PACS 4500 Spring 2012
PACS4500 Senior Seminar in Peace & Conflict Studies
Section 001: (Guy Burgess, Instructor) TTh 2:00-3:15 PM Chemistry 145
Section 002: (Heidi Burgess, Instructor) TTh 3:30-4:45 PM Ketchum 118
Course Schedule / Online Textbook Page (This page contains reading assignments, text links, course schedule, test information, power points, and lecture ".mp4 videos." Access requires a username and password that you obtain by purchasing a voucher from the Bookstore (see below) and giving it to us. This page is no longer being maintained: A Temporary Schedule / Online Textbook page provides access to the online textbook with everything that you need for the first three weeks.
General Course Information
Peace and Conflict Studies Certificate Program: Website with information on PACS Certificate program requirements and sign-up procedures.
Course: PACS 4500-001: Senior Seminar in Peace and Conflict Studies
Instructors: Guy Burgess, Section 1; Heidi Burgess Section 2. Note: Heidi and Guy are the "we" in the website below. We are doing this class jointly and are sharing one class website, though there are slight differences in our classes and routines--all indicated below.
Main Campus Office: Norlin Library Room S423 (same for Guy and Heidi)
- Guy: Tuesday and Thursday – 10:55-11:15; 3:25-3:45. (See me after class or in Library S423). I can also, by appointment, meet before class and I can stay later if necessary during both of these time slots.)
- Heidi: Tuesday 12:30 - 3:15 for "walk in," Thursdays, same time by appointment only.
Norlin Office Phone: 303-492-6708 Used only during office hours. Use quick response e-mail (not voice mail) for messages.
Secondary, East Campus Office Hours: We are usually around Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Call first, however, to make sure we are available!
East Campus Office Phone: 303-492-1635 (for both of us). -- Use (email, not voice mail) for messages.
Class Periods / Classrooms:
- Section 001 / Guy: T/R 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM Chemistry 145 Map
- Section 002 / Heidi T/R 3:30-4:45, Ketchum 118 Map
Primary Course Web Site: http://pacs-courses.colorado.edu/pacs_courses/pacs4500-s2012 This site will be continually updated as the course proceeds. Check frequently for updates. (I will also send out e-mail notices whenever a significant update is posted.)
Secondary Course Websites: For grades only
- For Guy: CULearn culearn.colorado.edu
- For Heidi: Desire to Learn (D2L): learn.colorado.edu
Class E-mail: Updates about the class will be sent out to your official University e-mail address. You are responsible for routinely monitoring mail to this address.
Back-Ups: You are responsible for making backups of all of your work. This is easy to do. Use flash drives or e-mail yourself copies of draft and final assignments. This will protect you in case something terrible happens to your computer. Every semester I have several students who run into serious trouble because of computer failure. Don't be one of them. Protect yourself!
Quick Response E-mail: For urgent questions, use our personal e-mail: email@example.com and write "Guy--PACS4500 Urgent" in the subject line. Similarly, write firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Heidi-PACS4500 Urgent" in subject line. We check this constantly. You can also call us at our office phone, 303-492-1635 (MWF primarily.) (For example, you should use a quick response e-mail to report any problems with the website.)
Course DescriptionThis course is about the biggest problems facing our communities, our nation, and our world today. Ones that quickly come to my mind—and probably yours—are the economy (jobs, deficits, budgets, debt ceilings, housing, poverty, etc.), security (freedom from the fear of war and/or terrorism, as well as unmet fundamental needs), social services (health care, education, the justice system, etc.), and the environment (particularly climate change, energy and resources, and air and water quality, etc.). Our communities, our nation, and the world have proven remarkably unable to “solve” any of these problems. Why? We assert it is because they are all underlain by a more fundamental problem—the inability to constructively deal with difficult and intractable conflicts. These conflicts prevent us, as individuals, our governments (at all levels), and our commercial and civil society organizations, from making wise and equitable decisions or taking effective action that will address any of these pressing problems. We are stuck, in almost every case, in what William Zartman calls a “hurting stalemate” where combatants battle each other instead of the problem, and we all go down the drain together.
