The course focuses on the development of practical and conceptual tools for the transformation of conflict from the macro- to the micro-level. Taking the perspective that all participants will be involved in both conflict and resolution of different sorts and in different capacities throughout their future professional lives, the aim of this course is to engage with these processes through various simulations, project development activities, and other activities. These situational learning exercises provide an opportunity for the practical development of ‘skills,’ but more importantly, of conceptual tools relating to negotiation, mediation, conflict analysis, program development, and peacebuilding. By creating situations and a classroom environment where students can put these concepts into use, the goal is to move from ideas to practices and back – that is, to close the dialectical loop between theory, research, and practice that is the necessary basis for reflective conflict transformation. The series of readings for the course are of two sorts: 1) guidelines and research on practice; and 2) in-depth essays that develop specific analytical concepts that deepen and enrich the understanding of practice. The course offers a chance to develop, synthesize, and reflect on ideas and skills learned throughout the year. It brings together material from various programs and courses in an active environment, and is a time for people to examine what those ideas mean for them as individuals in their future careers as peacemakers and builders.
- Professor: Linda Johnston