Academic Course Catalogs

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Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies

Administration

William R. Headley, CSSp, PhD, Dean
Lee Ann Otto, PhD, Associate Dean, Director, MA Program in Peace and Justice Studies, Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations
Louis Cappella, ASSISTANT DEAN, Administration and Operations
Milburn Line, MA, EXECUTIVE Director, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
David Shirk, PhD, Director, Trans-Border Institute
Elisa Lurkis, MA, Director, Development and Community Relations
Rogers, Patie, MS, MANAGER, Finance and Budget
Alioto, Marisa, BA, COORDINATOR, Outreach and Student Services

Faculty

Ami Carpenter, PhD, Assistant Professor; Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding, Intervention Methodology
Christopher McDougal, PhD, Assistant Professor; Economic Development and Peacebuilding, Research Methodologies
Michael Perry, JD, University Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law and Peace Studies; Human Rights
Charles Reilly, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Peacebuilding, Civil Society, Non-Violence and Peace Education
Dustin Sharp, JD, Assistant Professor; Human Rights, Transitional Justice, Human Rights Advocacy
Necla Tschirgi, PhD, Professor of Practice, Human Security And Peacebuilding; Peacebuilding, Security and Development Nexus

Master of Arts in Peace and Justice Studies

The Master of Arts in Peace and Justice Studies is an interdisciplinary program that emphasizes the integration and use of theory and practice from ethics, world religions, international relations, conflict resolution, development and human rights for the successful pursuit of peace and justice goals. Students in the program benefit from the School of Peace Studies’ two institutes: the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice and the Trans-Border Institute.

The goals of the program are to produce graduates who are capable of relating disciplinary and cross-disciplinary theories of peace and justice to real world problem-solving involving local, regional and international conflict; to foster scholarly agendas that examine the dynamics of justice and peacebuilding; and to facilitate faculty and student interaction and development across disciplines and academic units at University of San Diego, as well as in the community

The MA in Peace and Justice Studies is designed as a full-time program and is divided into two tracks of study. Individuals with a minimum of three years experience relevant to the field of peace and justice (e.g. NGO, government, or business experience with a focus on human rights, conflict resolution, or development) are eligible to apply for the one-year program. Those without this experience should apply for the seventeen-month program, which includes a required internship. Preference in admission for both tracks will be given to applicants with language skills in addition to English.

Financial Aid

All applicants accepted into the Peace and Justice Studies Program are eligible to be considered for Gandhi Fellowships, Joan B. Kroc Scholarships in Peace and Justice Studies and Dean’s Graduate Merit Scholarships. Application for Program admission constitutes application for all three scholarships. A faculty committee determines fellowship and scholarship awards. The Gandhi Fellowships, Joan B. Kroc Scholarships in Peace and Justice Studies, Dean’s Graduate Merit Scholarships and other financial aid are offered to permit full-time study. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at USD for further information regarding financial aid and loans.

Requirements for the Degree: 12-Month Track

  • Full-time status as a graduate student
  • Approval of courses by the Program Director
  • 30 units of graduate work with a 3.0 or higher
  • 3 core courses – 9 units (see below)
  • 4 courses within one of the areas of specialization – 12 units (see below)
  • 2 elective courses – 6 units
  • Capstone project, must be at “B” or better performance, – 3 units
  • No more than 6 units of course work at the 300 level or 400 level can be counted toward the 30 units.

Requirements for the Degree: 17-Month Track

  • Full-time status as a graduate student
  • Approval of courses by the Program Director
  • 33 units of graduate work with a 3.0 or higher
  • 3 core courses- 9 units (see below)
  • 4 courses within one of the areas of specialization – 12 units (see below)
  • 2 elective courses – 6 units
  • Internship – 3 units
  • Capstone project, must be at “B” or better performance, - 3 units
  • No more than 6 units of course work at the 300 level or 400 level can be counted toward the 33 units.

Curriculum

The Peace and Justice Studies Program emphasizes the integration and use of theoretical and practical materials along with the acquisition of skills necessary for the successful pursuit of peace and justice goals. It begins in late August with a required orientation that introduces students to the range of cross-disciplinary scholarship in the Program. Students in both tracks take three required core courses as well as four courses within one of the areas of specialization and two elective courses. Both tracks conclude with a capstone project that requires students to apply skills and perspectives acquired in the Program to a current or developing problem that threatens or prevents peace and/or justice. The capstone projects are shared with the incoming cohort of students through a public presentation. In the seventeen-month program, the Internship class serves to integrate the practical experience of the internship with theory through critical discussion. Students from all four thematic areas will engage in dialog with each other and the Program’s faculty.

With the exception of the capstone and, for students in the 17-month track, the Internship, substitutions of required courses with electives can occur with the approval of the Program Director if a required course duplicates previous academic work of the student.