While “traditional conflict resolution” which, somewhat ironically, was named 30 years ago “ADR” for “alternative dispute resolution,” is well able to settle or resolve a vast majority of “tractable” conflicts and disputes, there are a significant number of really difficult problems that seem largely unresponsive to standard ADR techniques. In a provocative new book, Columbia professor Peter Coleman asserts that these are the “5% conflicts” – the 5% that he (and we) call “intractable.” (We actually think the number is higher than 5%.)
Many mediators purposely shy away from these conflicts. Several years ago, the predecessor to the Association for Conflict Resolution then called SPIDR (Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution) put out a “definitive” (for the time) handbook on mediating environmental conflicts. A large part of the handbook was spent explaining which conflicts could be mediated and which not. SPIDR members were advised to avoid the ones that were unlikely to respond positively to mediation because it would be a waste of everyone’s time, and a threat to the mediators’ (and the field’s) reputations. If it can’t be mediated, the implication was, stay away from it!! Unfortunately, in much conflict resolution scholarship and practice, this attitude has changed remarkably little.
That advice long intrigued us, and like an adolescent who refuses to listen to his or her parents, we were drawn toward such conflicts. If they can’t be mediated, doesn’t that suggest we ought to be doing something else? What? Is there really no solution but to suffer through? Will we ever be able to get to the other side of these conflicts? At what cost?
Along with Peter Coleman, we have been studying intractable conflicts for over 25 years. Our contribution to the field’s knowledge on this topic is a vast website called Beyond Intractability (www.beyondintractability.org), which we co-directed and co-edited. Put together in the early 2000s with over 400 experts on intractable conflict (including Peter Coleman), this website sought to be the “state of the art” statement about how these conflicts are different from more tractable conflicts, and what can be done to confront them constructively. This website is now being updated, but much of the material on it is still as applicable today as it was 8 years ago when it was released.
We will be investigating some of the key ideas from that website, a new “sister website” called The Governance Commons (thegovernancecommons.org), as well as the new and challenging ideas from Coleman’s book The Five Percent. By comparing the insights from these and other sources, we will investigate how intractable conflicts are different from other conflicts. We will then consider what we, as individuals, communities, and societies are going to have to do if we want to successfully approach any of these conflicts, and hence be able to tackle any of the pressing social problems facing the world today.
Our approach is grounded in what we call "complexity-oriented peacebuilding." This approach acknowledges the many people, institutions, facets and interactions present in all intractable conflict problems and solutions. We do not believe that simple, unilateral approaches to any of these problems will work. All will take many people, engaging in many different, but simultaneous activities, to make headway. The focus of the course is "practical theory"-- which provides a basis for adapting to unforeseen circumstances. We don't believe in "one-size-fits-all" cookbook strategies.
But headway is possible, and a concerted effort by many people soon is essential if many of these problems are going to be mitigated before they become impossible to handle. This course is designed to give you the skills to be part of the team working on your choice of challenging conflict problems.
Course Design and Expectations
- This class is an advanced graduate school-style seminar for people who take the peace and conflict field seriously.
- It is for people who want really want to learn a lot about, and potentially get involved in, peace and conflict issues in the future.
- This doesn't mean we expect everyone to become a mediator-- but we hope you will all become active citizens, and perhaps take on volunteer and/or professional roles working to solve any of the myriad problems facing our communities, country, and world today.
- Our primary focus will be on society-wide (or at least community-wide) conflict. That said, many of the insights and procedures required for dealing with these large-scale conflicts are also applicable to smaller-scale interpersonal conflicts. We are willing to modify assignments somewhat for students who are primarily interested in interpersonal conflict. (The overall workload and level of sophistication required will, however, be comparable.)
- We interpret peacebuilding and conflict resolution as a very broad field which includes conflict resolution and the traditional peace movement, as well as the full range of dispute resolution and peacebuilding roles. Also included are "adjacent fields" such as human rights, development, security, and social justice advocacy.
- We do not use tests. Instead, we ask you to come to class prepared to engage with the materials, us, and each other. The class will emphasize discussion and problem-solving.
