Peace and Conflict Studies; The Foundation Course

3 credits / 9 weeks weeks
11 Sep 2017 - 10 Nov 2017

Professor Ross Ryan
Professor Virginia Cawagas

The UPEACE Foundation Course provides a critical and concise introduction to the broad field of “Peace Studies” for students in ALL UPEACE programmes. It initially addresses key conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of the origins and development of peace studies as an interdisciplinary area within the fields of international relations and political economy. Based on a critical analysis of policies, strategies, institutions, organizations and movements, the course then examines a range of core issues, dimensions, perspectives and paradigms for understanding the root causes of conflicts and violence and constructive strategies to address them and build peace in contemporary global, international, regional, national and local contexts. The core concepts include militarization, disarmament and arms control; human rights violations and promotion; gender inequalities, gender-based violence and gender mainstreaming; structural violence, human security, development and globalization; environmental sustainability; corporate social responsibility; international law in conflict and peacebuilding; cultural and religious identities; media’s role in conflict and peacebuilding; strategies of nonviolence; and peace education. This Foundations course will be essential in catalyzing the awareness, understanding and motivation of UPEACE students in diverse academic programmes to relate, ground and intersect their specific areas of academic and practitioner interest with core theoretical, conceptual and analytical ideas in peace studies.




Ross Ryan

Instructor, Liason, Media, Peace and Conflict Studies Specialization and Editor, Peace and Conflict Monitor and Peace and Conflict Review Ross Ryan holds degrees in political science and literature from McMaster University, Canada and the M.A. degree in environmental security from the University for Peace, Costa Rica. He is chief editor of the Peace and Conflict Monitor and managing editor of the Peace and Conflict Review, as well as instructor in the department of peace studies and liaison officer of the media, peace and conflict studies specialization. He is currently working on a research project entitled “Information Technology, Civic Engagement, and the Cyber-Ethnography of Peace Movements”.



Virginia Cawagas

Professor and Coordinator, Peace Education Programme
Dr. Virginia Cawagas holds an Ed.D. (Peace & Development) (meritisimus), MS in Educational Management and BS in Education (Mathematics). Her publications and contribution to the development of peace education curriculum, training modules and instructional materials is widely recognized. She has taught and facilitated workshops in peace education, development education, social justice education, multicultural education, and gender mainstreaming in curriculum development and policy making. She has long been involved in major transnational networks in peace education such as the International Institute in Peace Education (IIPE), the Peace Education Commission of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA), and the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction (WCCI).



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