Core Courses

1. Foundations of Peace and Justice Studies I
2. Foundations of Peace and Justice Studies II
3. Research Methodology

Specializations

(points under each specialization are indicative of topics relevant to each area and do not represent the names of specific courses)

Conflict Analysis and Resolution

Community based conflict
Conflict prevention/early warnings
Conflict and world politics
Post-conflict peacebuilding
Ethnic and identity conflict (identity as language, race, class, gender, ethnicity, faith)
Faith based traditions and peacebuilding
International institutions
Negotiation and mediation
Nonviolence, religion, communication
Social movements

Development

Development policy
Development of human capital and civil society
Environmental justice and sustainability
International organizations
International political economy
Organizational management
Political development and governance (institution building, rule of law)

Human Rights

Gender, identity, and human rights
Genocide and mass atrocities
Human rights monitoring
International humanitarian law
Justice mechanisms (indigenous, national and international tribunals)
Restorative justice
Reconciliation

Human Security

Disaster prevention and relief
Failed states /states in transition
Human rights and rule of law (crimes against humanity, access to justice)
Humanitarian aid
Individual and group psychology
Migration issues
Peacekeeping and NGOs
Resource conflict
Violence and society

Courses and Seminars

PJS 501 FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE AND JUSTICE STUDIES I (3)

This course examines the range of possible legal, institutional, and policy frameworks that have been marshaled in an attempt to build positive peace in different contexts, focusing on the disciplines of conflict resolution, human rights, and development. Students will explore the philosophical foundations and practical strategies of each discipline as they relate to the manifestations of conflict and the potential and limitations for peace, and will be introduced to a series of debates and discussions surrounding the modalities and effectiveness of such interventions. The importance of ethical and religious perspectives will be emphasized throughout. Fall semester

PJS 502 FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE AND JUSTICE STUDIES II (3)

This course builds upon the exploration of the foundations of the core disciplines in Peace and Justice Studies (conflict resolution, human rights, development) covered in PJS 501. In PJS 502 regions of potential empirical and conceptual overlap among these core disciplines will be examined through case studies and classroom exercises. Students will analyze the technologies and practices of intervention. The course is organized around a series of cross-cutting modules that require students to bring several of the core disciplines to bear on a common problem. Spring semester Prerequisite PJS 501

PJS 510 RELIGION AND CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION (3)

An exploration of the relationship between religion and the dynamics of conflict, with focus on the role of religion in conflict, peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Selected religious traditions will be considered, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, giving attention to such topics as their impact on processes of conflict, their function in violence prevention, reconciliation, and social change, and their resources for promoting peace and justice as human development.

PJS 530 INTERVENTION METHODOLOGIES (3)

This survey course links conflict and peace theories to a range of intervention methodologies specific to four specializations: conflict prevention and resolution, protection of human rights, promotion of human security, and development. Peace-making, peace-enforcement, transitional justice, human rights monitoring, reconciliation and trauma healing, and processes of conflict resolution will be the primary foci of the course.

PJS 540 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY (3)

This course introduces students to the philosophies behind social science research as well as the elements of the research process, and consists of three units. The first unit addresses the philosophy of social/scientific research and the importance of policy and information underpinned by credible research. The second unit focuses on general research design issues and an overview of qualitative and quantitative methods. The final unit focuses on two types of research: case study and evaluation/assessment.

PJS 550 ANALYSIS AND RESOLUTION OF VIOLENT CONFLICT (3)

This course will examine how conflicts are identified and analyzed, from low-level political violence to major armed conflict, and what theories and tools exist to resolve these conflicts. Students will read classic works in this interdisciplinary field, gaining an understanding of the different scholarly approaches taken to prevent and resolve armed conflict. Students will work in teams on particular case studies, applying theories learned.

PJS 552 CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN COMMUNITIES & ORGANIZATIONS (3)

This course focuses on the advanced theory and practice of conflict resolution in non-violent contexts. Case study based, and focused on stakeholder and issue analysis, the course highlights methods of conflict resolution, including collaborative large group facilitation, dialog, problem-solving workshops, consultative decision-making and multi-stakeholder partnership models. Cases from a variety of domestic and international contexts will be explored.

PJS 553 INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT PREVENTION & RESOLUTION (3)

This course focuses on third-party strategies for ethical intervention in civil and international conflicts. The particular focus is on environments where one party contests the legitimacy of an existing political authority or arrangement. This course studies the special dynamics of these cases in ongoing armed conflict and post-war environments: widespread insecurity, lack of effective government control or functioning, and collective trauma.

PJS 554 WARLORDS, DRUGLORDS AND GANGS: THE CHALLENGE OF FACTIONAL CONFLICT IN PEACEBUILDING AND POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION (3)

Drawing on cases from Africa, Latin and North America, this course examines the links between poverty, youth groups, and weak states. The course explores the application of conflict analysis and resolution perspectives to the causes, dynamics, and consequences of crime and factional conflict.

PJS 556 INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS (3)

This is an analytical and skills training course offering advanced training in the theory and practice of negotiations. Simulated negotiations of increasing complexity are carried on both inside and outside the classroom. In the course, students are introduced to various negotiation contexts including cross-cultural and cross-gender issues. Course participants from the Peace and Justice Studies Program will be integrated into the law school course which is composed of a mixture of U.S. law students and non-U.S. lawyers who are enrolled in USD’s LLM-CL program.

