BA - College of Arts and Science

Interdisciplinary (Peace Studies)

Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary academic and community-based program. It seeks to educate students and the broader community about ongoing conflicts and the different local, national, and world situations that contribute to the breakdown of peace. With this focus, Peace Studies explores the possible ways of resolving those situations through evidence and questions developed from history, politics, economics, sociology, philosophy, religious studies, Black studies, and women’s and gender studies. In addition, it draws on communication, media and military studies, and the natural sciences, to name just a few of the numerous disciplines that contribute to Peace Studies. Peace Studies graduates will essentially use humanities and social and natural science methods and critical studies to ask the hard questions about human frailty and human flourishing and the relationship between human and non-human life. Therefore, it is appropriate that the Peace Studies curriculum include the climate emergency, inequalities based on class, gender, sexuality, race, food insecurity, access to education, public health, and political representation. It is vital that Peace Studies also include studies of literature and the visual arts. These fields help ensure that students and the broader community can better understand conflict and its resolution based on empathizing with the problems humans face in various locations.

Students with this emphasis examine issues related to global peace and social justice. The focus of Peace Studies helps prepare students for employment, volunteer assignments, and graduate study in such areas as public policy, conflict resolution, human rights, humanitarian assistance, education, sustainable development, social justice, nonviolent social change, and the understanding of global cultural diversity.

Students pursuing Peace Studies will explore four interconnected areas or themes covered.

Nationalism and Conflict: Students analyze the nation-state as both an idea and fact. They gain insight into the nation-state as one relatively recent social, economic, and political organization. They explore, through case studies, the concrete shapes this idea has taken in modern history. Students take up the question of conflicts within and between nation-states and discuss how such conflicts have been managed, mitigated, and influenced by national and international frameworks.

International and Comparative Studies: Students examine global peace and social justice issues in the international arena. Students receive a solid grounding in global cultural diversity while also considering power and violence as drivers of conflict. They explore such topics as diplomacy, conflict resolution, human rights, and the role of non-governmental organizations. Finally, they discuss issues that transcend national boundaries, such as the refugee crisis and global climate emergency.

The History of Global Activism: Students assess various forms of democratic social organizing and mobilizing to make the world fair and just. They explore the multiple approaches to the struggle for justice and examine how to accomplish social change when it runs counter to powerful interests and existing social norms.

Justice and the Public Good: Students investigate what constitutes justice, the public good, and the sometimes-competing ways we have defined these categories. Students explore the structures of social, economic, and political inequality, which often complicate and impede the quest for justice and the public good. They gain facility in openly and honestly evaluating their own beliefs and those of others. With this competence, students can consider building a world that ensures a good quality of life for people with different experiences and relationships with power.

Common Career Paths

You can do nearly anything with a Mizzou degree, but here are some common career paths taken by graduates of this major:

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