nl en

Global Challenges: Peace & Justice



This is a compulsory first-year course for the students of the cohort 2017. Students of the 2013-2016 cohorts who have not yet completed GC: Peace or GC: Justice should also enroll in this course.

Admission requirements

  • Class of 2017: None.

  • Classes of 2013-2016: None.

Course description

The course will introduce the concepts of peace and justice and reveal the complexity of their interconnectedness in a globalized world. The course will address the vexed question of justice and peace being at odds since competing claims to justice often cause a conflict. The causes of conflict will be examined in depth, as well as the changing nature of contemporary conflicts and the changing nature of international responses to them. The course will aim at understanding the origins of violence and its negation by conflict transformation. The course will particularly address the justice gap in achieving a sustainable peace. It will also focus on the legal instruments to achieve peace and justice in the international politics and raise the question of an appropriate use of force in resolving conflicts and protecting the human rights. The course will look at the gross human rights violations caused by conflict, gender and ethnic discrimination, economic injustice or environmental degradation as well as a variety of judicial and non-judicial mechanisms implemented in order to redress the legacies of these massive human rights abuses. The course will prepare students to apply the learned concepts on two real and current case-studies through a conflict simulation.

Weekly overview

Week 1: Peace and Justice Relationship: Introduction
(Seminar 1: Diplomatic Skills Workshop)
Week 2: Causes of War and Changing Nature of Wars
Week 3: Can a Blessing Turn into a Curse? Natural Resources, Conflict and Justice
Week 4: Just War Theory
Week 5: Peace & Justice in International Law (Humanitarian Interventions/International Environmental Law)
Week 6: End of Conflict and Peace-building
(Seminar 6: InterACT simulation training)
Week 7: Peace, Justice and Security
Week 8: Exam (2 full days of simulation)
Week 10: (Final online debriefing)

Learning objectives

  • Understand the practical and normative questions of peace and justice and the different disciplinary approaches to peace and justice

  • Understand causes of war and contemporary conflicts

  • Understand the concepts of peace and justice as processes embracing political, social, economic and psycho-social dimensions

  • Apply analytically and critically learned concepts and relevant literature in both review and argumentative essays

Compulsory textbook

Before start of the course, students should purchase the following textbook:

Yih-Jye Hwang and Lucie Cerna, 2013, Global Challenges: Peace and War, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers: Leiden and Boston.