IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

What Georgetown U. is doing

Many of you may know that Georgetown University in the (obviously) Georgetown section of Washington D.C. is a very good and prestigious Caltholic university (and they generally play pretty good basket basketball too 🙂 ).  Well, they also have a Master of Arts Program in Conflict Resolution :

“From Darfur to Iraq to Washington D.C., disputes over politics, culture, resources, and religion have given rise to the need for new and creative approaches to resolving conflict. While deeply-rooted conflicts are often not fully resolved, they may be transformed from heated or violent disputes into more manageable, peaceful forms.

The two-year M.A. program is an intensive, theoretically- and practically-oriented, multidisciplinary degree. It is housed in the Government Department, with core courses offered also in the Department of Psychology and the McDonough School of Business.   Elective courses may be selected from departments across campus, including courses in dispute resolution offered at the Georgetown University Law Center.  The program seeks to build on and reinforce Georgetown University’s traditional commitments to peace, outreach, and ethics.

The program’s broad themes trace the three basic stages of conflict processes including the origins of disputes, mediation and negotiation, and post-conflict peace building. Students examine intergroup, community and global perspectives of conflict resolution while exploring topics such as the role of religion in conflict and conciliation, alternative dispute resolution, multiparty negotiations, workplace conflict resolution, third party intervention in civil conflicts, and emerging norms in the resolution of international conflict.

Students graduating from the program have established successful careers in government, non-governmental organizations, and private sector businesses.”

As you can see from the Curriculum page, the program really is cross disciplinary:

“The Conflict Resolution course of study draws on a rich body of offerings from across the Georgetown University campus. All students will complete four core courses in Conflict Resolution, including courses that are both theory- and practice-oriented. In addition to the core, students may choose from a wide range of elective courses, depending on the student’s individual interests.

Many courses in the Government Department focus on the political aspects of the field. But beyond these, students may be interested in, for example, inter-religious dialogue from a theological perspective, the philosophical origins of violence, the psychological aspects of intergroup relations, or the legalistic methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Therefore, courses in such departments as Theology, Philosophy, Psychology, and the Law School are included as integral parts of the program.”

This looks like a good program.  However, I have a small bone to pick–or rather suggestion to make to improve the program even further.   As far as I can tell there is no course that addresses the field of Peace Studies.  There are several courses on Peace building and Peace Process(es), but an introduction to Peace Studies is notably absent.  All one sees in the core is “conflict resolution”.  This is unfortunate, and really should be remedied.  We need to get beyond the Conflict Resolution/Peace Studies dichotomy…just my 2 cents.

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October 30, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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