Department of Philosophy & Religion

Peace & Conflict Studies Minor

peaceconflictlogo1Contact: David Kratz Mathies       E-mail Address: dmathies@missouriwestern.edu      Phone: 816-271-4579

Missouri Western State University offers an interdisciplinary minor in Peace & Conflict Studies (PACS). Jointly sponsored by the departments of Economics, Political Science & Sociology (EPSS); Criminal Justice, Legal Studies & Social Work (CJLSSW); and Philosophy & Religion (PR), the minor draws broadly on diverse disciplines from across the university. Ranging from the international to the interpersonal, courses in Peace & Conflict Studies examine the causes and dynamics of conflicts that may lead to litigation, violence, or even war — along with the historical and contemporary theories and practices that contribute to conflict management, resolution, or transformation. Topics explored in PACS courses include negotiation, mediation, restorative justice, just war theory, peacekeeping missions, post-conflict rebuilding, and the role of religion in both violence and peacebuilding. Related coursework can currently be found in the fields of Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, History, Legal Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

The Peace & Conflict Studies Committee:
David Kratz Mathies, Director, Philosophy & Religion
Joanne Katz, Legal Studies
Ed Taylor, Political Science

PACS Minor Form

PACS Minor Requirements:
Students must complete at least 18 hours to be selected from the following categories.  At least three disciplines must be represented with at least two courses outside of the student’s major degree program.  Course substitutions must be approved by the Director of Peace & Conflict Studies.

Core PACS Courses (at least 2 of the following): 6-9 credits
LAT 335 Introduction to Mediation
PSC 374 Exploring War and Peace in the Modern World
REL 361 War, Peace, & Religion (LAS Ethics; LAS International/Intercultural)

Other PACS Courses (at least 1 of the following): 3-12 credits
LAT/PHL/PSC/REL 365 Selected Topics in Peace & Conflict Studies (may be repeated)
LAT 430 Conflict Management
PSC 426 Peace and Justice in Post-Conflict Societies

Restricted Electives (no more than 2 of the following): 0-6 credits
COM 305 Interpersonal Communication (LAS Writing)
COM 342 Intercultural Communication (LAS Writing; LAS International/Intercultural)
HIS 340 Recent European History
LAT 370 Domestic Relations
LAT 420 Civil Rights Law
LAW 200 Penology and Corrections
LAW 270 Probation and Parole
LAW 315 Criminal Justice Concepts and Issues
PHL 230 Ethics
PHL 310 Political Theory (LAS Ethics; LAS Writing)
PHL 312 Contemporary Political Theory (LAS Ethics)
PHL 330 Topics in Ethical Theory (LAS Ethics)
PSC 200 International Politics (LAS International/Intercultural)
PSC 310 Political Theory (LAS Ethics; LAS Writing)
PSC 312 Contemporary Political Theory (LAS Ethics)
PSC 340 Latin America Political Systems (LAS International/Intercultural)
PSC 370 American Public Policy (LAS Ethics; LAS Writing)
PSC 375 Seminar on Terrorism and Homeland Security
PSC 390 United Nations (LAS Writing)
PSC 400 American Foreign Policy (LAS International/Intercultural)
PSY 230 Psychology of Communication (LAS International/Intercultural)
PSY 260 Cross-Cultural Psychology (LAS International/Intercultural)
SOC 230 Social Problems
SOC 315 Social Inequality and Stratification: Class, Power, and Wealth (LAS International/Intercultural)
SOC 400 Racial and Ethnic Relations (LAS International/Intercultural)
SOC 430 Criminology (LAS Ethics)

PACS Courses:
LAT 335 Introduction to Mediation (3) F, Sp.  In-depth examination of the mediation process. Students will learn methods to promote settlement in disputes.

LAT 430 Conflict Management (3) Sp. Examines non-litigation forms of resolving legal disputes. Emphasis will be placed on Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration.

PSC 374 Exploring War and Peace in the Modern World (3) F (odd-numbered years).  This class provides an interdisciplinary survey of the root causes of conflicts and methods by which societies can build peace.  There is a specific emphasis on the multiple meanings of peace in society and the challenges embedded in contemporary, applied peace-making.

PSC 426 Peace and Justice in Post-Conflict Societies (3) Sp (even-numbered years). This course addresses issues of building peace in war-torn societies by focusing on a range of political, military, economic, and social challenges and how they intersect with institutions of the state.  Emphasis on four separate sectors around which institutionalizing peace are organized: security, justice and reconciliation, governance and participation, and social and economic issues.  Special attention is given to connecting the theoretical literature on conflict transition to the applied challenges of post-war societies.  Prerequisite:  PSC 101 and PSC 200.

REL 361 War, Peace, & Religion (3) F (even-numbered years).  A course in comparative religious ethics thematically exploring a variety of global religious traditions, both East and West, examining their respective scriptures, doctrines, histories, and contemporary examples through the lens of their various perspectives on violence and nonviolence.  Special emphasis will be given to the resources each has available for nonviolent responses to interpersonal and international conflict.  LAS Ethics; LAS International/Intercultural.

LAT/PHL/PSC/REL 365 Selected Topics in Peace & Conflict Studies (3) Sp (odd-numbered years).  Specialized course work in interpersonal and/or international conflict studies.  May be repeated as content varies.