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Conflict Studies

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  • Program requirements

Saint Paul University offers an MA in Conflict Studies, which is conferred jointly by the senates of Saint Paul University and the University of Ottawa. The focus of the program is on the ethnic and religious identity distinctions that characterize many deep-rooted conflicts. The program explores the meaning of and generates processes for reconciliation, healing, and structural change. It combines a social science orientation common to Conflict Studies programs with a philosophical, ethical and theological orientation. The field of specialization is ethnic and religious dimensions of conflict in Canada.

Program Objectives

  1. Analysis: to explore the connections between conflict, violence, social justice, conflict resolution and peacebuilding in human communities;
  2. Training: to develop the attitudes, knowledge, research and skills necessary to analyze ethnic and religious conflicts so as to cultivate peace;
  3. Outcomes: to produce graduates who are competent : to analyze ethnic and religious conflicts in a multidisciplinary perspective and to devise and evaluate appropriate conflict resolution strategies.

Two levels of learning are distinguished: 

  • Foundational Level: this level entails intensive study of major themes in Conflict Studies. Graduate training is initiated in research skills and methodologies in preparation for the research project.
  • Advanced Level: this level of study concentrates on the development of specific dimensions of Conflict Studies. Research seminars meet to define the problem, purpose, scope and methodology of the master’s research project.
  • EATON Heather, Full Professor
    Ecological dimensions of conflict; Religious aspects of conflict and peace; Gender/feminism, peace and conflict research
  • GOULET Jean-Guy, Full Professor
    Aboriginal Peoples; Resistance to policies of assimilation and extermination; Role of language and religion in the construction of identities at the levels of the individual and the collectivity, qualitative research methods and ethical issues
  • PANDIMAKIL Peter, Associate Professor
    Social justice and human development; art and religion; religions and pluralism; philosophical theology; theories and interpretation of myth; ethical issues in cultural anthropology.
  • PARENT Geneviève, Associate Professor
    "Intimate genocides" such as the atrocities in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, traumatism, transitional justice, healing and reconciliation
  • REDEKOP Vern Neufeld, Full Professor
    Hermeneutical framework for understanding deep-rooted conflict between identity groups; religious based conflict, protesting crowds and police; and the role of identity-based conflict in economic life, methodology of community-based conflict resolution
  • RIGBY Paul
     
  • RIOUX Jean-François, Associate Professor
    History of conflict resolution; peacebuilding; conflict analysis; disarmament and arms control; ethics of armed intervention
  • TESSIER Hélène, Associate Professor
    Conflit et transformation; éthique, subjectivité et conflit; droits de la personne et droit à l'égalité; genre et rapports de domination; justice sociale et conflit

Admission to the program is competitive. Minimum requirements are:

  • Four year undergraduate degree with honours (or a major) in Political Science, Psychology, Theology, Ethics or the equivalent, such as a BA with honors (or a major) in criminology, philosophy, or law;
  • A minimum (70-74%) "B" average in the baccalaureate degree.

Experience in the field of conflict resolution or a related area will also be taken into consideration. Candidates are interviewed as part of the selection process.

If the minimum requirements for admission to the first year are not satisfied, a candidate may enroll in a qualifying program, the content of which is determined by the Coordinator of the program on a case by case basis. A student who enrolls must submit a new application prior to being admitted to the MA program.

In accordance with the University of Ottawa regulation, assignments, examinations, research papers and theses can be produced in either English or French.

Some additional documents, and in some cases specific forms, are required. For more information, please see the page Step 4: Gather the documents needed for the assessment of your application.

Students may prepare for a master's degree in one of two ways:

  1. The successful completion of 27 credits at the graduate level and the preparation and effective defence of a thesis (ECS 6999) before a board of at least two examiners, members of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, and presided over by a chair appointed by the Director of Graduate Studies of the Faculty of Human sciences. The master's thesis should be approximately 100 pages and not exceed 150 pages in length.
  2. The successful completion of 36 credits at the graduate level including a research paper submitted at the end of the Research Seminar (ECS 6140). The research paper should be about 50 pages in length.

