Mission Statement

Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary program whose coherence derives from an exploration of four interconnected themes:

Nationalism and conflict

Peace studies students analyze the nation as both idea and fact, gaining insight into the nation as one relatively recent form of social, economic, and political organization while also exploring, through case studies, the concrete shapes this idea has taken in history. Students take up the question of conflicts both within and between nations, and discuss how such conflicts have been managed, mitigated, and influenced in relation to both local and international frameworks.

International and comparative studies

Peace Studies students examine issues related to global peace and social justice in the international arena. Students receive a solid grounding in global cultural diversity, while also considering power and violence as drivers of conflict. They explore such topics as diplomacy, conflict resolution, human rights, and the role of non-governmental organizations. Finally, they discuss issues that transcend national boundaries, such as the refugee crisis and global climate change.

The history of global activism

Peace Studies students assess the forms that democratic social organization can take, and the way in which such organization has been / can be mobilized in the interest of making the world a fairer and more just place. They explore the various approaches to struggle, and examine how social change has been / can be accomplished when it runs counter to powerful interests and existing social norms.

Justice and the public good

Peace Studies students investigate what constitutes justice and the public good, and the sometimes-competing ways in which these categories have been defined. Students explore the structures of socio-economic and political inequality, which—in the real world—often complicate or impede the quest for justice and the public good. They gain facility in openly and honestly evaluating their own beliefs and those of others, and consider how to build a world that best ensures a good quality of life for people with different experiences and relationships to power.