Course description for the International Master of Arts in Peace and Conflict Management Studies

Tentative course list for the academic year 2018-2019

Fall Semester

Required Courses

    1. Theories and issues in intergroup conflict – Dr. Keren Sharvit
    2. Research Methods in Peace and Conflict Studies – Dr. Carmela Lutmar

Elective Courses

    1. Regional Conflicts: Between War and Peace – Prof. Benny Miller
    2. Building Consensus: Basic Negotiation, Mediation and Facilitation Skills – Dr. Ran Kuttner
    3. Political Islam – Prof. Itzhak Weisman
    4. Community Conflict and Civil Society – Dr. Harry Frey (yearly course)

Spring Semester

Required Courses

    1. Paths to Peace: Conflict Management, Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation – Dr. Ran Kuttner
    2. Practicum – Dr. Keren Sharvit

Elective Courses

    1. Multi-Track Diplomacy: Transforming Violent Conflict – Prof. Edy Kaufman
    2. Community Conflict and Civil Society – Dr. Harry Frey (yearly course)
    3. Peacekeeping Operations: A New Tool for World Order? – Dr. Chen Kercher

Summer Semester

Elective Courses

    1. Geopolitics of the Middle East – Dr. Ronen Zeidel
    2. Leadership and Conflict Management: Cross-Fertilization – Dr. Ran Kuttner

 

Course descriptions:

Theories and issues in intergroup conflict: A multi-disciplinary perspective

Dr. Keren Sharvit

This is a core course intended to lay the foundations for studying inter-group conflicts of different levels. Inter-group conflicts have been studied by scholars from different disciplines, who offer differing perspectives on similar issues. In this course we will survey different approaches, and will also compare, contrast and relate them to each other in an attempt to arrive at an integrative understanding of the issues at hand. To allow such comparison and integration, the course is arranged by themes that recur in the scholarly literature about conflicts rather than by scholarly discipline. Throughout the course, we will use examples from actual cases of inter-group conflicts in various regions of the world.

Research Methods in Peace and Conflict Studies

Dr. Daphna Canetti

The first half of the course is meant to develop the student's skills in effective and critical reading of a variety of academic research, and to become acquainted with research writing. The second half of the course will acquaint the student with a wide variety of research methods, describing the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of research questions. In particular, we will focus on studies in conflict resolution and intractable conflicts. The course is planned and constructed as a seminar in which most of the work is done by the student, guided and advised by the lecturer and other guest lecturers.

Regional Conflicts: Between War and Peace (MA Seminar)

Prof. Benny Miller

The course will discuss the origins of regional conflicts and the sources of regional wars. We will also address the conditions for reaching regional peace. The class will examine the sources of great-power regional involvement and its effects on regional security. The seminar will also address the implications of regional conflicts for international security. During the course we will develop a theory of regional war and peace and apply it through an examination of the sources of regional war and peace in the Middle East, South America, the Third World, the Balkans and Eastern Europe and Western Europe. We will discuss which strategies are the most helpful for advancing peace in the different regions and what are the chances of promoting peace in these regions.

 

Building Consensus: Basic Negotiation, Mediation and Facilitation Skills

Dr. Ran Kuttner

The emergence of the discipline of Peacebuilding and Conflict Management has involved the development of both theory and practices. This course focuses on best-practices in conflict management – mainly negotiation, mediation and group facilitation – aiming to equip students with basic skills for professional and personal usage. The students will be exposed to foundational theories and models of negotiation, mediation, and group facilitation/consensus building and will engage in practical experience through roleplays, simulations and exercises. Through reflective analysis of their performances, students will challenge some foundational assumptions regarding negotiation and conflict interaction, gaining first-hand experience of transformation of adversity into collaboration. Thus, students will gain proficiency in serving as third party neutrals who strive to build consensus in interpersonal and intergroup conflicts.

 

Political Islam

Prof. Itzhak Weisman

The resurgence of Islam is one of the major religio-political developments in the modern Middle East. In this class we will survey and analyze various aspects of this multi-faceted phenomenon in an attempt to better understand it and more fully realize its prospects and threats. The course is divided into three parts. In the first part we discuss the foundational discourse of Islamism, from the Salafi idea of the Islamic state to Bin Laden ideology of jihad. In each part we will read from the writings of the main protagonists. The second part is devoted to prominent case studies, such as the Muslim Brothers, the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Palestinian intifada, the Saudi opposition and Islam in Europe. The last part will offer some theoretical explanations revolving around the state and civil society, social movement and networks, ideology and communication.

Paths to Peace: Conflict Management, Conflict Resolution, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation

Dr. Ran Kuttner

This core course will survey various approaches to dealing with intergroup conflicts: preventing escalation, minimizing harmful consequences, ending violence, improving intergroup relations and building stable peace. We will begin by discussing processes of conflict management, which take place during an ongoing conflict. We will then discuss various routes to conflict resolution and a formal ending of the conflict. Finally, we will address processes of reconciliation and peace-building, intended to improve intergroup relations in post-conflict settings and prevent conflict recurrence. Throughout the course, we will survey the works of scholars from different disciplines on each of these topics in order to become familiar with different perspectives and arrive at an integrative understanding. We will also discuss real world cases in which different approaches to dealing with conflict have been implemented with varying degrees of success.

