Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

Social Science Graduation Requirement With the premise that conflict is present in every human situation, we can safely assume the study of peace and conflict will engage a broad range of the social science disciplines. Peace and conflict are major areas of concern within Law, Sociology and International Relations, while also pertaining to Anthropology, Economics, Communications, and Psychology. PACS 100 leans heavily toward several social science schools of thought and thinkers, such as: Frankfurt School critical theory, Gramscian cultural hegemony, and Foucault’s panopticism and biopower, anti- oppression frameworks, and complex systems theory. PACS 100 is social science in practice because it teaches core concepts in peace and conflict analysis, merges them with social science theory, and deploys them in analysis of case studies. As a social science, PACS ranges from local to global (even planetary) scales of analysis and how they intersect with social, political, economic, and cultural factors underlying conflict. This method invites reconsideration of assumptions we hold, testing of arguments, and development of our ways of thinking. Power, Privilege and Diversity Requirement The study of peace and conflict directly concerns the relations of power in society. This course generally defines relations of power as constructed meaning of race, ethnicity, caste, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and age, although it concedes this list is not all inclusive. It invites students to develop their reflectively positionality within the relations of power through introductory readings within anti-oppression frameworks, including critical race theory. In keeping with the faculty’s consensus on PPD this course includes significant section on the issue of domestic (US) race relations, but it also expands the notion of positionality with the relations of power to global issues. The course does not aim to indoctrinate, rather its premise is students must be aware of the anti-oppression frameworks in order to be “literate” in today’s society. Each student is free to determine their stance on the concepts, theories, and issues we examine, while they are responsible for knowing how their stance fits within the larger academic and society debates and discussion pertinent to power, privilege, and diversity.

Student Outcomes

Students will be able to: • Gain understandings of the types, causes, dynamics, and outcomes of peace and conflict • Apply peace and conflict frameworks to case studies • Acquire foundations for advanced level work in peace and conflict studies • Develop critical thinking skills for the 21st century, including: o Framing questions, identifying patterns from data to answer those questions, and advancing your argument or interpretation to the question presented. o Engage in higher order reading skills that reach above skimming, summation (although important), and shallow analysis. o Develop verbal communication skills that center on listening, building on the existing conversation, appropriately changing conversation’s direction, respectfully disagreeing, making points grounded in course material as against one’s opinion, and articulating key points without monopolizing the discussion. o Embrace uncertainty, recognize false paths and learn from them, and forever be intellectually curious. o Write clearly, concisely, and analytically. • Practice speaking and writing skills • Earn PPD or SS graduation requirement