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Violent and Nonviolent Conflict Resolution
This course will explore theories on war, positive and negative peace, violent and nonviolent action, strategic choices, conviction and values in today’s global community. Students will learn to analyze conflict management strategies based on costs and benefits: interpersonal, national and global, as well as based on economic, political and social outcomes. Exploratory in nature, the course builds on previous scholarship, as well as students’ initiatives. We will discuss violent actions, the their costs: conventional wars, like the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism, state-sponsored and non-state actor (including “lone wolf” or “stray wolf”) attacks which have become too frequent to list since the 9/11 attacks in the United States, and the prospects for the use of nuclear weapons. The works of Sigmund Freud, Conrad Lorenz, Margaret Mead, Samuel Huntington, Michael Howard and others will inform the discussion of violent conflict management strategies. Also, we will explore pathways to peace through nonviolence, civil disobedience, ecological and economic well-being, social justice and peaceful conflict management in the works of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gene Sharp, Johan Galtung, Henry David Thoreau, Roger Fisher and others. Course material comes from an interdisciplinary perspective, including political science, history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, social psychology, communications, biology, and other relevant disciplines. Overall, the emphasis in this class will be placed on ACTION, in theory and practice.