Symbiosis International University Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts

Introduction to Violence, Conflict & Peace Studies

Faculty Course Type Credits Prerequisites Semester
Dr. Jui Shankar General 4 None Any

 Brief Overview 

This is the class for people who want to understand the world and make a difference (and have a life, too!). The primary focus will be on recognizing levels of violence and conflict – from interpersonal, community-level to intrastate, interstate, and global. Within these levels, there is direct violence (physical, observable violence/aggression) and structural violence (in the form of institutional oppression). Many of the insights gained through the course are subject for discussions and possible applications for peacemaking and peace building. My interpretation of peace building is as broad as conflict resolution, to traditional peace movements to a full range of dispute resolution and peace building roles. Also included in this idea are closely related fields like human rights, development, security, social justice and advocacy.

 Course Objectives 

  • Give you a framework for acquiring skills and learning experiences to understand and analyse violence and conflicts.
  • Allow you to demonstrate your analysis of how a complexity-oriented approach to peace building (with its focus on "practical theory)" can make it possible to realistically address the world's many intractable conflicts.
  • Give you an initial set of skills that will be a valuable part of whatever profession you choose.

 Teaching Methodology 

The instructor will not use tests. Instead, the students will be asked to complete a number of fairly structured assignments that demonstrate that they have mastered key insights from the class. These assignments incorporate a fair amount of flexibility, allowing one to focus on those aspects of the course that they find most valuable. The focus of the course, therefore, is practical theory which provides a basis for adapting to unforeseen circumstances.


Students are expected to –

  • Complete all required reading for each scheduled class as per the course outline,
  • Actively participate in class activities and discussions, and
  • Complete all evaluative processes for successful course completion!