9:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Course ID
Winter 2018
Certificate Program
Global Conflict Studies
International Development

I will teach two courses entitled “Conflict: Root Causes, Consequences and Solutions for the Future” – one at the undergraduate level, and another  at the masters level. These courses will examine why people fight, the effects of fighting, and possible solutions to prevent conflict in the future.  The reasons people fight, and the ways in which they fight, depend on economics, politics and psychology; we will draw on all three disciplines throughout both courses.   Different forms of fighting, whether terrorism or civil wars, have typically been studied separately; we will bridge this divide and study them together, assessing common root causes and approaches for resolving these conflicts.

We will address the following questions:

  •     What compels people to join armed groups? How do groups compel atrocities from their members? What motivates a suicide bomber?
  •     How do economic conditions affect the decision to fight? Do higher income and  education lower the outbreak of civil wars? Can these conditions also reduce terrorism?
  •     How important are ethnic and religious divisions in fueling conflict?
  •     Does conflict have lasting consequences?  Does experiencing violence impede a person’s development capacity or engagement with their community?  Does conflict impede social cohesion?
  •     How do countries recover from conflict? Can people reconcile and rebuild together after fighting each another?  Is foreign aid a solution to facilitating this recovery?

The course content will aim to provide students a foundational understanding of conflict through the in-depth study of these questions.