1) The students of the Master's Programme in Intercultural Encounters specializing in Religion, Conflict and Dialogue, Master of Theology
2) Other ICE students
- Knowledge & understanding
- A thorough understanding of different roles that NGOs, religions and religious leaders may play in resolving conflicts
- An understanding of the role of international actors in peace processes
- A comprehensive knowledge of different phases of mediation processes
- Subject-specific skills
- The ability to understand the dynamics of peace and mediation processes
- The capability to analyse the role that NGOs, religion and religious leaders play in reconciliation and resolving conflicts
- Transferable skills
- An understanding of what is relevant information and how that information can be analysed
- The capability to compose a report that meets the needs of actors in the field
The course is held for first or second year ICE students. It can be offered either in the spring or the autumn.
This course focuses on the practice of resolving, managing and reconciling conflicts. The course provides insights into the work of NGOs and other actors in the field and helps bring theoretical understanding into practice. The role religions and religious leaders play in resolving, managing and reconciling conflicts is of interest. How can religions and religious actors be involved in reconciliation processes; how can they help or hinder resolving conflicts? The course pays attention to the art of negotiation, mediation and dialogue and especially the role of international facilitators in these processes, which cover all phases from pre-talks to implementation.
Students will prepare an essay on a conflict resolution case of their choosing and present it. The required reading will reflect their chosen case studies. As optional supplementary reading, the following work is recommended:
Wallensteen, Peter (2015): Understanding Conflict Resolution. 4th edition. Sage, London.
The course consists of introductory lectures that aim at preparing students to write independent essays on a conflict case of their choosing. The essays consist of conflict mapping and an analysis of attempts at conflict resolution. Each student will present his/her essay to the group in the context of a moderated group discussion. The case-specific approach will allow for deeper learning through a critical examination of the analytical choices, sources and interpretations presented.
After the round of presentations is complete, the final part of the course consists of visits to Finnish organisations working in conflict and post-conflict situations, which will allow for further discussions based on practical experiences.
Students are assessed on both their essays and their ability to present them and participate in the group discussion. There is an emphasis on the essays and presentations being a learning exercise, and students are encouraged to identify interesting analytical problems and questions. The University of Helsinki’s grading scale of 0–5 will be applied.
The course can only be completed through active participation in contact teaching; 75% attendance is required.