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Peace & Justice Course Offerings

PEAC 200 Introduction to Peace and Justice
Violent conflict remains one of the most serious problems in the world today. Hundreds of thousands of people die every year as a result of war, and millions of refugees are displaced and suffering. The interdisciplinary academic field of peace studies attempts to understand the causes of such conflict and contribute to sustainable strategies that will lead not just to the absence of war, but to genuine human flourishing. This course introduces that field of study with a particular emphasis on conflict transformation, peace-building and the rights of marginalized persons. These emphases reflect our Norbertine heritage and the ordering themes of the peace and justice minor at St. Norbert College.

PEAC / PHIL 266 Human Rights and Responsibilities (Core: WT)
A critical examination of the ethical, political, and religious foundations of human rights. We will trace the development of the idea of human rights historically and globally while asking a number of central questions, including: do we discover human rights or do we invent them? How are human rights distinct from civil rights? Does our responsibility to respect human rights supersede any obligations we might otherwise have to respect national borders? Are critics right to worry that the idea of human rights can itself be misused to promote injustice?

PEAC / POLI 352 Conceptions of Human Rights (Adv. Core: BB)
This course critically reviews and analyzes the meaning, definitions, history and development of human rights in world politics. It approaches the subject matter both from a political science and law perspective, which see human rights as ascribed rights that come from birth, and from a sociological perspective, which takes into account the power relationships that are built into the understandings and differential usage of the concept of human rights. While the legal and political theory has a lot of explanatory power in terms of tracing the evolutionary trajectory of international human rights law after World War II, sociology accounts for the cultural, societal and historical context in which the discussion of human rights arises. In this framework, the course looks at alternative views regarding the definitions, history and development of human rights in the Western and non-Western contexts.

PEAC 400 / THRS 460 Capstone in Peace and Justice
In this seminar, students deepen their knowledge of peace and justice through reading, active discussion and in-depth research. In discussion and written work, students are challenged to integrate knowledge accumulated throughout the minor (i.e., from coursework, service and community engagement).


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