B358
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s):McCauley,C.
(Fall 2015)

SOCL B314 Immigrant Experiences

This course is an introduction to the causes and consequences of international migration. It explores the major theories of migration (how migration is induced and perpetuated); the different types of migration (labor migration, refugee flows, return migration) and forms of transnationalism; immigration and emigration policies; and patterns of migrants’ integration around the globe. It also addresses the implications of growing population movements and transnationalism for social relations and nation-states. Prerequisite: At least one prior social science course or permission of the instructor.
Counts towards: Latin Amer/Latino/Iberian Peoples & Cultures; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)

SOCL B350 Movements for Social Justice in the US

Throughout human history, powerless groups of people have organized social movements to improve their lives and their societies. Powerful groups and institutions have resisted these efforts in order to maintain their own privilege. Some periods of history have been more likely than others to spawn protest movements. What factors seem most likely to lead to social movements? What determines their success/failure? We will examine 20th-century social movements in the United States to answer these questions. Includes a film series. Prerequisite: At least one prior social science course or permission of the instructor.
Counts towards: Gender and Sexuality Studies; Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2015-2016)