Course Description

Credits: 15 ECTS credits, 8 semester-hour credits.

Duration: Six weeks. Three hours daily (09:15-12:00).

Form of teaching: The sessions include lectures and group work with presentations and discussions, and also field visits. In addition, a two day workshop on conflict resolution and peace building is held at the beginning of the course.

Content: The course provides a general introduction to the interdisciplinary field of peace studies, combined with more focused study of selected areas and themes. The content varies from year to year according to current conflict areas and the special expertise of the course leader(s). The course has an empirical focus. Topics may include conflict resolution, causes of armed conflicts, issues of gender, identity and human rights, humanitarian intervention, peace keeping and peace building efforts. The conflict resolution segment utilizes interactive techniques in group work, as well as lectures on specific peace processes and negotiations.

Objectives: This course provides a general introduction to and survey of the interdisciplinary field of peace research, combining theory, methodology and empirical aspects. The course lectures and materials are divided into three sections, which are covered throughout the six weeks of the course:

1. The causes of conflict;
2. The dynamics of conflict;
3. Resolving conflict and building peace.

By the end of the course, students should have a basic knowledge of the major theoretical and methodological issues within peace research, both as an academic and an applied research field. The course will analyze violent conflict with a view towards conflict management and resolution. Case studies and relevant issues will be discussed both by the lecturers and the students.

Please note that this is a peace research course, and not a practically-oriented conflict resolution or peace building workshop.

Lectures and lecturers: Approximately 26 lectures will be delivered throughout the six weeks of the course. These lectures will focus on a variety of topics that fall under the three curricular areas outlined previously. Additional class time will be used for student discussions about issues relating to the topics of the course and presentations about issues and conflicts and conflict resolution.

The lecturers represent a variety of disciplines including political science, history, sociology and anthropology, as well as experienced practitioners working in the field of conflict resolution and diplomacy. A list of the lecturers and their respective biographical details will be given to students separately. Many of these lecturers come from the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO:, an independent peace research institute.

Language of instruction: English

Prerequisites: Minimum BA degree in social sciences or other relevant discipline, and preferably professional or personal engagement in peace research and/or conflict resolution and peace building.

Form of evaluation: A final written classroom examination, class participation and group work. Grading is based on the ECTS grading system A-B-C-D-E-F.

Two PRIO course coordinators are responsible for planning the academic program, lectures and activities, and for keeping the course running smoothly. They are also responsible for lecturing on and advising about academic writing and basic methodological issues, and for facilitating lecturers and discussions. They are present for all class sessions, activities, and excursions.

PRIO summer school 2016

PRIO Summer School Coordinators 2016.