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Minor

Conflict Studies

Download the minor description (PDF)


  • Program requirements

A complementary minor is taken in addition to a student’s main program. There is no direct admission in a complementary program; the choice is made after admission and registration in a bachelor program.

Compulsory Courses (15 credits)

  • ECS2191 Introduction to Conflict Studies
  • ECS2192 Inequality, Conflict and Social Justice
  • ECS2103 Negotiation*
  • ECS2104 Mediation*
  • ECS3101 Introduction to Technical and Legal Aspects of Conflict Resolution

* If the student has significant training and experience in these areas, other courses may be substituted.

Optional Courses (15 credits)

15 credits from:

  • ECS2123 Dialogue
  • ECS2124 Local and Community Responses to Conflict
  • ECS2126 Indigenous Peoples and Conflict
  • ECS2928 Language and Conflict in Canada / Conflits linguistiques au Canada
  • ECS3123 Psychological Impact of Conflict
  • ECS3124 Conflict in Organizations
  • ECS3125 Peaceful Resolution of Violent Conflict
  • ECS3126 Discrimination and Conflict
  • ECS3140 Gender Relations and Conflict
  • ECS4101 Causes of Conflict I: Biological and Psychological Approaches
  • ECS4102 Causes of Conflict II: Sociological and Rationalist Approaches
  • ECH2330 Theories of Conflicts (UO)
  • ECH3310 Human Rights and Conflict Studies: Compared Perspectives (UO)
  • ECH3320 War and Security: Historical Perspectives (UO)
  • ECH3340 Social inequalities, international agreements and social movements (UO)
  • ECH4320 Conflict Resolution and Peace Building (UO)
  • ECH4325 The Challenge of Democracy in International Affairs (UO)
  • ECH4335 Track Two Diplomacy (UO)
  • ECH4350 Conflicts and the Peace Process in the Middle East (UO)

Some courses have specific prerequisites.

A course that is part of a bachelor degree or a major cannot count as an optional course toward a minor.

ECS 2103 - Negotiation

Concepts and foundations. Difference between mediation and negotiation. Case Studies. Ethical considerations. Role playing and practical exercises. Specificities of negotiation among ethnic and religious groups.

ECS 2104 - Mediation

Concepts and foundations. Objectives of mediation, importance of third parities. Mediation and post-modernity. Ethical considerations. Role playing and practical exercises. Specificities of mediation among ethnic and religious groups.

ECS 2123 - Dialogue

Examination of dialogue as a means of exploring hidden beliefs and the exchange of ideas between participants. Practical exercises that explore the use of dialogue as a means of resolving and transforming conflicts. Training in the use of structured dialogue in professional activities. Specificities of dialogue among ethnic and religious groups.

ECS 2124 - Local and Community Responses to Conflict

Conflict is always experienced at a community level, whether its source is local or international. This course identifies and examines the many different ways in which local or community level actors respond to the causes and effects of violent and non-violent conflict in their midst.

ECS 2126 - Indigenous Peoples and Conflict

A review of conflict and peaceful coexistence between indigenous peoples and settler societies around the world, including the examination of (1) differences among the world’s indigenous peoples in their cultures, political economic situations, and in their relationships with colonizing settler societies and (2) efforts to transcend “contemporary colonialism” and “post-modern imperialism” to establish indigenously defined cultural, social, and political orders.

ECS 2191 - Introduction to Conflict Studies

A multidisciplinary introduction to research in the evolving field of peace and conflict studies, with emphasis on ethnic and religious conflict. Cases are drawn from local to global levels. Includes anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, political science, law, labour relations, theology, philosophy, gender studies and security studies.

ECS 2192 - Inequality, Conflict and Social Justice

This course consists of two components: (1) the examination of the variable linkages between inequality (economic, social, political), injustice, and violent conflict; and (2) the examination of efforts to create environments characterized by equality, equity, justice and peace.

ECS 2928 - Language and Conflict in Canada | Conflits linguistiques au Canada

Overview of relations between English- and French-speaking groups in Canada with emphasis on their identity components. Review of efforts undertaken at various levels to address tensions related to language differences. Dialogue and elaboration of proposals for improving linguistic relations.

Bilingual course. Students are expected to work in both official languages.

ECS 2928 - Language and Conflict in Canada | Conflits linguistiques au Canada

Overview of relations between English- and French-speaking groups in Canada with emphasis on their identity components. Review of efforts undertaken at various levels to address tensions related to language differences. Dialogue and elaboration of proposals for improving linguistic relations.

Bilingual course. Students are expected to work in both official languages.

ECS 3101 - Introduction to Technical and Legal Aspects of Conflict Resolution

Introduction to some concepts pertaining to the analysis and resolution of conflict: judicial norms, contracts, binding character of judicial decisions, judicial organization and structures, formal processes of mediation and negotiation. The course also includes consideration of some aspects of international law, as well as principles of conflict management in key fields areas such as labour, social services, etc.

