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Haverford College

2011-12 Course Catalog

At Bryn Mawr: Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies, 2011-2012

DescriptionAdvisory FacultyConcentration RequirementsCoursesDepartment Homepage


Students may complete a concentration in Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies.

The Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies program at Bryn Mawr College reflects BiCo interest in the study of conflicts, peacemaking and social justice and offers students the opportunity to design a course of study, to sustain a thematic focus across disciplinary boundaries, and to enrich their major program in the process. Students are encouraged to draw courses from the programs at Haverford ( and Swarthmore ( as well.

Students in the concentration can pursue a wide range of theoretical and substantive interests concerning questions such as: intra-state and international causes of conflict; cooperative and competitive strategies of negotiation and bargaining; intergroup relations and the role of culturally constituted institutions and practices in conflict management; social movements; protests and revolutions; the role of religion in social conflict and its mitigation; human rights and transitional justice in post conflict societies; and social justice and identity questions arising from ethnic, religious and cultural diversity and the implications of these constructions for the distribution of material and symbolic resources in society as well as the practical capacities to engage individuals and groups across constructions of difference by linking practice and theory.

Students in the concentration are encouraged to explore alternative conceptions of peace and social justice in different cultural contexts and historical moments by emphasizing the connections between the intellectual scaffolding needed to analyze the construction of social identities and the social, political and economic implications of these constructions for the distribution of material and symbolic resources within and between societies and the challenges and opportunities to engage individuals and groups to move their communities and societies towards peace and social justice.

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Allison Cook-Sather, Education

Advisory Faculty
Michael Allen, Political Science
Allison Cook-Sather, Education
Deborah Harrold, Political Science
Clark R. McCauley, Jr., Psychology
Mary J. Osirim, Sociology
Michael T.Rock, Economics

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Concentration Requirements

Students who wish to take the concentration meet with a faculty advisor by the spring of their sophomore year to develop a plan of study. All concentrators are required to take three core courses: an introductory course, Introduction to Peace, Social Justice and Human Rights at Haverford or Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmorea 200-level course (Conflict and Conflict Management, International Law, Politics of Humanitarianism, or Forgiveness, Mourning, and Mercy in Law and Politics), and a project involving community participation and reflection by participation in bi-semester meetings, attendance at lectures/workshops, and development of a portfolio in their junior and senior years.

This constellation of this second option earns students a single credit that is awarded upon the successful completion of all components.

In addition, students are required to take three courses chosen in consultation with their advisor, working out a plan that focuses this second half of their concentration regionally, conceptually or around a particular substantive problem. These courses might include international conflict and resolution; social justice, diversity and identity, ethnic conflict in general or in a specific region of the world (e.g., Southern Africa, the Middle East, Northern Ireland); a theoretical approach to the field, such as nonviolence, social justice movements, bargaining or game theory; an applied approach, such as reducing violence among youth, the arts and peacemaking, community mediation or a particular policy question such as immigration or bilingual education.

The following courses are pre-approved. To see if other courses might be counted toward the concentration, contact the program coordinator, Alison Cook-Sather, .

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ANTH B111 Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies (Cross-listed as POLS-B111)

A broad and interdisciplinary overview of the study of conflict management. Areas to be introduced will include interpersonal conflict and conflict management, alternative dispute resolution and the law, community conflict and mediation, organizational, intergroup and international conflict, and conflict management. This course will also serve as a foundation course for students in or considering the peace and conflict studies concentration. Not offered in 2011-12.

ANTH B200 The Atlantic World 1492-1800 (Cross-listed as HIST-B200)

I. Gallup-Diaz
The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the way in which peoples, goods and ideas from Africa, Europe and the Americas came together to form an interconnected Atlantic World system. The course is designed to chart the manner in which an integrated system was created in the Americas in the early modern period, rather than to treat the history of the Atlantic World as nothing more than an expanded version of North American, Caribbean or Latin American history. Not offered in 2011-12.

ANTH B206 Conflict and Conflict Management: A Cross-Cultural Approach (Cross-listed as POLS-B206)

P. Hoffman, M. Ross
This course examines cross-cultural differences in the levels and forms of conflict and its management through a wide range of cases and alternative theoretical perspectives. Conflicts of interest range from the interpersonal to the international levels and an important question is the relevance of conflict and its management in small-scale societies as a way to understand political conflict and dispute settlement in the United States and modern industrial settings. Prerequisite: one course in political science, anthropology or sociology. Not offered in 2011-12.

ANTH B235 Transitional Justice in Post-Conflict Societies (Cross-listed as POLS-B235)

This course explores the successes, challenges and future of transitional justice, where post-conflict societies use formal institutions to address the legacy of political violence to build sustainable peace. Case studies of countries which have used a variety of approaches will help us consider concepts like human rights, justice, reconciliation and peace, and how these principles might be achieved through initiatives such as UN-directed tribunals, national courts, truth commissions and/or locally-based systems deriving from ritual or customary law. Prerequisite: One course in Anthropology, Political Science or Peace and Conflict Studies. Not offered in 2011-12.

ANTH B261 Palestine and Israeli Society (Cross-listed as HEBR-B261 and HIST-B261)

Considers the legacy of Palestine and the centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as key in the formation of Israeli society, shaped by ongoing political conflict. New ethnographic writings disclose themes like Zionism, Holocaust, immigration, religion, Palestinian citizenry, Middle Eastern Jews and military occupation and resulting emerging debates among different social sectors and populations. Also considers constitution of ethnographic fields and the shaping of anthropological investigations by arenas of conflict. Prerequisites: sophomore standing and POLS B111 or ANTH B101 or B102 or permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2011-12.