- In addition to our in-class group work, the primary focus of the class will be a major project you will undertake individually (see below). As part of that project, you will be expected to demonstrate your mastery of class ideas by incorporating them into your project. We are very flexible about the nature of these projects, hoping to encourage you to focus your individual work on those aspects of the course that you find most valuable.
- Goal #1: Give you an initial set of skills that will enable you to be a valuable part of whatever volunteer or professional peace and conflict resolution-related efforts you might decide to become involved in.
- Goal #2: Give you a framework for acquiring the additional skills and experiences that you will need to be successful in this field.
- Goal #3: Help you determine what activities are most likely to be consistent with your personal goals, personality, and background.
- Goal #4: Demonstrate how a complexity-oriented approach to peacebuilding (with its focus on "practical theory)" can make it possible to realistically address the world's many intractable conflicts.
In general, the class will be divided into two major sections. The first, general-presentation section lasting about 30-40 minutes, will include time for lectures, media presentations, and questions and answers. The second part of the class (approximately 35-45 minutes) will focus on small-group, problem-solving activities in which I expect everyone to actively participate. These will include discussions, problem-solving exercises, and simulation games.
Individual seminar sessions will consist of many (but usually not all) the following segments.
- A brief lecture with instructor reflections on the topic of the week,
- Large and small group discussion of the significance of the key theories and research findings contained in each week's readings,
- Short audio and video materials that frame a discussion and give a human face to topics that are sometimes overly theoretical,
- Exercises and simulation games,
- Opportunities for students to receive assistance from one another (and their instructor) on their seminar projects, and
- Student presentations.
The Five Percent -- We are using one traditional textbook:The Five Percent by Peter Coleman, which has a very interesting and controversial approach to intractable conflicts and complexity-oriented peace building. We will experiment with his approach, compare it to alternative approaches, and try to use the best of both to develop constructive ways of confronting challenging an intractable conflicts. The Coleman book is available at the University Bookstore ($27.99).
Online Knowledge Base on Complexity-oriented Peacebuildng -- The primary text for this class is not a text at all, but rather a custom gateway to the major online knowledge-base systems based at the University of Colorado Conflict Information Consortium. These include
- CRInfo, the Conflict Resolution Information Source (www.CRInfo.org)
- Beyond Intractability, the web site of the Intractable Conflict Knowledge Base Project (www.beyondintractability.org),
- Our new Governance Commons website (www.thegovernancecommons.org) project,
- As well as other Web-accessible resources.
- Summaries of some of the key books in the peace and conflict resolution fields,
- Articles describing key conflict dynamics and intervention strategies
- Interviews with professional peacebuilders,
- Inspirational stories, and
- Case studies.
What is unusual about this online text and the project-focused course design outlined below is that it is multi-threaded. Rather than everyone to master a "one-size-fits-all" curriculum, we start with a general framework, and then allow students to use that framework to follow widely differing "threads" to develop sophisticated projects focused on your particular areas of interest.
How to purchase this online textbook: The online textbook is accessed by purchasing a Voucher. which costs $33.50 and may be purchased from the Bookstore in the UMC at the table by the east door. (Since this book covers very different material from that included in the PACS 2500 online textbook, you are being asked to purchase a separate voucher, even if you already have a PACS 2500 voucher.) We ask everyone who uses the system as a textbook to make comparable payments. (It is being used at other universities too.) In a world of chronically tight funding, this support allows us to continue to develop and operate these systems. The money does not go to your instructors however; it goes to the Conflict Information Consortium programmer and student assistants who maintain the site.) After purchasing the PACS 4500 voucher, fill it out, cut off the receipt to save and give the voucher to your instructor. Within a day or two, you will receive a username and an initial password (which you should change) by e-mail. You will need to do this to access course materials after the first two weeks. We have tried to keep the cost of this text quite low by comparison with other courses. Still, if you have trouble affording this contact us about options. We will be quite accomodating. We want everyone to have access to the system.
Lost Online Text Password: If you lose or forget your password, simply enter the e-mail address that you used to register your online text using the Request New Password link in the upper right-hand corner of the Web site. A new password will be immediately e-mailed to you. (Try this before contacting us with password problems, please. It immediately solves the problem 95% of the time.)
