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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2009

SOC 308 • Peace and Conflict

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45565 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
CPE 2.216

Course Description

The changing political structure of the world is increasing people's sense of insecurity locally and globally. However, the choice is not always violence and war. Alternatives have been proven to be viable in resolving conflicts and building sustainable peace. However, how can these alternatives be instituted without an understanding of the nature of conflict?

This course provides an introductory overview of the related, interdisciplinary fields of peace studies and conflict resolution. It explores the challenges and conditions of achieving a peaceful world as well as the sources of social conflict and the processes by which it can escalate to destructive levels, or resolved productively. The course covers sociological approach to Peace and Conflict by examining concepts, assumptions, methods and implications in retrospect to a range of interpersonal to intercultural conflicts.

Students will analyze issues in a cultural context and use the disciplines of history, political science, sociology and economics for in-depth analyses of conflict and peace. This course will consist primarily of the following: (1) interactive lectures; (2) analytical research; (3) audiovisual materials; (4) small group exercises to promote constructive dialogues; and (5) an open forum for students to freely express their views.

Grading Policy

Paper: prosepctus 5%, paper 25%
Presentation: quality of research 10%, quality of presentation 5%, peer evaluation 5%
Course work: reading responses 30%, simulation 10%, particpation 5%, attendance 5%

Perfect attendance is worth five (5) points; attendance with one (1) excused absence will be given three (3) points, attendance with two (2) excused absences will be given one (1) points. Three (3) or more unexcused absences result in dropping your grade one (1) grade level e.g. if you have a (B) in the course and have 3 or more unexcused absences, your grade will be (C). If you miss more than four (4) classes, for any reason, excused or unexcused, you may not get credit for this course. Instead, you will receive an (F) for the class.


Barach, David, P. ed., Approaches to Peace: A Reader in Peace Studies< London, Oxford University Press, 1999
Jeong, Ho-Won, Peace and Conflict Studies: An Introduction (Studies in Peace and Conflict Research). Ashgate Publishing Company 2001
Kurtz, Lester R., Stephen Zunes and Sarah Beth Asher eds., Nonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Perspective, Blackwell Publishers 1999


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