PCS 230 - Conflict Analysis
4 credits (Spring)
This course examines theories and perspectives on issues of conflict, violence, and conflict management in contemporary societies, with attention to the role of third parties in conflict resolution and peacemaking. Topics include alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques, restorative justice, peace processes in wars and ethnic conflicts, and principles of conflict management at the micro and macro levels.
Spring 22: This course will explore complex questions about how conflict relates to memory in its various forms – collective, cultural, and personal recollection – and how conflict is fueled or reconciled through resentment, recorded history, and memorial sites. Our central case study will be the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. This nearly bloodless revolution ended decades of the longest dictatorship in Europe: Portugal’s “Estado Novo.” The Carnation Revolution was motivated by a variety of conflicts – colonialism, nationalism, resource control, suppression of civil freedoms – and was led by a surprising collaboration between the military and a civil resistance. In ensuing decades, Portugal would come to exit its colonies, decriminalize drug use, aspire towards a socialist government, and rank in the top three most peaceful countries in the world. This surprisingly peaceful revolution – including the tensions leading up to it and those that have emerged since – will bring into focus the central questions of the course and will productively complicate many of the distinctions often made in the analysis of conflict. In order to immerse ourselves in questions of how the country actively reconciles with its conflict-laden past, we will travel to the cities of Coimbra, Lisbon, and Vilar Formoso in Portugal. The travel will take place during spring break (March 19-29, 2022) and will be a required, deeply integrated element of the course. Students interested in this course will need to complete an application Fall 2021 in addition to doing the normal registration process. The application materials are available on GrinnellShare (Academics>Centers>Center for International Studies>. Students selected will be required to pay a $400 participation fee (most other required travel expenses will be covered). This fee will be added to the student tuition bill and is due by the first day of classes. If payment of this fee causes you financial concern, please contact Megan Jones in the Financial Aid Office to discuss loan options to cover this additional cost for attendance.
Prerequisite: ANT 104 , POL 101 , PCS 101 , or SOC 111 .
Note: Plus-2 option available. Not offered every year. Application process and instructor permission required.