Reading Assignments and Class ActivitiesDay-to-day assignments will be posted on the continually updated Course Schedule (see link at the top of this page), which will be updated as the course proceeds (in order to focus on current events and areas of more intense student interest). Since plans for the course may vary significantly, you should talk to your instructor before working ahead. This schedule page will include links to readings as well as class discussion PowerPoints and audio when available.
PowerPoints and .MP4 Podcasts
To help you get the most out of lectures and class sessions, we will both try to post the PowerPoints immediately before class and, when appropriate, Guy will often post .MP4 video with the PowerPoints and accompanying soundtrack shortly after class. (Heidi is not this technically astute. However, we will be covering largely similar material, so you can listen to Guy's .MP4s if you miss one of Heidi's classes, and you will get related, if not identical content to what we covered in Heidi's class.) The course schedule includes links to these Power Point and .MP4 files. NOTE: These links will not work until the files are posted shortly before and after class.) Also note, Guy's and Heidi's power points are likely to be at least slightly different, so make sure you get the right ones. We both post the power points and Guy's audio to help you make up for any classes that you may have to miss. (See attendance policy below.) Students should also assume that there will be occasions when the Power Points and Podcasts are not available or that class sessions that feature materials (such as DVDs) that cannot be posted online. In such cases, it is your responsibility to get the notes from one of your fellow students.
Get Acquainted E-mail
To make it easier for us to get to know you and to familiarize you with the online submission system, we are asking everyone fto send us a get-acquainted message by Thursday, January 27 with the following information.
- Full name
- Name that you prefer me to use
- Major / year (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior)
- Career aspirations
- Reason for taking the course
- Related courses that you’ve taken
- Anything else about yourself that you think I should know
- We also ask that you cofirm that you have read the rules on the syllabus regarding expectations, grading, make-ups, etc. and that you agree to abide by them. We will consider this to be our contract with you. We will uphold our part, and we expect you to uphold yours. If there are questions about grades or policies at the end of the semester, the policies on this website will be used to make decisions.
Grading / Assignments
CULearn (for Guy) and D2L (for Heidi)
Frequently, throughout the semester, your grades (primarily attendance and group grades) will be uploaded to CULearn (culearn.colorado.edu) for Guy's class, and D2L--Desire to Learn (learn.colorado.edu) for Heidi's class. We will send out an e-mail when we do this along with a request that you check your grades and let us know about anything that might be incorrect. We only use CULearn/D2L to post grades – everything else is handled on this website.
If you become sick or encounter other problems that may prevent you from completing coursework in a timely fashion, talk to us as soon as possible. We will work out a reasonable solution. Similarly, if you find your grades are not meeting your expectations, talk to us promptly and we will figure out what needs to be done to correct the situation. Don't leave it until the end of the semester when there is very little that we can do.
Semester Project -- 65% of your Grade --
Heidi's final paper/brief/proposal due noon Sat. May 5 in the dropbox. (Sorry folks--I have 2 classes to grade so I have to start as soon as I'm back from Canada!) I have very little time to grade these, so papers submitted after noon but before midnight will take a 3% grade penalty; those submitted on Sunday will take a 5% grade penalty, Monday is 10% (one full letter grade) and Tuesday will be 20% (two full letter grades). Bottom line--get it in on time please!
Guy's are due 11:59 pm Sat. May 5 by email.
