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Tuition fee €399 per programme


According to many experts, conflict is a natural social and inter-personal condition. There is a conflict between two or more parties, if they believe that they have irreconcilable differences. Think about having an argument or a discussion with someone who has a different opinion on politics, life style or belief. Many of us had or will have such a dispute with someone at a certain point. These disagreements can be resolved with a consensus or stalemate. Another possibility is that one party becomes convinced that the other side was right after all. In some occasions, parties will consult to an objective and neutral party who would decide for them. In any case, many of us will not resort to violence.
Conflict is a natural and thousands years old condition. Used constructively, it leads to progress, self-reflection, respect, tolerance and improvement. Violence on the other hand is extremely dangerous, destructive, painful, tremendously costly and usually un-ending. Violence feeds more violence. Once it starts, it is enormously difficult to end it. Fortunately, scholars say that violence is also predictable, thus preventable.
The objectives of this course are to survey the theory and practice of violent conflict and conditions for peace. The course will discuss significant issues in conflict and peace studies related to causes of individual, communal, cultural, social and national violence. It will try to answer questions such as what causes violence, if it is personal or structural, what kind of role various actors such as elite, decision-makers and leaders play. Finally, the course will investigate the conditions for sustainable and durable peace and ways to prevent violence; be it communal or national. The course will use the current literature on these issues as well as examples from the near history and our contemporary world. In this sense, course also aims at applying the knowledge to the real cases and situations.

Course goals
During and after completing this course, the students will:
• have a fundamental knowledge of what violent and conflict means and what the different types of violence and conflicts are in the contemporary world;
• get familiar with violence models, such as primordial, constructivist, discursive and cultural approaches;
• find a chance to apply these models, concepts and theories to several conflicts;
• understand the conditions for peace and conflict resolution and how to achieve them;
• apply what is learned in the course to different situations in order to make the peace possible and sustainable.

Skill development
• To think critically about violence in the lines of various academic and scholarly lines of thought.
• To be able to imagine different possibilities and ways to achieve peace, henceforth to be able to think outside of the box and be creative.
• To improve discussion, presentation and argumentation skills in a respectful and diverse environment.
• To be able to conduct research and write an academic paper which is critical and analytical.

Even though everyone can follow the course content well, students with Science and Humanities majors are best suited.

Course Duration and Dates
This is a 12-hour online course which will be held on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th and 20th of January, 2021. Each day will host a 2-hour session. The courses will be scheduled in Central European Time [CET] so it is possible that some time slots are not ideal for people in certain time zones. However, when scheduling the courses, we will try to take into account the different time zones as much as we can.

The number of credits earned after successfully concluding this course is the equivalent of 3 ECTS according to Maastricht University’s guidelines. For further information, see the terms and conditions.

Course coordinator
Dr. Birsen Erdogan

The course is coordinated by Birsen Erdogan who studied International Relations and has been teaching Conflict, Violence and Peace related courses at the University College Maastricht last fifteen years. She has been involved in several projects on human rights and in research on numerous themes in the fields of security and foreign policy making.

Selected online literature as well as alternative tools such as videos, clips and news.

Teaching methods
• Problem-based tutorials: This is an interactive mode of teaching and learning. Problem-based learning (PBL) means that in every class, students will discuss pre-given questions and share their findings from the suggested literature. PBL system invites students to participate actively and share their findings and exchange their opinions in a pluralist and respectful environment under the supervision of the teacher. PBL will improve students` reading, analysing, argumentation, critical reflection and speech/presentation skills.
• Pre-recorded lectures

Assessment methods
• Quizzes in pre-recorded lectures
• Final Paper (group papers are possible) or Portfolio (course diary)

Apply now! J-term 2021
Application deadline
Dec 7, 2020 23:59:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jan 11, 2021

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! J-term 2021
Application deadline
Dec 7, 2020 23:59:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jan 11, 2021

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States