 

Practicum

Dr. Keren Sharvit

This course is a supervised practicum/internship. During the spring semester, students will conduct a project in the field. Each student can choose an organization (governmental or non-governmental) in the area of peacemaking, human rights, democracy, minority affairs, the Israeli-Palestinian question, or any other ethnic-national and international conflict problem in the Middle East or elsewhere. The choice of the project will be facilitated and approved by the instructor. In addition to the individual work and supervision, students will engage in class discussions on their projects and all students must submit a final paper summarizing and analyzing the work and experience.

 

Multi-Track Diplomacy: Transforming Violent Conflict

Prof. Edy Kaufman

The goal is to develop the knowledge and skills needed to facilitate transformation of interpersonal, organizational, community or complex societal conflicts, including ethnic, religious or cultural tensions, using techniques of multi-track and citizens’ diplomacy. These techniques, applicable at all levels of society, provide an essential complement to official (“first track”) diplomacy and police work, from conflicts in the workplace or community, to dealing with political instability, terrorism or insurgent activities, as currently in our work in the Middle East, South Asia, Latin America and elsewhere.

 

Community Conflict and Civil Society

Dr. Harry Frey

Community is a changing, dynamic and multifaceted concept which is gaining attention in conflict studies. Firstly, this course examines conflict in the light of 'context.' In the course, we consider unique aspects of community conflicts and the interplay with exterior macro factors. Various theories explaining the causes of local conflict involving groups and institutions are examined. Different community characteristics which exacerbate or ameliorate conflict dynamics are also examined with reference to examples from Israel, Northern Ireland and other locations. Secondly, we will look at community as 'agency.' The emergence and relevance of various models of community practice, such as development, organization, problem solving and transformation of relations, will be considered. Finally, we will consider the building of shared communities as a 'target' and mode of intervention in conflict resolution.

 

Peacekeeping Operations: A New Tool for World Order?

Dr. Chen Kertcher

Today, Peacekeeping is the common generic term used to describe a combined international civil and military operation which aims to reduce the causes of conflict among belligerents, may they be inter- or intra-state actors, while employing a diverse spectrum of objectives in order to encourage peace.

The international support for the deployment of Peacekeeping operations is puzzling, especially if we take into consideration that Peacekeeping operations were originally an improvisation of the United Nations during the Cold War, with limited objectives. In the past two decades there has been a continuous expansion of Peacekeeping objectives which includes enhancing democratic values, supervising government activities, demobilizing armed forces and providing humanitarian relief and economic aid.

After examining the invention of peacekeeping operations in 1956, the course will be divided into two parts. The first part will examine the main issues prevalent in the discourse. Every subject will be analyzed by reviewing the questions commonly raised in academic literature. The second part will examine three regions in which major multidimensional peacekeeping operations were deployed. The constant examination of the actual performance of Peacekeeping is needed in order to understand the difficulties in tailoring the right models in order to settle conflicts.

 

Geopolitics of the Middle East

Dr. Ronen Zeidel

What is it in the Middle East that attracts world attention? How homogeneous is the Middle East? What is the role of Arabs in the fabric of the Middle East and how important is Islam? All these questions and many more will be addressed in this class with a fresh , updated and original analysis. The class will include an attempt to define the Middle East geographically, trace its ascendance in global politics, review the importance of the region`s natural resources, analyze the role of ethnic and national groups, redefine Arab identity in the last two decades, explain the complexities of religion and state in all the states of the region, look at the processes of urbanization, internal migration and immigration and narrate the two major international conflicts of the region: The Arab-Israeli and the Persian Gulf. Finally, an extensive background to the political systems of the region and a future oriented analysis of their current state will also be part of the class. This class will take a wide angle, not focusing on one country, but on the region as a whole, often comparing the experience of several countries.

 

Leadership and Conflict Management: Cross-Fertilization

Dr. Ran Kuttner

Scholarship on leadership had traditionally viewed leaders as individuals who direct the actions of others, take unilateral decisions, and generally ignore or suppress differences or conflicts among the members of the group. However, in the last few decades there has been a growing understanding in literature that a leader ought to perform less hierarchically, seek input from followers, and value the power of conflict and diversity. In this course, collaborative skills and dialogic skills, also highlighted in the field of alternative dispute resolution, are emphasized, alongside other skills that conflict specialists should acquire as part of their professional development. The course presents various models of leadership and introduces leadership traits that are not commonly stressed in alternative dispute resolution scholarship. Through case studies students examine how these models and traits can help the conflict specialist in her/his work on the local, regional and national levels, both in her/his work with leaders or potential leaders, and in taking leadership roles as part of his/her conflict resolution efforts.

Study Abroad

 Spring 2018 Deadline extension

The application deadline for the Spring 2018 Semester has been extended until December 15, 2017. Apply Now!

Scholarships Available! Apply Now 

 


 

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