PS 213 - Peace and Conflict Studies: Local
This course focuses on issues of peace and conflict at the local level. Based upon principles of social and economic justice, the course is designed to integrate theory with practice. The focus is on social justice issues at the local level. Topics vary in order to focus on important contemporary local issues. Local politicians and activists are invited to speak about their work and activism. Guests cover a wide variety of issues and perspective typically ranging from the mayor and the police chief, to activists involved in various social justice issues including anti-war activism, to anarchists.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:
1. Apply analytical skills to social phenomena in order to understand human behavior.
2. Apply a variety of peace paradigms developed and utilized in Peace Studies, including the Negative Peace paradigm, the Structural Peace paradigm, the Environmental paradigm, the Feminist paradigm, and the Integral Peace paradigm, to actors and agents operating at or impacting human behavior at the state and local level.
3. Apply knowledge and experience to foster personal growth and better appreciate the diverse social world in which we live. The concepts and information provided are designed to be relevant to the everyday lives of students. This helps students understand and locate themselves in the social world of which they are a part. This understanding, in turn helps them to develop compassion and understanding for others and the environment.
4. Understand the role of individuals and institutions within the context of society. Students learn different conceptions of power, ranging from the largest institutions of government and corporations on the one hand, to personal and collective group power on the other. Students learn the difference between dominant narratives emanating from many institutions to hidden and liberating narratives that empower people to effectively act on their own behalf as individuals and as part of social movements. At the local level students see and experience how power is being exercised in their daily lived experiences.
5. Assess different theories and concepts, and understand the distinctions between empirical and other methods of inquiry. Students examine the effectiveness of the peace paradigms (Negative, Structural, Environmental, Feminist, and Integral) in producing peace by applying empirical facts to local conflicts and to areas within Oregon, Lane County, and Eugene where peace flourishes. This provides students tools to empirically evaluate the claims they hear from their own government and mainstream news.
6. Utilize appropriate information literacy skills in written and oral communication. Students learn the critical thinking skills of 'immanent critique' and 'deconstruction' to determine if information supports a claim and arguments are internally consistent. Students are introduced to library research techniques to locate relevant and reliable information. Students learn the difference between plagiarism and use of sources properly cited in their essay assignments. Students are taught to integrate relevant, appropriately cited information into written assignments in support of the arguments and claims they develop.
7. Understand the diversity of human experience and thought, individually and collectively. Students learn appreciation for the diversity of peoples, religions, and cultures at the local level. This helps students consider the lived experiences of marginalized peoples and the impacts of violence, both physical and economic, on their lives Students also learn to practice conscience and self-awareness that increases their appreciation of how their behavior impacts others and the earth.
8. Apply knowledge and skills to contemporary problems and issues. Students apply peace paradigms to specific, contemporary issues of peace and conflict. This includes American foreign policy and the local impacts of these policies, Economic systems and inequality, Environmental destruction, the impact of patriarchal systems on the everyday lived experiences of women and children, the development of individual and collective conscience.
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