(file last updated: [7/6/1999 - 13:20:2])
Since the end of World War II, peace and conflict studies (PAX) has emerged as an interdisciplinary area of inquiry drawing on social science, the humanities, the creative arts, and science in efforts to understand reasons for war and possible ways of resolving conflicts without resorting to violence. In the last few years, for many people the primary focus of inquiry is shifting from the Cold War and the nuclear threat to conflict resolution in small and large contexts. Along with the larger goal of ending war altogether, the Brandeis program reflects this tendency.
This is a time to examine the many meanings of "security," to investigate the nature of power and political participation and to develop ideas and ways of addressing conflicts that honor the integrity of all parties involved. This is a time, in other words, to learn alternatives to violence and a time to learn the ways of disarmament and ending of war.
How to Become a Program Member
Students who wish to take peace and conflict studies as a program in addition to their fields of concentration can construct an individually tailored program in consultation with program advisors on the Peace and Conflict Studies Committee.
Gordon Fellman, Chair
(International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life)
Jyl Lynn Felman
(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)
Requirements for the Program
Students are to take six required courses, configured this way:
A. Two core requirements (comprehensive course or project).
1. SOC 119a (War and Possibilities of Peace).
2. Either PAX 92a/b (Internship in Peace and Conflict Studies) or a Senior honors thesis.
The internship consists of at least 10 hours a week in a social change organization in the greater Boston area or, if the student is abroad, an appropriate equivalent. The intern is supervised by a PAX professor or staff person, keeps a daily journal, presents and does the reading of a bibliography on the topic of the internship and its larger framework, and writes a paper of 15-20 pages at the end of the internship. The student is expected to meet weekly or biweekly with the supervisor and to e-mail weekly or biweekly if doing the work abroad. Internships are organized around but not limited to those we find through the Hiatt Career Center.
The senior thesis is undertaken in the student's department of concentration, on a topic central to peace and conflict studies. With the department's permission, a member of the PAX Faculty Committee will serve on and represent the PAX Program on the thesis committee.
B. Two or more core electives: At least two courses (and up to four) from this list. Core electives must be taken in at least two different departments.
Core electives include courses that offer critical analyses of violence and non-violence and that consider information, ideas, and examples of productive ways of resisting violence and working toward peace and justice (what in the peace studies field is called "positive peace," as distinct from "negative peace," which is the absence of war but not of conditions that appear to lead to war). These courses offer perspectives on major institutions and possible alternatives, explore some strategies for change, and encourage students to envision and work toward a world based more on positive peace than on negative peace or war.
C. Maximum of two related electives: No more than two courses from this list can count to meet program requirements, and they must be taken in different departments.
These courses relate directly or indirectly to international, domestic, organizational, intergroup, interpersonal, or personal conflict and also include consideration of perspectives that promote understanding, reconciliation, and transformation. They need not focus on violence and non-violence, positive peace or encouraging students to envision positive peace. Students may apply courses from the "core electives" list that they have not taken to fulfill core requirements, to this requirement.
D. Students are urged to take at least one course from a school other than Social Science to fulfill their PAX requirements.
E. Students may petition the PAX Committee for special consideration of courses not listed here that the student wishes to propose as appropriate for her/his PAX program.
Courses of Instruction
SOC 119a War and Possibilities of Peace
[ cl29 cl40 ss ]
Ponders the possibility of a major "paradigm shift" under way from adversarialism and war to mutuality and peace. Examines war culture and peace culture and points in between, with emphases on the role of imagination in social change, growing global interdependence, and political, economic, gender, social class, and social psychological aspects of war and peace. Usually offered every year.
PAX 92a and b Internship in Peace and Conflict Studies
Signature of the instructor required.
Usually offered every year.
PAX 110a International Nonviolent Initiatives
[ ss ]
Explores the potential of nonviolent struggle and related efforts to reduce violence worldwide. The sociological mechanisms and ethical outlooks of forms of "nonviolence" are studied, as well as the workings of "people power" on five continents. Usually offered every year. Will be offered in the fall of 1999.
PAX 186a Introduction to Inter-Communal Coexistence
[ ss ]
Enrollment limited to 15. Required for students selected as Ethics and Coexistence Fellows.
Investigates the emerging field of inter-communal coexistence, partly through case-studies, and by analyzing "coexistence", "tolerance", "reconciliation" and related concepts. Investigates methods of inter-communal work, including encounter, dialogue, activism, and the arts. Considers tensions between coexistence and values of equity and justice. Usually offered every year.
The following courses approved for the program are not all given in any one year and students are advised to consult the Course Schedule for each semester.
Core Elective Courses
Conflict Analysis and Intervention
Introduction to Inter-Communal Coexistence
Seminar: Managing Ethnic Conflict
Causes and Prevention of War
Seminar: Human Rights and International Relations
Social Class and Social Change
Sociology of Empowerment
Women in Culture and Society: A Multidisciplinary Perspective
Related Elective Courses
Economics of Third World Hunger
Economy and Society in Africa
Third World Ideologies
Political Economy of the Third World
War and the American Imagination
Violence in American Life
Language, Ethnicity, and Nationalism
Human Reproduction, Population Explosion, Global Consequences
The Planet as an Organism: Gaia Theory and Human Prospect
Topics in New World Studies: The Empire Writes Back
The Economy of Japan
Business in the Global Economy
Fascism East and West
War in Vietnam
Sex Discrimination and the Law
Law and Development: International Perspectives
International Law, Organizations, and Conflict Resolution
Ethics and the Jewish Political Tradition
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
Social and Political Philosophy
Introduction to International Relations
Politics of Africa
Latin American Politics I
Latin American Politics II
Seminar: Nationalism and Development
Seminar: International Politics of the Pacific
Seminar: Politics and Hunger
Global Apartheid and Global Social Movements
Modern Capitalism, Society, and Economy
Social Psychology of Consciousness
The Sociology of the Israeli-Palestinian Confrontation
Society, State, Power: The Problem of Democracy