ANTH B337 Comparative Colonial Formations

This course aims to comparatively examine the key features of settler colonialism and its legacies in the 20th centuries. Settler colonialism will be re-examined in light of recent scholarship which defines it as a particular kind of colonial venture that has focused on eliminating indigenous populations and seizing land. Not offered in 2011-12.

ANTH B347 Advanced Issues in Peace and Conflict Studies (Cross-listed as POLS-B347)

An in-depth examination of crucial issues and particular cases of interest to advanced students in peace and conflict studies through common readings and student projects. Various important theories of conflict and conflict management are compared and students undertake semester-long field research. The second half of the semester focuses on student research topics with continued exploration of conflict-resolution theories and research methods. Prerequisite: POLS 206, 111 or Haverford’s POLS 247. Not offered in 2011-12.

ANTH B382 Religious Fundamentalism in the Global Era (Cross-listed as HIST-B382 and POLS-B382)

Through a comparison of Jewish, Islamic, Christian and Hindu political movements, the course seeks to investigate the religious turn in national and transnational contexts. We will also seek to find commonalities and differences in religious movements, and religious regimes, while considering the aspects of globalization which usher in new kinds of transnational affiliation. Prerequisite: An introductory course in Anthropology, Political Science or History or permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2011-12.

CITY B348 Culture and Ethnic Conflict (Cross-listed as POLS-B348)

M. Ross
An examination of the role of culture in the origin, escalation, and settlement of ethnic conflicts. This course examines the politics of culture and how it constrains and offers opportunities for ethnic conflict and cooperation. The role of narratives, rituals, and symbols is emphasized in examining political contestation over cultural representations and expressions such as parades, holy sites, public dress, museums, monuments, and language in culturally framed ethnic conflicts from all regions of the world. Prerequisites: two courses in the social sciences. Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B285 Democracy and Development (Cross-listed as POLS-B385)

M. Ross, M. Rock
From 1974 to the late 1990s the number of democracies grew from 39 to 117. This “third wave,” the collapse of communism and developmental successes in East Asia have led some to argue the triumph of democracy and markets. Since the late 1990s, democracy’s third wave has stalled, and some fear a reverse wave and democratic breakdowns. We will question this phenomenon through the disciplines of economics, history, political science and sociology drawing from theoretical, case study and classical literature. Prerequisite: one year of study in political science or economics.

HIST B127 Indigenous Leaders 1452-1750

I. Gallup-Diaz
Studies the experiences of indigenous men and women who exercised local authority in the systems established by European colonizers. In return for places in the colonial administrations, these leaders performed a range of tasks. At the same time they served as imperial officials, they exercised “traditional” forms of authority within their communities, often free of European presence. These figures provide a lens through which early modern colonialism is studied. Not offered in 2011-12.

POLS B211 Politics of Humanitarianism

P. Hoffman
This course examines the international politics and history that underlie the ideas, social movement, and system of organizations designed to regulate the conduct of war and improve the welfare of those victimizes by war. It begins with ethical, legal and organizational foundations, and then examines to post-Cold War cases and beyond. Topics include just war theory, international humanitarian law, humanitarian action and intervention, and transitional justice. Prerequisites: one class in Political Science or comparable course by permission of the instructor.

POLS B217 The State and the Transformation of Conflict

D. Harrold
State institutions have a profound effect on conflicts. State sponsored conflicts may be more violent, more deadly and transform society. The state’s power may affect conflict management, enforcing agreements and providing incentives for cooperation. Weak states may not manage difference or conflict; ineffective states may be bypassed by citizens seeking protection or to plunder assets. Readings include theoretical texts as well as empirical accounts of the state’s role in structuring and enforcing conflict management. Prerequisite: One course in Political Science or social science. Not offered in 2011-12.

POLS B250 International Politics

M. Allen
An introduction to international relations, exploring its main subdivisions and theoretical approaches. Phenomena and problems in world politics examined include systems of power management, imperialism, globalization, war, bargaining and peace. Problems and institutions of international economy and international law are also addressed. This course assumes a reasonable knowledge of modern world history. Enrollment is limited to 30 students.

POLS B316 The Politics of Ethnic, Racial, and National Groups

M. Ross
An analysis of ethnic and racial conflict and cooperation that will compare and contrast the experiences of regional and immigrant minorities in Europe. Particular attention is paid to the processes of group identification and political organization; the politicization of racial and ethnic identity; patterns of conflict and cooperation between minorities and the majority population over time; and different paths to citizenship. The course will examine the experiences of white ethnic groups, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans as well as Islamic, African, Asian and regional national groups in Europe. Not offered in 2011-12.

POLS B358 Political Psychology of Group Identification (Cross-listed as PSYC-B358)

C. McCauley
This seminar will explore the common interests of psychologists and political scientists in the phenomena of group identification. The focus will be identification with ethnic and national groups, with special attention to the ways in which research on small-group dynamics can help us understand identification and conflict for these larger groups. The seminar will review major theories of group identity and examine several historical or current cases of successful and unsuccessful development of national identity. Prerequisite: PSYC 208 or two semesters of political science. Not offered in 2011-12.

POLS B379 The United Nations and World Order

P. Hoffman
Initially founded in 1945 to address the challenges of international armed aggression, the United Nations has since evolved, and is now charged with confronting a wide range of threats, including atrocities, poverty, hunger, disease and climate change. This class examines the organization’s pre-eminent role in international peace and security, economic development, and human rights and humanitarian affairs. Prerequisite: a year of Political Science or Peace and Conflict Studies courses or permission of the instructor. Enrollment is limited to 18 students.

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