Peacebuilding


CURRICULUM: Students enroll in three semesters (18 months) of intense study of concepts in social theory, philosophy and world religions as a foundation for fieldwork or research exploring conflicts, world trouble spots, and methodologies for working to transform conflict into peace.

PROGRAM OF STUDY: The total program is a 4 year program. The academic year is two semesters and runs from September through May. The language of instruction is English. The dissertation may be written in either English or Thai.

YEAR 1         

SEMESTER 1

1.  PB 801 Overview of Peace Studies I
2.  PB 811 Cultural Dimensions of Peacebuilding
3.  PB 821 Meaning and History of “Religiousness”

SEMESTER 2

1.  PB 802 Overview of Peace Studies II
2.  PB 812 Peacebuilding as a Philosophical Enterprise
3.  PB 822 Dialogue and Peacebuilding

 

YEAR 2         

SEMESTER 1

1.  PB 831 Directed Readings on Peace Studies
2.  PB 832 Directed Readings on the Relationship between “Religiousness” and Peace
3.  PB 833 Seminar (Issues of Peacebuilding)

(Students will take their written and oral comprehensive examinations at the end of the semester.)

SEMESTER 2 

PB 841 Field Study of a Specific Conflict

 

YEAR 3         

SEMESTER 1

PB 851 Off-campus Study and Research (study abroad as research fellow or intern at a partner institution)

SEMESTER 2

1.  Develop dissertation topic
2.  Present detailed dissertation proposal for approval
3.  Begin writing dissertation

 

YEAR 4

PB 999 Dissertation (Write, Submit, and Defend)
           


GRADING : In order to be qualified for the qualifying exam, the student must earn at least 3.25 GPA.

WRITTEN AND ORAL QUALIFYING EXAM : There will be 3 written examinations followed by an oral examination. The written examinations will cover the following subjects:
(i) Peacebuilding, (ii) religiousness/spirituality/dialogue, (iii) area of concentration. The oral examination will cover all the above subjects. 

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

PB 801 Overview of Peace Studies I                                                    
The course initially examines the emergence of Peace Studies as a specific discipline resulting from limitations of studies in the Social Sciences and Humanities. It then goes on to discuss major concepts and theories of Peace Studies, e.g., violence, conflict formation/resolution, mediation and reconciliation. Emphasis will be placed on discussing research methodology and essential components of Peacebuilding. Throughout the course scholarly works will be analyzed to reveal their underlying foundations and their relationship with “realities on the ground”.

PB 802 Overview of Peace Studies II                                             

            This course is both a continuation of PB 801 and a deeper probe into debates within social sciences and humanities related to Peacebuilding.  The former will cover the current and most recent theories.  The latter will take into account crictical perspectives within the disciplines themselves.  Subsequently it will try to find ways and means to transcend these perspectives utilizing the concepts and theories developed within Peace Studies.  Throughout the course abstract ideas will be analyzed  in relation to concrete cases.

PB 811 Cultural Dimensions of Peacebuilding

            This course explores the cultural dimensions of Peacebuilding. It begins with a study of how different individual communities use cultural means to resolve their conflicts. This will be followed by a comparison of these different ways of conflict resolution. The course will conclude with a study of conflicts between different cultural communities, and how these cultural differences represent both challenges and possibilities for Peacebuilding in these situations.

PB 812 Peacebuilding as a Philosophical Enterprise

This course will study three main obstacles to Peacebuilding, namely, human frailty, social prejudices and entrenched paradigms. It will then look at different ways to overcome these obstacles. This will involve discussions of an ethical, epistemological, and metaphysical nature. These discussions will be illustrated through an analysis of particular conflicts.     

PB 821 Meaning and History of “Religiousness”                  

This course is a study of the meaning, nature, and historical development of “religiousness.” The course will present a survey of prehistoric, modern tribal, ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian, Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese. Zarathustrian, Judeo-Christian, and Islamic religious traditions. In each case students will study the relation between religious “faith” and its various cultural and religious expressions. The primary aim of the course is to give students a broader and better understanding and a deeper appreciation of human religiousness in its various historic forms. 
This course will serve as preparation for the course on “Dialogue and Peacebuilding” (PB 822) and the course on “Directed Readings on the Relationship between Human Religiousness and Peace.” (PB 832)

PB 822 Dialogue and Peacebuilding

            This course will identify and examine various religious/cultural understandings of the meaning and practice of peace.  In addition to studying how peace is defined and understood by different religious/cultural communities, attention will be also given to explanations of why religious traditions and faith often contribute to conflict and violence between different communities. A major component of the course will be studying the role of interreligious, intrareligious, and secular-religious dialogue in Peacebuilding.Students will explore ways of initiating and engaging in dialogue as well as considering obstacles that are likely to be encountered.

PB 831 Directed Readings on PeaceStudies                                  

Each student will work with an assigned supervisor on specialized areas of Peace Studies.  The goal of the course is to provide advanced knowledge that will enable the student to develop appropriate methodologies and research skills to use in developing the thesis of his/her dissertation.

PB 832 Directed Readings on the Relationship between                  
 “Religiousness”and Peace
           
This course is a follow-up of “Meaning and History of Human ‘Religiousness’.” Its purpose is to deepen students’ knowledge of special issues or particular religious and cultural traditions in preparation for writing the dissertation.

PB 833 Seminar(Topics & Issues of Peacebuilding)         
This course is a joint effort of students and faculty to explore theoretical issues in Peace Studies in relation to the practical problems in Peacebuilding. Each student is required to present a topic of his/her interest in a written form for discussion.

PB 841 Field Study of a Specific Conflict                                  
           
The student is to study a conflict situation first hand by means of intellectual and practical engagement. This is to enrich theoretical understandings from concrete experiences and vice and versa. At the end of the course the student is required to present a written report reflecting their findings and experiences.

PB 851 Off-campus Study and Research       
           
This semester is intended to expose students to Peace Studies/research being conducted at other prominent universities and/or peace institutions throughout the world. The students are to participate in educational activities both inside and outside the class. She/he is required to produce a substantial written work as an outcome of the study/research.

PB 999 Dissertation

The dissertation is to be a theoretical analysis of empirical findings. It is expected to be a new and significant contribution to the field of Peacemaking/ Peacebuilding.