The Foundation Course, as the first course of the academic year, provides all students of UPEACE with a comprehensive and critical introduction to the wide field of Peace Studies, which will work as background knowledge for the specialisations that students will be undertaking in their master’s programmes. Key theories and concepts will be introduced and debated from various critical perspectives (e.g. international relations, human rights, gender theories, political economy, environmental sustainability, development studies, peace education, media studies, corporate responsibility, conflict analysis and transformation), and an introduction to the UN-system of conflict prevention, peace-making, peacekeeping, peace enforcement and peacebuilding will be provided.
Some of the main topics of the course will be:
- diverse manifestations of conflict and violence together with their contexts and levels;
- gender inclusive strategies for transforming those conflicts;
- roles of women/men, agencies, institutions, organisations, networks and the civil society sector in promoting a culture of peace;
- various influencing sectors, e.g. social structures, international law, environment, economy, the media etc.
- empowerment and joint creativity for a more peaceful/ethical situation amidst the realities of conflicts, violence, unsustainable development, environmental degradation, inequalities and injustices.
The course will consist of theoretical lectures and discussions as well as practical exercises and skills, e.g. non-violent communication. Participatory activities encouraging the students to creatively share their experiences will be part of the course’s critical pedagogical framework.