Analysis: Understanding Conflict (533)

Catherine Barnes

Understanding the factors that cause a conflict is crucial to analysis and transformation/resolution of that conflict. Good conflict analysis skills are a central component of designing effective strategies for transforming conflict and building peace. This course will use a variety of analytical models to:

  • Understand different categories of conflict and their sources;
  • Explore conflict relationships and the motivations and worldviews of those involved; and
  • Analyze conflicts as systems to identify leverage for systemic change.

In this course you will explore conflicts through a number of lenses, including power dynamics, structural violence, political economy and drivers of change analysis, gender analysis, and the influence of identity and trauma. Case studies of inter-personal, community, societal, and global-level conflicts will bring analysis to life through role plays and simulations, giving you a chance to practice analysis skills. Participants will become more self-aware of their own personal role and biases in conflicts through discussions of the “ethics of analysis.” The class will survey various “criteria for effectiveness” for peacebuilding and consider how to make linkages between a broad analysis of a conflict and how best to respond under current conditions to support the possibility for sustainable transformation. Small group work will focus on design intervention and programmatic responses to specific conflict situations.

Syllabus