The University for Peace Experience: Foundation Course


We began the UPeace academic experience with the “Foundation Course”.  I’ll qualify the following by saying that this is definitely an important class for those who are either unfamiliar with peace and conflict studies, possess relatively weak English, or have not been in an academic environment for some time.

Ultimately though, I found it very understimulating.  There were a few interesting points, but for the vast majority of the content professed to us I felt confident that I could have given the lectures myself without preparation.  So that was kind of lame, but it was a good chance to meet a lot of people as the classes were mixed, and not drawn along programme lines.

The graded assignments were pretty Mickey Mouse: two 2,000 word papers, one wherein we were to take a conflict of our choosing and apply it to a specific model of analysis (I chose the end of the South African Apartheid) and one wherein we were to examine a conflict from our home country in standard essay format (I chose the structural violence of discrimination against Aboriginal peoples in Canada).  There was also a group presentation on one of five theories at the end of the course (I chose Marxism), which was fun because we had the imperative to wear suits and be all fancy.

So yeah… all things considered, it’s a good programme to have in place, but I kind of wish it had been optional; I would have gladly written a 30 or 40 page research paper in its place.

Published in: on 17 September 2009 at 11:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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