Prerequisites: ECS 2191 and ECS 2192.

ECS 3123 - Psychological Impacts of Conflicts

A multidisciplinary examination of trauma: Disruption of responsive mechanisms. Decision making in crises. Contributing factors affecting the impact of trauma. Conflict and psychological transformation.

Prerequisites: PSY1101 and PSY1102 or IPA1121 and IPA1122.

ECS 3124 - Conflict in Organizations

Introduction to the resolution of conflicts related to labour relations and policy differences in large organizations, especially in the public sector, with emphasis on ethnic and religious conflict. Roles of employers, workers, unions, third parties, mediation mechanisms, arbitration, and administrative tribunals.

Prerequisites: ECS 2191 and ECS 2192.

ECS 3125 - Peaceful Resolution of Violent Conflict

This course compares and contrasts different approaches to the pacific resolution of violent conflict, such as peace building, peacemaking, and peace operations. Contribution of religions to peace building. An effort is made to understand when, why, and how such approaches are effective or ineffective for managing and resolving conflicts.

Prerequisites: ECS 2191 and ECS 2192.

ECS 3126 - Discrimination and Conflict

Theories of discrimination: direct, indirect and systemic discrimination. Pluralism and multiculturalism. Anti-discrimination law: areas of application. Theories of reasonable accommodation and undue hardship. International agreements and equality laws.

ECS 3140 - Gender Relations and Conflict

Social and philosophical theories of gender. Feminist theories of discrimination and power relations as they apply in conflict situations. Ethnic and religious factors in gender-related conflict issues. Constructive responses and social movements.

Prerequisites: ECS 2191 and ECS 2192. This course was previously ECS2125.

ECS 4101 - Causes of Conflict I: Biological and Psychological Approaches

Examination of the many possible causes of conflict and violence such as aggression, instinct, character traits, learned behaviours, socialization, personality disorders, group influences, mob behaviour, and perceptual issues.

Prerequisites: ECS 2111, ECS 2112, ECS 2192, PSY 1101 or IPA1121, PSY 1102 or IPA1122.

ECS 4102 - Causes of Conflict II: Sociological and Rationalist Approaches

Examination of the many factors affecting conflict and violence including social classes, unequal resource distribution, culture, religion, institutions, decision making. Introduction to game theory in conflict studies.

Prerequisites: ECS 2111, ECS 2112, ECS 2192, POL 1101

Courses offered by the University of Ottawa:

ECH 2330 - Theories of Conflicts (UO)

Study of the contemporary context and issues related to conflict studies, with a focus on current socio-psychological reflections on sources and causes of conflicts, as well as the different perspectives used to study conflict.

Prerequisite: 18 university credits. Previously ECS2320.

ECH 3310 - Human Rights and Conflict Studies : Compared Perspectives (UO)

Study of how and why societies throughout the world differ in their levels and forms of conflict and methods of settling disputes.

Prerequisite: ECH2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110.

ECH 3320 - War and Security : Historical Perspectives (UO)

Historical perspective, with conceptual tools from other disciplines used when appropriate. Theoretical explanations, militarism, the international system, internal order, and the search for peace will be among the topics.

Prerequisite: ECH 2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110. Previously ECS3320.

ECH 3340 - Social Inequalities, International Agreements and Social Movements (UO)

Analysis of social inequality within the global community. Role of international agreements in managing and reducing inequalities, especially those based on race, gender, social class and the level of economic development. Presentation of the impact of social movements. Critical analysis of international agreements.

Prerequisite: ECH2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110. Previously ECS3340.

ECH 4320 - Conflict Resolution and Peace Building (UO)

International conflict resolution is a field of practice and of theoretical study. Through case studies, identification of the various possibilities available to the decision-makers in the process of peace building and conflict resolution.

Prerequisites: ECH2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110 and 54 university credits. Previously ECS4320.

ECH 4325 - The Challenge of Democracy in International Affairs (UO)

Examination of the critical puzzle of democratization and the policy implications of integrating democracy promotion and humanitarian intervention in the foreign policy of a developed country. Defining democracy and international dimension of democratization. Analysis to the perseverance of authoritarian governments and gross human rights abuses in some areas of the world as well as the processes of democratization elsewhere.

Prerequisites: ECH2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110 and 54 university credits.

ECH 4335 - Track Two Diplomacy (UO)

Presentation of Track Two Diplomacy in contemporary international relations as a conflict resolution mechanism; Study of Track Two processes.

Prerequisite: ECH2310 or SOC2151 or ANT2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110 and 54 university credits.

ECH 4350 - Conflicts and the Peace Process in the Middle East (UO)

History of conflicts in the modern Middle east, from the late nineteenth century up to the present day. Examination of the causes and consequences of each of the major wars and place them in their local, regional and international contexts; Study of the ideologies that have shaped these conflicts: such Zionism and the nationalisms.

Prerequisites: ECH2310 or SOC2151 or POL2103 or CRM2301 or PSY2110 and 54 university credits.