Sociology & Justice Studies  
Peace and Conflict

Why study Justice Studies: Peace & Conflict?

Sudents in Peace and Conflict learn how to assess conflicts, violence, or injustices in general.  Using Lederach's methodology of conflict analysis and transformation students understand that the process of the analysis changes the conflict itself.

We teach the methodologies, canon, theories, and concepts in the area of peace, development, and justice.  These issues are the foundational knowledge needed to begin work in non-profits or non-governmental organizations that work to improve the lives of others.  

Do you want to work to improve the lives of the poor in Oklahoma, Mexico, or Kenya?  There was a time when the passion was enough.  The field of development and justice work now has a body of knowledge that students need to know.  There are methodologies students need to practice and understand.  This are various peacebuilding strategies to choose from.

Our undergraduate curriculum in peace and conflict has been reviewed and critiqued by the best in the field.  The faculty in peace and conflict spent a week at the Kroc Institute of Peace Studies at Notre Dame and a week at the Center for the Study of Peace and Justice at Eastern Mennonite University.  At both insitutuions we wrote and re-wrote what students needed to know at the undergraduate level for peace and conflict.


Why is Justice Studies: Peace & Conflict in the same program with Justice Studies: Criminology?

We admit it; we are unique.  We believe that structural injustices in countries in Asia, Africa, or North America, often emerge from similar root causes.  This is taking a global perspective; we look at impoverised neighborhoods in the United States and at those in so-called developing countries and realize the same methodologies or pathways to justice can be taken.

We use an inquiry- and problem-based model to teach our students.  In this way students learn to assess measurable social justice outcomes.  We can begin by asking in what way is urban gang conflict different from tribal conflict?  In what way are they similar?  Why do individuals commit violence?  


The mission of the Peace & Conflict concentration is to teach students how to analyze conflict, design peace building strategies, and work toward societal transformation. Students are expected to critically examine harmed relationships from multiple perspectives with ethically awareness. They are also expected to construct social justice advocacy projects based on human rights and human needs theories.