JUPS-271 Introduction to Engaging and Transforming Conflict
Fall for 2009-2010
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This course offers a thorough grounding of Conflict Transformation (CT) as an orientation, approach and framework, and an analysis of its recent developments. In particular, we will focus on the work and philosophies of John Paul Lederach and Johan Galtung (the Transcend Method) and CT's influence by Liberation Theology in Latin America and other US-based religious groups (e.g. Quakers). At the beginning of the semester, students will gain an intimate understanding of the various forms of violence (e.g. structural, cultural, direct) as well as the history, theories and use of nonviolence. Drawing on Lederach's idea that CT is a way of "looking and seeing" social conflict, we will explore the deep culture and meaning (Galtung) of modern conflict examples, chosen by class consensus. What can CT offer to the "signs of the time"—non-traditional forms of conflict, including gendered school violence, terrorism, and environmental crisis bred by globalization? Through CT, we will identify the "personal, structural, relational and cultural changes" (Lederach) that could evolve from and be produced by these conflicts. At the conclusion of the course, students will be acquainted with CT as a distinct theoretical and applied field of nonviolent social action. Intercultural communication skills and dialogue will be modeled by the instructor and practiced by all course participants. Students will be evaluated throughout the semester on their presence and participation, responses to directed reading questions, and final CT analysis project.
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