Tag Archives: curriculum

PEAC courses for Spring 2017!

Check out all the great Peace and Conflict Studies courses on offer this spring 2017!

Peace and Conflict Studies Courses
Spring 2017


PEAC 003.  Crisis Resolution in the Middle East

Eligible for POLS and ISLM credit

This introductory course is designed for students without a background in Peace and Conflict Studies or Middle East Studies. Central questions include: How do we define crises in the contemporary Middle East/North Africa region? How does the nature of the crisis (political, economic, social, and environmental) impact communities differently? How are grassroots actors, civil society institutions, states, and international organizations responding to these challenges in their nation-states and across borders? What transnational networks of solidarity have linked the Middle East to other regions across the globe? For instance, this course will examine the consequences of environmental degradation and escalating food prices on conflict and instability across the region. We will trace the origins of autocratic regimes in the Middle East and social movements calling for rights and reforms on one hand and the rise of fundamentalism and terrorism (i.e. Al-Qaeda and ISIS). Furthermore, the course will explore crises such as contemporary Syria, and how local and international interventions aimed at reversing the marginalization of-and threats against-minority populations (ethnic, religious, gender, sexuality, ability) have come to constitute a realm of crisis management. By understanding crises through the theoretical prism of human security frameworks, we will ascertain the prospects for democratization, development, pluralism, and peace in the region.

Sa’ed Atshan; Tuesdays 1:15-4:00; Kohlberg 116


PEAC 043.  Gender, Sexuality and Social Change

Eligible for GSST credit

How has gender emerged as an analytical category? How has sexuality emerged as an analytical category? What role did discourses surrounding gender and sexuality play in the context of Western colonialism in the Global South historically as well as in the context of Western imperialism in the Global South today? How are gender and sexuality-based liberation understood differently around the world? What global social movements have surfaced to codify rights for women and LGBTQ populations? How has the global human rights apparatus shaped the experiences of women and queer communities? What is the relationship between gender and masculinity? What are the promises and limits of homo-nationalism and pink-washing as theoretical frameworks in our understanding of LGBT rights discourses? When considering the relationship between faith and homosexuality, how are religious actors queering theology? How do we define social change with such attention to gender and sexuality?  1 credit.

Sa’ed Atshan; Mondays 1:15-4:00; Science Center 105


PEAC 049. Social Entrepreneurship in Principle and Practice

Amidst market implosions, human conflict, environmental crises, and on-going demise of the welfare state, the need for new, durable organizational forms, committed to social change, is clear.  Social entrepreneurship offers a unique model for creative conflict transformation and community problem solving. Using business practices, social enterprises seek to redress social and environmental concerns while generating revenue.  Students will learn about the manifestation of social entrepreneurship principles and practice in non-profit, for-profit, and hybrid organizations.  Then, students will draft plans for their own social enterprise, thereby garnering a deeper understanding of social enterprise as organizational forms, while also embarking on a journey to explore their own potential as social entrepreneurs.  1 credit.

Denise Crossan, Lang Professor for Social Change; Tuesday/Thursday 8:30-10:30; Lang Center 112


PEAC 071B Research Seminar: Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle

 (Cross-listed as SOAN 071B)

This one-credit research seminar involves working and updating the Global Nonviolent Action Database website which can be accessed by activists and scholars worldwide at http://nvdatabase.swarthmore.edu The Global Nonviolent Action Database was built at Swarthmore College and includes cases of “people power” drawn from dozens of countries.  The database contains crucial information on campaigns for human rights, democracy, environmental sustainability, economic justice, national/ethnic identity, and peace.  Students will be expected to research a series of cases and write them up in two ways: within a template of fields (the database proper) and also as a 2-3 page narrative that describes the unfolding struggle.  In addition to research/writing methods, students will also draw theories in the field.  Strategic implications for today will be drawn from theory and from what the group learns from the documented cases of wins and losses experienced by people’s struggles.  1 credit.  Writing course.  Enrollment limited to 12 students.

Lee Smithey;  Thursday 1:15-4:00;  Lang Center 106


PEAC 103.  Humanitarianism:  Anthropological Approaches

(Cross-listed with SOAN 103)

This honors 2-credit seminar will introduce students to the most salient theoretical debates among anthropologists on humanitarian intervention around the world.  We will also examine a range of case studies, from the birth of Western Christian humanitarian missions in colonial contexts to humanitarian interventions (e.g. military, food-based assistance, natural disaster relief, post-conflict reconstruction) today.  The geographic scope of this seminar will encompass North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East/North Africa, East Asia, and South Asia.  We will consider, for instance, how anthropologists have examined relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  What social science scholarship has been produced on mental health interventions after political and natural crises in Haiti? How are victims of torture at the hands of the Indian military supported by international organizations in Kashmir?  What is the nature of global Islamic humanitarianism today?  How are local national staff employed by international organizations shaping humanitarian approaches to gender-based violence in Colombia?  These are among the many questions we will address over the course of the semester.

Sa’ed Atshan; Wednesdays 1:15-4:00; Kohlberg 226




Fall 2015 Line-up of Peace & Conflict Studies Courses

In addition to all of the excellent courses offered across campus that may be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflicts Studies, our own program curriculum is expanding next year!

