Mimi Gerstbauer


Associate Professor, Chair in Political Science and Director in Peace Studies, LALACS, and African Studies

I ask my students in international relations about their first political memory. Mine is a Vietnamese refugee living in my basement when I was a little girl in Cincinnati. Later, his whole family came to the United States. I began traveling internationally at age 5 and visited several continents by age 9. My interest in world politics had begun! My interest in Peace Studies also has deep roots, but was solidified when I studied abroad in Nicaragua in college and had the opportunity to document the peace work of a Nicaraguan development agency. Arriving not long after decades of war had ended, my work included interviewing many peace activists, community leaders, and guerrilla leaders. I was inspired!

Dr. Mimi Gerstbauer is Chair of Political Science and Director of Peace Studies. Professor Gerstbauer teaches international relations courses, US foreign policy, Latin American politics, politics of developing nations, and introduction to Peace Studies. Her research interests include nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in international politics and peacebuilding, faith-based actors in peacebuilding, post-war reconciliation processes, and the role of forgiveness and apologies in international politics. Gerstbauer's recent publications include: "The Whole Story of NGO Mandate Change: The Peacebuilding Work of World Vision, Catholic Relief Services, and Mennonite Central Committee," Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly; “Transnational Peacebuilding: Bringing Salt and Light to Colombia and the United States,” Development in Practice; and The New Conflict Managers: Peacebuilding NGOs and State Agendas (in New Threats and New Actors in International Security, Palgrave). Her current project and focus of several conference presentations is forgiveness and US foreign policy. Professor Gerstbauer was also a participant in the Calvin College Summer Seminars in Christian Scholarship and has interests in experiential and service-learning pedagogies. Gerstbauer has been at Gustavus since 2001. She lives in St. Peter with her husband, Fabian, and their three sons.


B.A. Wheaton College (IL), 1993; M.A (including Peace Studies), Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, 1998, 2002

Courses Taught


PCS-211 (Introduction to Peace Studies) and POL-399 (Sem:Pol of Reconcil)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
POL-130International Relations152013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, 2005/FA, 2004/FA, 2003/FA, 2002/FA, 2002/SP, and 2001/FA
POL-250The Politics of Developing Nations122013/FA, 2012/FA, 2011/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, 2005/FA, 2004/FA, 2003/FA, 2002/FA, and 2001/FA
POL-230Latin American Politics102013/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, 2007/SP, 2006/SP, 2005/SP, 2004/SP, 2003/SP, and 2002/SP
PCS-211Introduction to Peace Studies62013/SP, 2011/SP, 2009/SP, 2007/SP, 2005/SP, and 2003/SP
POL-340Issues for U.S. Foreign Policy62011/FA, 2010/SP, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, 2004/FA, and 2002/FA
POL-399Thesis62004/FA, 2003/FA, 2003/SP, 2002/FA, 2002/SP, and 2001/FA
POL-099Senior Thesis42010/FA, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, and 2006/SP
POL-268Career Exploration42006/JN and 2005/JN
POL-335International Organizations32006/SP, 2004/SP, and 2002/SP
NDL-248Faith and Learning12011/JN
POL-344ST:Pol Reconciliation12010/FA
NDL-128Forgiveness Stories12004/JN
FTS-100First Term Seminar12003/FA
PCS-095Peace Studies Senior Seminar12003/SP
PCS-096Peace Studies Senior Thesis12003/SP
POL-135Nicaraguan Revolution12003/JN

Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.