IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

Hamburgers for peace

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the dumb joke.  What I’m writing about here is a Master’s program in at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg, Germany (get it? :-)).   Here is somthing about the program:

“The postgraduate programme “Master of Peace and Security Studies – M.P.S.” at the University of Hamburg is a trans- and interdisciplinary programme of two semesters’ duration, combining theory-based education in the areas of peace research and security policy with a practice-orientated application of methods for research. The prime objective of the course is to provide highly qualified graduates from a national or foreign university and academically trained practitioners of a field-related vocational background with the fundamental basics of the discipline peace studies and security policy, as well as providing them with the instruments applicable for differentiated research in this field. Students will be prepared for a career in academic peace research, international organisations, the media or private companies, peace-keeping and monitoring, verification, development aid, mediation or arbitration, etc. The course is a joint programme of the University of Hamburg and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH). The programme is further guided and partly implemented by a number of co-operating resident institutes of the “Cooperation Network Peace Research and Security Policy” (Kooperationsverbund Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik – KoFrieS). The intense cooperation with the various resident institutes, each concentrating on different issues in the broad field of peace research and security policy, ensures the programme’s diversity. The programme is co-sponsored by the German Foundation for Peace Research (DSF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The instructional languages of the programme are English and German; students must be able to speak both with adequate fluency. ”

At first glance the institute and the program, like many programs in Europe, emphasizes the role of the EU in peace and security.   This makes sense to me (I used to live in Belgium and work in Brussels), because the history and experience of the EU (as I feel obliged to mention from time to time) show that peace is possible.  Remember, the war prone state system that we have today is, basically, a European creation; but the Europeans have, for all intents and purposes, overcome this system’s centripetal forces to create a lasting union, which in more and more respects is–dare I say it?–transnational.

This model merits close study, and I applaud the IFSH and comparable institutions for their efforts.  Also, if you know anything about German education, you will probably anticipate as I do that this program is very, very thorough.


December 18, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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