For admission to the thesis option, a student admitted to the MA in Conflict Studies program must first obtain 9 credits (through courses or through advanced standing), and then apply to the Admissions Committee for permission to enroll in the thesis option. To do so, the student must find a suitable supervisor and submit a detailed topic and plan of research. The Committee will examine the application and inform the student of its decision.

If a student chooses the thesis option and the thesis uses a quantitative methodology, a course in quantitative methodology is required. If the thesis uses a qualitative methodology, one of the following is required: a course in qualitative methodology, participant observation, content analysis, evaluation research or an honours thesis in the area of qualitative methodology.

Duration of the Program

Students are expected to complete all requirements within two years. The thesis must be submitted within four years of the date of initial registration in the program.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 credits) must withdraw from the program.

Compulsory Courses (21 credits)

All students must take the following seven courses:

  • ECS5101 IDENTITY-BASED CONFLICT (3cr.)
  • ECS5110 HISTORY OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION (3cr.)
  • ECS5302 APPROACHES TO CONFLICT AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (3cr.)
  • ECS5304 ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF CONFLICT (3cr.)
  • ECS5311 RELIGIOUS IDENTITIES AND CONFLICT (3cr.)
  • ECS5131 CONFLICT RESOLUTION: ANALYSIS AND DESIGN (3cr.)
  • ECS5330 CONFLICT RESOLUTION: RESULTS ASSESSMENT (3cr.)

Research (6 credits) (option with research paper)

  • ECS5103 RESEARCH METHODS (3cr.)
  • ECS6140 RESEARCH SEMINAR (3cr.)

Research (3 credits) (option with thesis)

  • ECS5103 RESEARCH METHODS (3cr.)
  • ECS6999 THÈSE DE M.A. / MA THESIS

Elective Courses (9 credits)

Students select three courses (one if the thesis option is chosen) from the list of electives. A maximum of two graduate courses (6 credits) may be taken from other faculties and universities with prior authorization from the Director of the program.

ECS 5101 - IDENTITY-BASED CONFLICT (3cr.)

Theoretical concepts to understand the dynamics of religious and ethnic conflicts. Application of these concepts to particular situations. Religion, ethnicity, gender, class, and other identity signifiers. Human identity needs, mimetic theory, and structures of domination. Ethno-nationalist movements and victimization.

ECS 5103 - RESEARCH METHODS (3cr.)

Critical evaluation of research findings in the human sciences. Qualitative and quantitative methods of gathering, validating, and interpreting evidence. Issues in research ethics. Applications in graduate research projects and theses. 

ECS 5110 - HISTORY OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION (3cr.)

Conflict resolution approaches and institutions created over time in different regions of the world. Traditional dispute resolution mechanisms. State and law. Democratic institutions. Third party involvement and promotion of peace.

ECS 5112 - TRAUMA, HEALING AND RECONCILIATION (3cr.)

Violence and trauma in the context of identity-based conflicts. Emotional, spiritual, physical and cognitive dimensions of the human person. Reconciliation, forgiveness and trauma healing.

ECS 5114 - GENOCIDE AND RECONCILIATION (3cr.)

Degeneration of conflicts into unforgettable and unforgivable atrocities. Causes, mechanisms, attitudes leading to extreme mass violence. Role of faith in healing memories. Case study of genocides in Germany, South Africa, Rwanda and among indigenous peoples in North and South America.

ECS 5116 - POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CONFLICT (3cr.)

Influence of development and allocation of economic resources on political conflict, including ethnic and religious strife. Influence of globalization on the propensity of societies toward violence.

ECS 5118 - CONTEMPORARY PEACEBUILDING (3cr.)

National and international policies and programs designed to eliminate the causes of violent conflict and prevent their re-emergence. Dialogue and reconciliation. Political and economic reforms. Local development and empowerment.

ECS 5119 - MEDIATION AND NEGOTIATION: THEORY AND RESEARCH (3cr.)

Theoretical and empirical aspects of strategies and processes of mediation and negotiation. Critical examination of contemporary approaches to mediation and negotiation. Cases of successful or unsuccessful negotiations. Roles, capacities and motivations of parties.

ECS 5120 - SELECTED TOPICS IN CONFLICT STUDIES (3cr.)

ECS 5131 - CONFLICT RESOLUTION: ANALYSIS AND DESIGN (3cr.)