Seminar participants are required to complete a major semester project in one of four possible formats:
- An academic paper: Here you are required to write a traditional academic paper examining some aspect of intractable conflict, or do a cross-case comparison of conflict dynamics and/or a particular approach for addressing intractable conflicts of a particular type. So, for example, you could investigate positive steps that could be taken to reduce the conflict over inequality in this country, or you could examine the nature of inequality conflicts in several different countries of the world, or you could examine the use of foreign aid to reduce income inequality in a variety of Third World countries. Papers should be based on a compilation of relevant theory or an analysis of relevant data (or some combination of the two). Example
- A project proposal: Here you are asked to prepare a request to a real or realistic funding agency, asking for support for a specific a peacemaking or peacebuilding project. The request could also be made to some large, national or international organization overseeing intervention of a particular case. For the purposes of this project, you can take on the role of a project development officer for a governmental, intergovernmental, nonprofit, or even commercial organization involved in peacebuilding work. You may represent either an existing organization or an imaginary, but realistic, organization that you would like to see created. For this type of project, you would first need to identify a formal or informal "request for proposal" that you might want to pursue. (This may require you to modify your initial project idea in order to better fit within funder constraints and priorities.) You would then need to write the proposal explaining what your organization would do, how they would do it, why it would work, and how it would advance the interests of the "client." During the course of the semester, we will spend some time talking about how to identify and pursue funding opportunities. Useful sources of proposal writing advice include information from the University of Wisconsin and the UN. Example
- A policy brief: A third format allows you to prepare a policy brief (with supporting documentation) for a governmental, nongovernmental, or intergovernmental decision-maker, considering options for dealing with a specific difficult or intractable conflict. The brief should make it clear for whom it is being written and the decision that is being considered. It should provide the information that the decision-maker needs to understand available options, the advantages and disadvantages of each option, and why the proposed option is best. You must also clarify and adapt to the political context in which the policy brief would be used. Example Example2 Sources of advice and examples of policy briefs include:
- A primer: A final option allows students to prepare a comprehensive "primer" explaining to people new to the field the basic, background knowledge that they need to understand some key aspect of peacebuilding (such as the nature of gender-based violence). Example
Regardless of which type of project you pursue, students should be certain to explain how your project would contribute to efforts to limit the destructiveness of the intractable conflict/s you considered.
There is a fair amount of flexibility in the exact structure of any of these assignments. We both urge you to come into our office hours and talk to us about the ideas you are considering. We very much want to help you tailor your project to your interests, your course of study, and your long-term goals.
The seminar project should be submitted in four installments:
- Week 3: One paragraph topic description - due by email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org by 9 am Feb. 2. Please put these paragraphs in the text of your email and have the subject line by Project Topic.
- Week 7: Two conflict maps (described below) Due 9 am Thursday Mar 1 for the electronic parts; if some is just on paper, bring that part to class in the afternoon. Maps should be as attachments in some generally-readable format (pdf, jpg???) and annotations should be in a word file. Files should have your name and the assignment name in the file name such as jones-map1.pdf, , jones-annotation1.docx etc. Example1 Example2 Example3
- Week 11: A draft of your full paper - send text parts by email, if you still are using a paper map, you can hand that in as an "addendum" in class on Thurs. Drafts are due 9 am Thursday April 5. (This used to say Wed, but the other (readings) website said Thursday, so I'm switching this to say Thursday too.) If you are ready on Wed, all the better--you'll be first in line to get feedback!
- Weeks 14 and 15: Oral presentations of your projects.
- Week 15 (end of the course): Final project (with responses to comments on the draft)
Most of you will need to create two conflict maps. For those of you who are doing a comparative project (on several different conflicts), select one conflict only to do your conflict maps on. For those of you who are doing a theoretical paper without any cases, talk to us, and we'll figure out an alternative approach for you to take. But for the everyone doing a case analysis or comparison (academic paper), a proposal to intervene in a particular case, or a policy brief about a particular case, please do the following:
Choose a conflict to focus on and do enough background research on that conflict to draw two conflict maps:
- The first should illustrate the primary parties and their attributes--interests, needs, relationships, etc. (This is a combination of maps 1 and 3 on Coleman pg 122 and should reflect more "traditional mapping" categories.)
- The second should illustrate the conflict events that led to escalation or de-escalation (the last map described on pages 122, and for several pages thereafter.)
- Describing each element (boxes and lines) with a sentence or two explaining what it means.
- Documentating the source of information of any elements that are less than obvious. (If you say that two parties to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are Israeli Jews and Palestinian Israelis, I would consider that "obvious.")
These maps should then be used to inform the rest of your project and paper. What you learn from doing them should help you do the analysis for the rest of your academic paper; it will help you figure out what to propose and how to defend it if you are doing a proposal, and it will suggest what policy/policies you are recommending and why if you are doing a policy brief.