PEAC 015. Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies

In Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies, we learn that peace and conflict are not mutually exclusive. To paraphrase Conrad Brunk, the goal of peace and conflict studies is to better understand conflict in order to find nonviolent ways of turning unjust relationships into more just ones. We examine both the prevalence of coercive and non-peaceful means of conducting conflict as well as the development of nonviolent alternatives, locally and globally, through institutions and at the grassroots. The latter include nonviolent collective action, mediation, peacekeeping, and conflict transformation work. Several theoretical and philosophical lenses will be used to explore cultural and psychological dispositions, conflict in human relations, and conceptualizations of peace. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach with significant contributions from the social sciences. U.S.-based social justice movements, such as the struggle for racial equality, and global movements, such as nonviolent activism in Israel/Palestine, and the struggle for climate justice around the world, will serve as case studies.

1 credit. Tues/Thurs. 1:15-2:30 pm

Instructor: Sa’ed Atshan

 PEAC 039. Social Entrepreneurship for Social Change (NEW COURSE!)

By integrating innovative approaches with revenue-generating practices, social entrepreneurs and their ventures open compelling and impactful avenues to social change. In this course, students will learn about the pioneering individuals and novel ways that social entrepreneurship responds to social needs that are not adequately served by the market or by the state through in-depth case analysis of social change work (locally, nationally, and globally).

1 credit. Mondays 1:15-4:00 pm

Instructor: Denise Crossan, Lang Professor for Social Change


 PEAC 053. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict  (NEW COURSE!)

This course will examine the historical underpinnings of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how they have shaped the contemporary context in Israel/Palestine. We will approach this from a demography and population-studies framework in order to understand the trajectories and heterogeneity of Israeli and Palestinian societies and politics. For instance, how has the relationship between race and period of migration to Israel impacted Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Israeli sub-populations differently? What explains divergent voting patterns between Palestinian Christians and Muslims over time? How can we measure inequality between Israeli settlers and Palestinian natives in the West Bank in the present? The course will also synthesize competing theoretical paradigms that account for the enduring nature of this conflict. This includes—but is not limited to—the scholarly contributions of realist political scientists, US foreign policy experts, social movements theorists, security sector reformers, human rights advocates, international law experts, and negotiations and conflict resolution practitioners.

Eligible POLS and ISLM credit.

1 credit. Tues./Thurs. 2:40-3:55 pm

Instructor: Sa’ed Atshan

PEAC 071B. Research Seminar: Strategy and Nonviolent Struggle

(Cross-listed as POLS 081 and SOCI 071B)

This research seminar involves working with The Global Nonviolent Action Database built at Swarthmore College. This website is accessed by activists and scholars worldwide. The database contains crucial information on campaigns for human rights, democracy, environmental sustainability, economic justice, national/ethnic identity, and peace. Students will investigate a series of research cases and write them up in two ways: within a template of fields (the database proper) and also as a narrative describing the unfolding struggle. Strategic implications will be drawn from theory and from what the group is learning from the documented cases of wins and losses experienced by people’s struggles.

1 credit.  Mondays 1:15-4:00 pm

Instructor: Lee Smithey

Peace & Conflict Studies Courses for Spring 2013

As you are planning for your spring 2013 semester, here are courses on offer that may be counted toward a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Peace & Conflict Studies – Spring 2013

ARAB 025. War in Arab Literature and Cinema

ECON 051. The International Economy*

ECON 081. Economic Development*

ECON 151. International Economics*

HIST 037. History & Memory: Perspectives of Holocaust

JPNS 083. War/Postwar in Japanese Culture

LITR 025A. War in Arab Literature and Cinema

LITR 083J. War/Postwar in Japanese Culture

PEAC 071B. Strategy: Non-Violent Struggle

PEAC 077. Peace Studies and Action

PEAC 090. Thesis

PEAC 093. Directed Reading

PEAC 180. Senior Honors Thesis [W]

PHIL 021. Social and Political Philosophy*

POLS 004. International Politics

POLS 047. Democracy, Autocracy and Regime Change

PSYC 035. Social Psychology*

RELG 039. Good and Evil

SOAN 010J. War, Sport and Masculine Identity

SOAN 071B. Strategy Non-Violent Struggle

* Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are eligible for credit upon prior arrangement with the instructor and the program coordinator.  Download the appropriate form from the PCS website.


Tri-College Peace, Conflict, Human Rights, and Social Justice Studies

Welcome back to all faculty, staff, and students.  I hope your semester is off to a great start.

We are in the middle of the drop-add period, and I want to take the opportunity to let you know that there are Peace and Conflict Studies opportunities beyond Swarthmore at our sister colleges, Bryn Mawr and Haverford. Courses that count toward a Concentration in Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice Studies at Bryn Mawr College or a Concentration in Peace, Justice, and Human Rights at Haverford College may also be applied to a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore. You can read more about the Tri-College consortium’s respective programs at http://bit.ly/tricopeace-info You will also find contact information for each program in that document. Peace studies offerings at Haverford and Bryn Mawr can allow you to study topics not offered at Swarthmore or give you options when you encounter scheduling conflicts between Swarthmore courses. Take advantage of the Tri-co consortium, and feel free to contact the coordinators at any of the colleges!