Basic conflict analysis design and methodologies in intervention strategies for dealing with identity-based conflict. Sequencing, timing and other contingencies due to emotional factors. Case presentations. Ethical questions related to planning of conflict resolution strategies.

ECS 5302 - APPROACHES TO CONFLICT AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (3cr.)

Approaches employed to analyze conflict and to build peace with social justice. Contemporary theories from political sciences, social psychology, and theology addressing conflict and social justice.

ECS 5304 - ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF CONFLICT (3cr.)

Conceptual and procedural ethical issues concerning norms of justice and reconciliation. Relation of ethical issues to self-other dialectics, dynamics of discourse and power, gender and class, memory and agency.

ECS 5311 - RELIGIOUS IDENTITIES AND CONFLICT (3cr.)

Implication of religious identities, traditions and actors in escalating, diverting or transforming deep-rooted conflicts in different societies. Comparative multi-religious framework. Sociology of religion and contextual theological hermeneutics.

ECS 5313 - SPIRITUALITY AND CONFLICT (3cr.)

Impact of conflict on spirituality and of spirituality on conflict. Part played in conflict by the spiritual life and convictions of those involved.

ECS 5315 - GENDER AND CONFLICT (3cr.)

Multidisciplinary examination of cases of domination and marginalization. Social and cultural constructions of gender. Role of these constructs in structures of domination. Challenges met in transforming these structures.

ECS 5316 - INDIGENOUS CULTURES, CONFLICT AND COEXISTENCE (3cr.)

Implication of indigenous identities in the emergence and transformation of conflicts. Ethnic and religious dimensions of indigenous cultural resurgence in Canada and other national contexts. Conflict reduction and pluralistic coexistence.

ECS 5330 - CONFLICT RESOLUTION: RESULTS ASSESSMENT (3cr.)

Hermeneutical and empirical methodologies used to analyze and evaluate conflict resolution strategies, conflict resolution projects and programs. Case study presentations.

ECS 5333 - DIALOGUE: THEORY AND RESEARCH (3cr.)

Dialogue as exploration of hidden assumptions and the flow of ideas. Conflict as a rupture of dialogue within oneself or between people. Theoretical background and research to understand processes needed for a dialogue to achieve deeper levels of mutual understanding among participants.

ECS 5501 - CONFLITS IDENTITAIRES (3cr.)

Concepts théoriques utilisés dans l'étude de la dynamique des conflits religieux et ethniques. Application de ces concepts à diverses situations. Religion, ethnicité, rapports sociaux de sexe, classe sociale et d'autres signifiants de l'identité. Besoins humains d'identité, théorie mimétique, structures de domination, mouvements ethno-nationalistes et victimisation.

ECS 5503 - MÉTHODES DE RECHERCHE (3cr.)

Évaluation critique concernant les résultats de la recherche en sciences humaines. Méthodes qualitatives et quantitatives pour la collecte des données, leur validation et leur interprétation. Aspects éthiques de la recherche. Application à des projets de recherche universitaires et à la rédaction de thèse.

ECS 5510 - HISTOIRE DE LA RÉSOLUTION DE CONFLITS (3cr.)

Approches et institutions de résolution de conflits créées au cours de l'histoire dans différentes régions du monde. Mécanismes traditionnels de résolution de conflits. L'État et le Droit. Institutions démocratiques. Implication des tierces parties. Promotion de la paix.

ECS 5512 - TRAUMATISMES, GUÉRISON ET RÉCONCILIATION (3cr.)

La violence et le traumatisme dans le contexte de conflits identitaires. Composantes affective, spirituelle, physique et cognitive de l'être humain. Réconciliation, pardon et guérison des traumatismes.

ECS 5514 - GÉNOCIDE ET RÉCONCILIATION (3cr.)

Dégénérescence des conflits en atrocités inoubliables et impardonnables. Causes, mécanismes et attitudes qui mènent à des formes de violence collective extrêmes. Rôle de la foi dans la guérison de la mémoire. Étude de cas de génocide en Allemagne, en Afrique du Sud, au Rwanda, ainsi qu'en Amérique parmi les populations indigènes.

ECS 5516 - ÉCONOMIE POLITIQUE DES CONFLITS (3cr.)

