Past Courses (Fall 2015)

Core Courses

Core courses have been developed by the MA PCS Core Faculty to cover critical topical areas. These fulfill Program requirements as indicated.  Each Core Faculty member has one Core Course, which is usually offered every other year.


26:735:501 Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies, The Program Faculty

This course is a required first semester Introduction for all incoming MA PCS students. The basic structure, goals and requirements are discussed. Then each class is a presentation by one of the MA PCS Core Faculty, describing their Core Courses and research interests. Students will attain a general overview of Peace and Conflict Studies as approached by our program, and be better able to plan their individual course of study. Students and faculty will get acquainted, and an incoming class will all get to know each other as a cohort.

Required for and limited to all incoming PCS students

Tuesday 5:30-8:20


26:735:579 Topics in Non-Violence: Conflict and Resolution, Kenneth Kressel

This course focuses on the mediation of social conflict at the interpersonal, organizational, and international levels. Topics include theories of dysfunctional conflict; cognitive, behavioral, and institutional obstacles to the constructive management of conflict; strategies and tactics of intervention; and theoretical and empirical issues in the study of the mediation process.

Fulfills Distribution Requirement: Non-Violence and Recovery from Violence

Tuesday & Thursday 2:30-3:50


26:735:541 Irregular War: History, Culture, and Theory, R. Brian Ferguson

“Irregular War” is an ethnography-based examination of recent intrastate wars, when at least one party is not a government-based military, and different sides have a distinct social and cultural character. Students will develop a critical and comparative perspective on theories about cultural values, social organization, identities, interests, leaders, group formation, power, “the State,” violence, and history. Beginning with contrasting theoretical perspectives, eleven weeks will then focus on detailed examination of major areas of recent irregular war, each with a comparable counterpoint conflict. Student teams will research and present cases, and are tasked to identify critical junctures where mass violence became more likely, and conflict resolution efforts that do or do not address underlying causes of war.

Fulfills Distribution Requirement: Violent Conflict

Thursday 5:30-7:20


26:735:526 Peace, Conflict, Security, and Development, Sean Mitchell

International aid organizations and military and police strategists in places as different as rural Afghanistan and urban Brazil (and even here in Newark, NJ) today often understand security and development to be interdependent goals. But for critics, this “security-development nexus” legitimates authoritarian surveillance regimes and violent intervention into the lives of the world’s poor. This course examines the relationships between security and development in the contemporary world. Through reading ethnographic and historical case studies, as well as theoretical, journalistic, and polemical works, the course explores the different meanings assigned to these terms and the origins and material consequences of the “security-development nexus.” At its core, the debate over security and development revolves around key perspectives on the relationships among inequality, governance, well-being and the social bases of violence and peace.

Fulfills Distribution Requirement: Social and Cultural Bases of Conflict and Cooperation

Monday 1:00-4:00


Elective Courses on the Newark Campus

Elective Courses are given by our Core Faculty (in addition to their Core Courses) and by our multi-disciplinary Associate Faculty, both in Newark and Rutgers-New Brunswick. They do not fulfill specific Program requirements, but are approved as Program Electives counting for graduation credit. Approval of specific Electives is decided by a course’s potential contribution to PCS students developing their knowledge in our three topical areas, Nonviolence and Recovery from Violence, Violent Conflict, and the Social and Cultural Bases of Conflict and Cooperation.


26:478:506:01 Quantitative Methods in Global Affairs, Jun Xiang, Department of Economics

In this course, students are introduced to data analysis, statistical inference, and research design relevant to global affairs research. Topics covered will include descriptive statistics, probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis tests, correlation, and regression analysis.  Course grades will be based on five homework assignments (30%), a closed book midterm exam (30%), and a closed book final exam (40%).

Fulfills Methodology Requirement

Thursday 10:00-12:50


20:834:561 Applied Statistics

Three sections:

            :01 Yahong Zhang, Tuesday 6:00-8:40

            :02 Quishi Wang, Thursday 5:30-8:10

            :03 Javier Fuenzalida, Saturday 1:00-3:40

Fulfills Methodology Requirement


20:834:562 Applied Research Design (Applied Statistics or comparable course is a prerequisite).

