POLS-200: Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies

Liberal Arts
Social Sciences
Political Science
Academic Level
Course Subject
Political Science
Course Number
Course Title
Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take ENG courses at HFC.
Catalog Course Description

Examines social, political, economic, ethnic, cultural, and religious conflict and the methods used to resolve, regulate, and prevent conflict. The mechanisms for developing cooperation to resolve and mitigate conflict among peoples and states are central to this course. Also focuses on international and intra-state conflicts including civil wars, social strife, and rebellion, and employs case studies and other scientific methods to investigate specific conflicts and the strategies of conflict resolution.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Events of Peace and Conflict: Social, Economic, Political, Ideological, Territorial, and Ethno-Cultural dominated conflict. (#1, 2, 6)
  2. Theories, Concepts and Examples of Conflict and War. (#3,7, 8)

    i. Political, Economic, and Ideological factors in conflict. ii. Social, Territorial, and Ethno-Cultural factors in conflict.

  3. Theories, Concepts and Examples of Conflict Resolution (#1, 7,8)

    i. Negative Peace 1. Diplomacy, Negotiations, and Conflict Resolution 2. Peace through strength 3. Disarmament and Arms Control 4. International Organizations and Law 5. Ethical and Religious Perspectives ii. Positive Peace 1. Human Rights 2. Ecological Well-being 3. Economic Well-being 4. Non-Violence

  4. Institutions of Conflict Resolution (#4, 5)
  5. Methods and Practices of Conflict Resolution (#4, 8)
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Apply the concepts and theories of conflict analysis and resolution.
  2. Describe the social, economic, political, ideological, territorial, and ethno-cultural components as they relate to the intensity and type of conflict.
  3. Evaluate conflicts at the inter-state and intra-state level from the economic, social, political, ideological, territorial, and ethno-cultural perspectives.  Describe the role that various actors play in conflict development, escalation, and resolution. 
  4. Describe the most important actors involved in international conflict resolution today.
  5. Discuss the impact of conflict on individuals, groups, and state relations as well as on human rights.
  6. Discuss major contemporary and historical conflicts. Analyze the roles of various actors in the development and resolution of the conflict.
  7. Identify economic, social, political, ideological, and ethno-cultural conditions as they related to peace and conflict.
  8. Analyze contemporary events of peace and conflict resolution and evaluate options for conflict resolution and peace building.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Each instructor will identify and implement specific appropriate methods to assess the achievement of the learning objectives for the course.

Assessment of Course Should Include the following:
1. Exams (Multiple Choice and/or Essay)

  1. Written Assignment. Each faculty member teaching POLS 200 will incorporate at least one written assignment into the course requirements. The assignment can be completed outside of class and given an appropriate period of time for students to complete. A written assignment should be used as an assessment for the General Education Outcome of Civil Society and Culture. The results should be reported by the faculty member to the faculty Assessment Coordinator for inclusion in SPOL.

The assignment must take one of the following forms:

A research paper in which students explore and analyze a current international issue. The papers should utilize minimum of 5 sources including scholarly journals, major newspaper articles, or other substantive sources.

Multiple writing assignments determine by instructor: online Discussion Board Assignments, Critical Thinking Responses Essays, and/or Critical Issue Essays and Presentations.


Texts are chosen by individual instructors.


General Education Categories
  • Social Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
MTA Categories
  • Category 4: Social Sciences
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Winter 2022
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Winter 2022