If you need a little extra time, send a request for an extension BEFORE a particular component is due and we will try to be helpful (within the confines of University rules). Don't feel like you need to miss class if your work isn't quite done.
The target length for the final project is 6000-8000 words (or comparable level of effort). A shorter, but more tightly written paper is acceptable and, in fact, is encouraged. The draft can be shorter than this and may be submitted in detailed, annotated outline form. Some assignments (primarily proposals and policy briefs) may consist of a short summary document, backed up with a longer paper with more detailed background information and citations.
Since the project takes the place of conventional midterms and finals, we are asking you to include at least 40 citations to class readings and lectures. These citations should demonstrate that you know how to apply class ideas and can be handled quite informally. Suggested formats for lecture citations would simply be something like: [March 13 lecture on complexity theory.] Citations to class readings should be the same as your citations for other readings, however, at the end you should add "-class reading." These class citations are in addition to a more modest collection of outside resources that you will need for your project. ( Do to cite all ideas which are not yours, even if they are not quoted directly. If you do use direct quotes, please be sure to include the page number if there is one, and the URL if it is a website.
Assignment Submission Guidelines
The Topic, Outline, Draft, and Final projects should be submitted by e-mail. In doing so it's very important that you follow the instructions below. (Failure to follow these instructions causes me a surprising amount of difficulty and increases the risk that your submission will be lost. )
- For Guy
- IMPORTANT Send all e-mailed assignments to email@example.com. Do not simply reply to an existing message from me. Your assignment will get lost.
- Include PACS4500 and the assignment name (Draft Project or Final Project) in the subject line.
- Put your name, class, and assignment in every file that you attach and in the filename of each attachment!
- Save and submit all assignments in a standardized format. Use either Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Don't use Portable Datafiles (.pdf). I makes it harder for me to insert comments. If you need to use a different file format, check with me first to make sure that I can read it.
- Leave the extensions on your filenames (These are the letters that follow the period at the end of the filename, such as .doc .docx, etc.). Without those letters that can be difficult or impossible for me to read your document.
- Keep backup copies of all assignments submitted. If your assignment is lost I will ask you to resend your original e-mail. The time stamps on the e-mails will be used to determine whether or not assignments were submitted on time.
- For Heidi
- Submit all assignments using the D2L "dropbox".
- When you log into D2L, you will see a link to the dropbox on the top of the page. Click on that, and you will see folders for each of the 4 submissions.
- Click on the appropriate folder, click upload, and upload your file, being sure to name your file as follows:
- File naming convention for Heidi: last name- assignment name. file type . So for instance, John Doe would submit a file entitled Doe-draft1.docx for his 1st draft or Doe-topic-proposal.doc for his topic proposal.
- Be sure to put your name on the content of the file as well.
- Also be certain to save a copy of your file just in case something goes wrong with the dropbox.
In the spirit of "none of us is as smart as all of us," we will both include, in many class sessions, opportunities for students to raise problems that they are encountering with their project and ask for suggestions from the class. The hope is that such sessions will provide an opportunity for joint problem-solving and the sharing of seminar insights. From time to time, I will ask each seminar participant to be prepared to offer, for small group and/or full class discussion, one aspect of their seminar project that they find especially challenging. The goal is to see if, by working together, we can find better ways of meeting each challenge.
Class Attendance, Discussion, and Activities -- 35% of Your Grade
The second major component of course will be a series of in-class activities which require you to explore, develop, and discuss the basic insights presented in class and in the readings. We will also use simulation games to give you an opportunity to actually apply class insights.
Given the importance of these activities, we both give those who attend and enthusiastically participate credit for doing so. In fact, it is impossible to get a decent grade in this class without attending regularly. If, for reasons beyond your control, you miss a significant number of classes, talk your instructor as soon as possible about options for making up this crucial part of the course.
The 35% of your grade stemming from these activities will consist of two parts.
