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Peace and Conflict Studies

Peace and Conflict Studies: Concentration

Peace and Conflict Studies combines an in-depth study on the causes of war and social conflict, and ways of preventing and ending them. You will address crucial challenges of the contemporary world and develop the knowledge and skills necessary for effective citizenship in the post-Cold War world.

With a commitment to peace, you will examine issues of national and international security and the common causes of conflict such as economic disparities and religious, ethnic, racial or gender discrimination. You will develop an understanding and awareness of the responsibility of citizenship in an age of nuclear weapons; regional, ethnic and religious conflicts; environmental deterioration; and global economic interdependence. This responsibility to construct alternatives to war and violence and to foster a just and peaceful world is integral to personal development, education and civic life. The Peace and Conflict Studies concentration will enhance your capacity for global citizenship, whatever your major and whatever career you may choose.

Program Highlights

Students in the Peace and Conflict Studies program will learn to:
  • Understand concepts fundamental to the study of peace and conflict.
  • Recognize how different values (cultural, religious and philosophical) inform conflict and conflict resolution.
  • Closely examine large-scale conflicts and their consequences.
  • Critically evaluate the factors underlying structural violence (i.e., inequitable social arrangements and their impact on people).
  • Analyze the lived experiences and perspectives of people involved in conflicts and efforts at reconciliation.
  • Assess peace and conflict from the perspective of multiple disciplines and integrate different disciplinary approaches.
  • Develop their capacity for self-awareness and recognize how their actions, or inaction, have implications for peace and conflict.
  • Within the Peace and Conflict Studies concentration, students in class years 2021 and later can now pursue a Social Justice Track.
Professor and a student
Study the causes of war and conflict and ways it can be prevented or peacefully resolved.
Individuals sitting at tables in the Hogan Ballroom
Hear a diverse range of perspectives, from academic experts to affected populations like asylees.
Student sitting in a professor's office
As an interdisciplinary program, you can take courses from many different departments.

Peace and Conflict Studies News

Kolleen Rask points at a blackboard in a bright classroom full of students

Holy Cross Economics Course Explores the Intricacies of Inequality

Jan 9, 2020

“What is your opportunity cost of buying an iPhone?” Kolleen Rask, professor of economics, asks her class. “You wouldn’t be able to buy other products, right?” In the case of this conversation, the term “opportunity cost” denotes the loss of …