Three sections

            :01 Kelly Robinson, Thursday 5:30-8:10

            :02 Greg van Ryzin, Wednesday 10:00-12:40

            :02 Huafang Li, Tuesday 6:00-8:40

Fulfills Methodology Requirement


 26:070:573:01 Global Justice, Alex Hinton, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

(Course topics change by semester.  This description is from the last time the course was taught).

How do societies come to terms with the aftermath of genocide and mass violence? And how might the international community contribute to this process? In recent years, transitional justice mechanisms such as tribunals, memorialization efforts, and truth commissions have emerged as a favored means of redress. Tribunals, in particular, have been increasingly given a privileged role in transitional justice as illustrated by the proliferation of courts related to conflicts in places like Bosnia, Cambodia, East Timor, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.

Because justice is so frequently assumed to be transcendent and universal, epitomized by due process, legal rights, and international norms, it is critical to explore how a sense of justice (or the lack thereof) after genocide and mass violence is always negotiated within particular localities enmeshed with global and transnational flows of ideas and ideologies, legal mechanisms, human rights regimes, capital, electronic media, and so forth. This course explores this nexus of justice and locality, which is therefore frequently one of “friction” (Tsing 2005) -- the dynamic intersection of a varying combination of local, regional, national, transnational, and global processes in particular contexts. And, we will ask, how is transitional justice translated in the “vernacular” (Merry 2006) and what sort of local alternatives to global justice might exist and perhaps even be utilized in the process of seeking redress and reconciliation. We will examine a number of cases, ranging from Nuremberg and the Eichmann trial to the “hybrid” tribunal that is taking place in Cambodia at the moment.

Tuesday 1:00-3:40


26:478:517:01 Power, Institutions and Norms: Hard and Soft Power in the 21st Century, Simon Reich, Department of Political Science

Current debates in global affairs focus heavily on the respective importance of power, institutions and norms as explanations of behavior by both state and non-state actors. Surprisingly little work focuses on how these explanations interact, how they influence the behavior of actors in addressing a variety of transnational issues, or if and how global initiatives are formulated, codified and then (most importantly) enforced. In this course, we examine the relevant literature, and consider both the ways in which soft and hard power is linked, and when initiatives are likely to actually be not only formulated but also enforced, in attempting to combat a variety of challenging problems such new conflict issues and global economic crisis.

Thursday 2:00-4:40


26:478:537:01 Global Governance, Simon Reich, Department of Political Science

This course is designed to acquaint students with a broad understanding of the primary actors, institutions and issues in the field of Global Governance - and how each relate to ongoing dynamics and deliberations in national, international and global policy debates. As a survey course, it includes three elements; theoretical, historical and policy issue components -- all designed to inform you about the cycles of these debates. The major themes focus on threats and evolving forms of conflict, processes of democratization, and poverty and development.

Wednesday 5:00-7:40


26:478:570:01 Colloquium

Wednesday 11:00-1:00

(Further details to be announced)


Elective Courses on the New Brunswick Campus

16:070:511 Anthropology of Gender, Dorothy Hodgson, Department of Anthropology

This course will explore the central historical and contemporary debates in the anthropology of gender, including the search for universal principles underlying male dominance (such as nature/culture; domestic/public); relationships among gender, sex, and sexuality; how gender articulates with other forms of difference such as race, class and nation; gendered perspectives on power; the interaction of agency and structure in the production of femininities and masculinities; issues of cultural representation and expression; gender and body politics; feminist positionalities, methods & ethics; feminist transnational activism; and transgender theory and activism. A key concern of the course will be to understand, discuss and debate how the primarily qualitative methods of ethnographic research can inform and further these debates.  We will first review the historiography of theoretical developments in the anthropology of gender and feminist anthropology, then read a mix of classic and contemporary ethnographies to explore how they contribute to our ability to analyze and understand gender.

Tuesday 12:35-3:35


16:790:521 Proseminar: Theories of International Politics, Manus Midlarsky, Department of Political Science

Contemporary approaches to the study of international systems and the behavior of their national subsystems.

Thursday 12:00-2:40