Attendance – 18%
We realize that everyone is likely to have to miss a few classes. That is why Guy posts .MP4 recordings of class sessions wherever possible. To do a makeup assignment Guy asks his students to do a 400-500 word write-up of the class that they have missed based on the .MP4 recordings, any videos that we may have listened to (usually web accessible), and your reflections on any exercises that we did. Unless you receive special permission, you need to do this within two weeks of the class that you missed. Heidi will usually ask you to do the same thing, using Guy's MP4s, since I don't have my own, ut sometimes this will not be appropriate if I do something substantially different in my class. So Heidi's students should be sure to check with her before doing the makeup. Everyone gets 2 free sick days and 3 automatic makeup opportunities. If you need more than that, talk to your instructor and we will work out some appropriate arrangement. Don't feel like you have to come to class sick.
Special Circumstances -- There are a variety of good reasons for missing class – religious holidays, major field trips associated with other classes, illness, family emergencies, etc. In these cases, our policy is to provide ample time to do the appropriate attendance makeup assignments. This includes providing additional attendance makeup opportunities if needed. Note, however, we do not count the missed classes as having been attended unless a makeup assignment is received.
Individual Participation Grade – 17%
The final element of the in-class activities grade will be an individual participation grade, which will bump up the grades of those who are enthusiastic, engaged, and insightful and lower the grades of those who may be just coasting. There will be major penalties for students who spend class time surfing the web, doing e-mail, working on other classes, text messaging, or distracting other students. A major feature of the class will be the series of small group discussions, exercises, and other activities. Since I can't participate in every group I will generally ask each group to submit group notes indicating what you talked about and who participated. Your grades on these will contribute to your individual participation grades.
ReadingsAs indicated above, there are two broad focal points for the course: the classroom activities and the semester project. (Since there are no tests, we expect that you will spend the time that you would have spent on test preparation on your projects and preparing for class discussion.) To support this course design have included three types of readings on the course schedule.
Some readings are required for class preparation (indicated as "Rqd"). These are things that we would like you to be sure to read prior to the class for which they are assigned. They provide a basis for class discussions and activities and a failure to do the readings will undermine the learning experience we will have planned.
Political Diversity Statement
This class, by its very nature, addresses controversial political issues. In fact, Peace and Conflict Studies is widely seen as offering a liberal, progressive approach to foreign policy. While there is some truth to this perception, it is not as well-founded as many people think. Over the course of the semester we will explain what appears to be a major convergence in views of those who approach issues of war and peace from perspectives commonly associated with the military and the religious right, as well as the diplomatic and secular left. Still, it is impossible to do justice to this topic without critically reviewing politically sensitive arguments on all sides of the issue.
While we may gently push students to consider alternative ways of thinking about things, we will not, in any way, penalize students on the basis of the political beliefs expressed in their work. Anybody who feels uncomfortable about any of these issues is encouraged to talk to us. You will find that we will be quite accommodating and open to alternative views and interpretations. We do expect you, however, to know and understand (though not necessarily agree with) the arguments made in the readings, lectures, and other course materials.
Apology for Voice Recognition Errors
Guy and I both use voice recognition software because of orthodeic problems we each have. Occasionally, this results in spectacular and often inexplicable typographical mistakes. We try to proofread what we type, but sometimes, due to the volume of grading and the speed with which we are trying to accomplish it, we miss something. We apologize and ask you to please let us know if we ha've written something that is difficult to understand.
Disabilities: If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner so that your needs may be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. Contact: 303-492-8671, Willard 322, and
Religious Observances: Every effort will be made to reasonably and fairly deal with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance. Contact your instructor to work out the details. Information about University policies regarding religious observances is available at
Unacceptable Classroom Behavior: Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture, religion, politics, sexual orientation, gender, gender variance, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. See polices at http://www.colorado.edu/policies/classbehavior.html and at
Discrimination and Harassment: The University of Colorado at Boulder policy on Discrimination and Harassment, the University of Colorado policy on Sexual Harassment and the University of Colorado policy on Amorous Relationships apply to all students, staff and faculty. Any student, staff or faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550. Information about the ODH, the above referenced policies and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at
Honor Code: The Boulder campus has a student Honor Code and individual faculty members are expected to familiarize themselves with its tenets and follow the approved procedures should violations be perceived. The Honor Council recommended syllabus statement:
All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of this institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior. All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Honor Code Council (firstname.lastname@example.org; 303-725-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited to university probation, suspension, or expulsion).