PJS 557 INTERPERSONAL AND SMALL GROUP CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Students will learn essential skills of a conflict resolution practitioner and intermediary. The course teaches methods of analyzing and resolving conflict with an emphasis on “cultural fluency” – communication, ‘naming, framing and taming’, approaches to meaning making, and understanding identity – and provides practice in basic skills of conflict resolution in interpersonal and intergroup settings. Students will be introduced to models for diagnosing conflicts, and skills and techniques for preventing or resolving conflicts based on those diagnoses. The opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the course is provided through weekly simulations, exercises, and role-plays.

PJS 558 PEACE AND JUSTICE IN WORLD POLITICS: THEORY AND PRACTICE (3)

An analysis of the theoretical literature on the causes of war and conditions of peace and justice focusing on issues of sovereignty, global governance, military and non-military aspects of security human rights, and positive and negative peace.

PJS 563 NONVIOLENCE AND PEACE EDUCATION (3)

This course examines the dynamics, strengths and limitations of nonviolent actions, social movements and peace education as alternatives to violence and as means for insuring human security. Drawing from history, international relations, political science, military, state security and public policy frameworks, students will seek explanations, estimate costs, and assess justifications of violence and of nonviolence. The course will examine ways, through action and education, to encourage people to opt for personal and collective practices of nonviolence.

PJS 570 DEVELOPMENT & CONFLICT (3)

This course will examine (1) the main economic theories of development and conflict (paying particular attention to the ways in which the two may be linked), (2) the great debates in conflict economics, and (3) the spatial dimensions of violent conflict. It will build a logical and intuitive appreciation of concepts covered by employing both deductive (theoretical) and inductive (empirically-grounded theory-building) exercises.

PJS 572 ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE (3)

Examination of environmental justice and its relationship to sustainability and the protection of the non-human world. Local, national, and global issues and cases will be considered. Multidisciplinary pedagogical approaches grounded by political and environmental philosophy will be used. Particular attention will be drawn to environmental, social, political, and economic inequalities, injustices and oppression based on differences of gender, race, ethnicity, class, national origin and species membership.

PJS 574 CIVIL SOCIETY, PEACEBUILDING AND DEVELOPMENT (3)

This course, drawing on political theory and democratization literature, will explore the strengths and weaknesses of civil society organizations seeking to build peace, development and democracy after violent conflict. Through case studies, the course will examine places where poverty and inequity were root causes of conflict, requiring social change to meet basic human needs, ensure rights and guarantee security.

PJS 580 INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS (3)

An introduction both to the international law of human rights and to the principal institutions, organizations, and processes designed to protect those rights. Attention will also be given to more “theoretical” issues, such as: What is the relationship between religion and human rights? Does the international law of human rights unjustifiably favor “western” over “non-western” moral perspectives?

PJS 582 TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE AND RESPONDING TO MASS ATROCITIES (3)

An examination of the range of possible legal, institutional, and policy frameworks that have been marshaled in an attempt to respond to large-scale human rights atrocities in the wake of conflict, from tribunals to truth commissions and beyond. The course will also examine debates about stopping ongoing mass atrocities through “humanitarian intervention” and the “responsibility to protect” doctrine.

PJS 588 HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY (3)

An examination of the actors and organizations conducting modern-day human rights advocacy and the techniques central to their work, including fact-finding, monitoring, report writing, and media work. The course will balance practical skill development (interviewing, press release writing) with a critical and reflective examination of the ethical and strategic dilemmas faced by human rights advocates today.

PJS 594 SPECIAL TOPICS IN PEACE AND JUSTICE STUDIES (1-3)

A specialized course focusing on a topic in conflict resolution, development, human rights or human security. The course can be repeated if the topic changes.

PJS 595 PEACE AND JUSTICE STUDIES CAPSTONE (3)

A study of a current or developing problem that threatens or prevents peace and/or justice. The case study will integrate skills and perspectives acquired in the program. Prerequisite for the course is approval of a case study prospectus. To pass you must achieve a B or better.

PJS 598 INTERNSHIP (3)

This course involves participation in an internship related to one of the four areas of specialization within the Peace and Justice Studies Master’s curriculum: conflict analysis and resolution, development, human rights, or human security. Internship placements will take place during the summer with a follow-up course in the fall semester. It is open only to students in the Peace and Justice Studies MA Program. Grading for the course will be on a Pass/Fail basis.

PJS 599 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3)

An independent study for up to three units provides students an opportunity to research a topic of particular interest to them relevant to Peace and Justice Studies. The faculty supervisor, program director, and Dean of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies must approve the project proposal prior to the beginning of the relevant semester. This course may be repeated up to a maximum of 3 units.

Prerequisite: Students must have completed at least one semester in the Peace and Justice Studies MA Program.