Influence du développement et de l'allocation des ressources économiques sur les conflits, en particulier les conflits ethniques et religieux. Influence de la mondialisation sur la propension des sociétés au conflit et à la violence.

ECS 5518 - CONSOLIDATION DE LA PAIX CONTEMPORAINE (3cr.)

Politiques et pratiques nationales et internationales mises en oeuvre afin d'éliminer les causes des conflits et de prévenir leur récurrence. Dialogue et réconciliation. Réformes politiques et économiques. Développement social et prise en charge de leur destin par les communautés locales.

ECS 5519 - MÉDIATION ET NÉGOCIATION: THÉORIE ET RECHERCHE (3cr.)

Aspects théoriques et empiriques de divers processus et stratégies de médiation et de négociation. Analyse critique des principales approches contemporaines de la médiation et de la négociation. Cas de négociations réussies ou non. Rôles, capacités et motivations des personnes impliquées.

ECS 5520 - THÈMES CHOISIS EN ÉTUDES DE CONFLITS (3cr.)

ECS 5531 - RÉSOLUTION DE CONFLITS : ANALYSE ET CONCEPTION (3cr.)

Analyse de base des conflits et méthodologies dans l'élaboration de stratégies d'intervention dans les conflits identitaires. Le temps séquentiel, la durée et les effets de facteurs émotifs. Études de cas. Questions éthiques reliées à la planification des interventions en résolution de conflit.

ECS 5702 - APPROCHES DES CONFLITS ET DE LA JUSTICE SOCIALE (3cr.)

Approches employées dans l'analyse des conflits, la promotion de la paix et de la justice sociale. Théories contemporaines des conflits et de la justice sociale tirées des sciences politiques, de la psychologie sociale et de la théologie.

ECS 5704 - DIMENSIONS ÉTHIQUES DES CONFLITS (3cr.)

Problématiques éthiques conceptuelles et procédurales liées aux normes de la justice et de la réconciliation. Liens des thèmes éthiques à la dialectique du soi et de l'autre, à la dynamique du discours et du pouvoir, au genre et à la classe, à la mémoire et au rôle des agents humains.

ECS 5711 - IDENTITÉS RELIGIEUSES ET CONFLITS (3cr.)

Rôle des identités, traditions et facteurs religieux dans l'escalade et la transformation des conflits sociaux profondément enracinés. Cadre analytique multi-religieux. Sociologie des religions et herméneutique théologique contextuelle. 

ECS 5713 - SPIRITUALITÉ ET CONFLITS (3cr.)

Influence des conflits sur la spiritualité et de la spiritualité sur les conflits. Rôle des conflits dans la vie spirituelle et influence sur les croyances des personnes touchées.

ECS 5715 - RAPPORTS SOCIAUX DE SEXE ET CONFLITS (3cr.)

Examen multidisciplinaire de cas de domination et de marginalisation. Les rapports sociaux de sexe comme construction sociale et culturelle. Rôle de ces constructions dans des structures de domination. Défis particuliers aux tentatives de transformer ces structures.

ECS 5716 - CULTURES INDIGÈNES, CONFLITS ET COEXISTENCE (3cr.)

Implication des identités indigènes dans l'émergence et la transformation des conflits. Résurgence culturelle et religieuse indigène au Canada et dans d'autres contextes nationaux. Capacités de réduction des conflits et de coexistence pluraliste.

ECS 5730 - RÉSOLUTION DE CONFLITS : RÉSULTATS ET ÉVALUATION (3cr.)

Usage de méthodologies de type herméneutique et empirique dans l'analyse et l'évaluation d'initiatives de résolution de conflits, de projets et programmes de résolution de conflits. Études de cas.

ECS 5733 - DIALOGUE : THÉORIE ET RECHERCHE (3cr.)

Le dialogue comme processus d'exploration des croyances cachées et échange d'idées. Le conflit vu comme rupture du dialogue en soi ou entre personnes. Bases théoriques et résultats de la recherche pour que le dialogue améliore le niveau de compréhension mutuelle entre les participants.

ECS 6140 - RESEARCH SEMINAR (3cr.)

ECS 6540 - SÉMINAIRE DE RECHERCHE (3cr.)

ECS 6999 - THÈSE DE M.A. / MA THESIS

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