Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies (PCS)

Academic Catalog: 2020–2021

  • Loramy Gerstbauer, (Political Science), Program Director

Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies (PJCS) is an interdisciplinary field of study which critically examines violence in all forms and at all levels of society: international and civil war; structural oppression including poverty, cultural violence, communal conflict and inequality, and interpersonal violence. It seeks to develop and assess various non-violent approaches to conflict transformation and promoting and social justice. PJCS serves to focus knowledge from di-verse disciplines to converge on the problems of violence and oppression and challenges us to find peaceful solutions and pathways to end such scourges.

The mission of the PJCS program intersects with and supports the mission of Gustavus Adolphus College in several specific ways: it is interdisciplinary and inter- national in perspective, it stresses the development of values as an integral part of intellectual growth, and above all it encourages students to work toward a just and peaceful world. The PJCS program strongly recommends study or work abroad for its students to gain international awareness and experience. It is also a program that values action-oriented pedagogies and models of experiential education and service-learning. Many institutions with which Gustavus has an official affiliation offer courses in the areas of peace studies and conflict resolution, which may be substituted for Gustavus courses (up to two) and applied toward the PJCS major or minor.

Students are encouraged to consult with the faculty listed below, who serve as resource persons and advisors in the various disciplines that contribute to both the major and the minor in PJCS: Thia Cooper (Religion), Seán Easton (Greek, Latin, Classical Studies), Loramy Gerstbauer (Political Science), Maddalena Marinari (History), Joaquín Villanueva (Geography), and Suzanne Wilson (Sociology/ Anthropology).

Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies Major:

Nine courses including:

  1. Introductory:
    1. PCS-211.
    2. POL-130 or GEG-101.
    3. ENG-126, REL-115, or S/A-111.
  2. Intermediate:
    1. PCS-221 (no prerequisite, but POL-130 is recommended) Petitions for substitution of another conflict course will be considered (such as E/M-269), however, this must be approved in advance with an advisor.
    2. PSY-232, S/A-113, or S/A-235.
    3. One course from PJCS Track II (other than those taken to fulfill other major requirements) chosen in consultation with the major advisor.
    4. One course from PJCS Track I or Track III (other than those taken to fulfill other major requirements) chosen in consultation with the major advisor.
  3. Advanced:
    1. Internship or Study Away Experience.
    2. Capstone Seminar: GEG-309, REL-383 or REL-393.

Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies Minor:

Five courses chosen in consultation with an advisor in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies. No more than two of the five courses may be from the same department. They are to be distributed as follows:

  1. PCS-211.
  2. One course credit selected in consultation with an advisor from the following choices: independent study, study abroad, senior thesis.
  3. At least one course must be selected from each of the following three tracks. Courses must be taken from at least two departments. When possible, students wanting any of these courses to count toward the minor should notify the instructor at the start of the course.

Track I: Global Justice

Courses in this track will address the questions: What are the origins of global conflict, whether historical or contemporary, among nation-states or other actors? How have peace and justice movements evolved in response?

  • E/M-276 Economic Development and World Resources
  • GEG-101 Human Geography
  • GEG-102 World Geography
  • GEG-215 Political Geography: Power, Territory, and States
  • GEG-229 Energy Geography
  • HIS-104 Environmental History
  • HIS-323 European Minorities
  • POL-130 International Relations
  • POL-250 The Politics of Developing Nations
  • POL-340 Issues for U.S. Foreign Policy
  • S/A-243 Globalization

Track II: Theology, Philosophy and Ethics, and Culture

Culture Courses in this track will address the questions: How do competing normative, philosophical, religious, and cultural perspectives foster or impede peace and social justice?

  • COM-257 Intercultural Communication
  • ENG-126 Introduction to US Ethnic Literature
  • ENG-226 US Latinx Literature
  • FRE-370 Revolution and Rebellion in Modern French Culture
  • MLC-265 Exploring Intercultural Relations through Film
  • PHI-209 Philosophies of the Environment
  • PHI-212 Philosophies of Oppression and Privilege
  • POL-280 Revolution, Resistance and Liberation
  • PSY-232 Social Psychology
  • REL-115 World Religions
  • REL-273 Religion & Politics in Latin America
  • REL-373 The Holocaust: Then & Now
  • REL-383 Liberation Struggles
  • REL-393 Race, Sex, Money, God
  • S/A-111 Cultural Anthropology
  • S/A-260 Race and Ethnicity
  • SCA-360 Nordic Colonialisms and Postcolonial Studies

Track III: Social and Historical Issues

Courses in this track will address the questions: In what ways do conflict and injustice exist in communities, and in what ways are they addressed?

  • GEG-236 Urban Geography
  • GEG-225 Race and Space in the US
  • GEG-309 Geographies of Peace and Violence
  • GWS-236 Gender, Sex, and the Holocaust
  • HIS-140 U.S. Since the Civil War
  • HIS-160 Introduction to Latin America
  • HIS-232 Black History Matters
  • HIS-334 Local Civil Rights
  • PCS-221 Conflict and Resolution
  • PHI-105 School and Society
  • S/A-113 Social Problems
  • S/A-235 Social Inequality
  • T/D-136 Creating Social Justice Theatre
  • T/D-236 Theatre and Society

211 Introduction to Peace Studies (1 course) This course is about violence and its alternatives. We examine the causes and nature of violence and aggression among individuals, groups and nations. We consider whether there are appropriate uses of violence by weighing the competing claims of just war versus pacifist theories. We explore the meaning of peace, including concepts of negative and positive peace and structural violence as they relate to issues of societal oppression, human rights, and culture. We investigate possibilities of peace, introducing students to conflict resolution literature and skills. Fall semester.

221 Conflict and Resolution (1 course) This course examines the history, major philosophies and practices of conflict analysis and resolution. Through consideration of theories and case studies, students will investigate and critique the origins and spread of violent conflict across a range of cultures and societies at global, regional, and local levels. Students will analyze complex conflict scenarios and learn how to move them toward resolution, using appropriate peace-building responses. Spring semester.