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PAX 250: Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies

An investigation of key questions in the field of peace and conflict studies: What are the causes and conditions of violence and the conditions that foster peace and social justice? What is the difference between “negative” and “positive” peace? How do ordinary citizens, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations such as the United Nations contribute to peacebuilding? What are the ethical values and practical tools of peacebuilders across cultures and traditions? Our research takes us into the community to interview people representing diverse views and disciplinary backgrounds—soldiers, peace activists, law-makers, human rights lawyers, economists, physicians, psychologists and artists as well as religious and spiritual leaders. The aim of the course is to deepen understanding of peace research and initiatives as well as the root causes of violence. – Candace Walworth, PhD., Department Chair

Meets Tuesday & Thursday 12-1:20 pm Sycamore 8150

PAX 335: Nonviolence: Theories and PracticeStudy of the theories and practice of nonviolence from historical and contemporary perspectives. This online course explores a central paradox of contemplative life. One of the distinguishing features of contemplative life is the aspiration to live in the present moment, timelessly. On the other hand, contemplatives have often been deeply involved in activist struggles to improve the social and political conditions of their time and place. Examples from around the globe engage students in understanding the dynamics of this paradox in different settings and in their own lives. Students examine their own ethical principles and practices, deepening the inquiry through shared exploration. Online fees apply.—Thomas B. Coburn, PhD., President Emeritus, Naropa University

PAX 340: Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation
This course examines the multiple and interrelated causes of conflict and approaches to peacebuilding across cultures. Students build practical skills in conflict transformation through mediation training (interest-based negotiation). We investigate assumptions about conflict, the potency of cultural and religious differences in conflict, the complexities of invention and the possibility of transformation. Topics include peacebuilding as an artistic process, the role of the media in peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance, and peacebuilding after mass violence. Through a study of the South African Truth and Reconciliation, we explore how forgiveness and reconciliation are understood politically, socially and spiritually.—Candace Walworth, PhD., Department Chair
Meets Friday 9-11:50 am Sycamore 8140

PAX 3XX: International Affairs
An introduction to the field of International Affairs, tracing three key themes: globalization, geopolitics and nationalism. The course explores the historical evolution of globalization, traces the historical roots of geopolitical thinking, and examines the influence of geography on U.S. foreign policy and contemporary U.S. geopolitics. Students will analyze the upsurge of various nationalisms since the end of the Cold War and evaluate their impact on the existing state-system. Using a case study approach, we will explore the three key themes in various regional contexts. Case studies will vary from semester to semester but may include contemporary political-economy in Latin America, the geopolitics of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the conflict in Israel-Palestine, the geopolitics of the 2003 U.S. Invasion of Iraq, and U.S.-Iranian relations.–Ian Feinhandler, PhD., Geographer and International Affairs Specialist
Meets Wednesday 6-8:50 pm Sycamore 8150


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