Core courses

Three students from PCJ sit at a table with books and laptops

PCJ core courses

In addition to the core courses listed below, PCJ students are expected to complete a selection of introductory courses in History, Economics/Data Analysis, Psychology/Sociology and International Relations (see Cluster 1 requirements), as well as electives in related disciplines (see Cluster 3 requirements for Majors & Cluster 4 requirements for Specialists).  

PCJ260H1F: Introduction to Peace, Conflict and Justice I: Data and Applications

This course introduces students to reading, interpreting, and communicating data relevant to issues in peace, conflict and justice. Students will develop concrete skills, such as understanding data sources in conflict and justice, exploring applications of data, and methods of data collection. They will reflect on how social constructs can be operationalized into variables that can be employed for qualitative and quantitative analysis in research and policy, and will learn how to use visualizations and descriptive statistics to support arguments and research. Through this course, students will develop a set of essential skills to work on real-world questions related to issues in peace, conflict and justice, while engaging with existing data and their applied research findings to understand their policy relevance. Students must be enrolled in either the PCJ Major or PCJ Specialist program to take this course.

Taught by Paola Salardi (2022-23)

PCJ261H1S: Introduction to Peace, Conflict and Justice II: Exploring Violent Conflicts through the Lenses of Inequality

This course builds on various multi-disciplinary approaches to explore how inequalities shape conflict and post-conflict dynamics. It aims for students to understand and engage critically in debates in the literature and to discover connections between power structures that shape conflicts and their termination. In addition, PCJ261H will offer students practical tools to analyze the intersection of conflict and inequality, as well as its implications for pursuing peace.

Taught by Laura García-Montoya (2022-23)

PCJ360H1F: Intermediate Topics in PCJ: Civil Conflicts, Violence and Socio-Economic Development

This course explores the links between violent conflict and socioeconomic development. It will focus on the macro- and micro-level processes leading to conflict, as well as how conflict and political violence affect people’s lives at the household and community levels. It will also examine how these micro-level processes are linked to wider political and economic issues, including governance and institutional development. Tools from economic theory are applied alongside country-specific and cross-national empirical evidence.

Taught by Paola Salardi (2022-23)

PCJ362H1S: Service Learning

Students are given a service-learning placement with international not-for-profits or governmental organizations. Students work in teams of 4-5 students, and help partner organizations solve important problems. Student teams mostly work independently of the organization, while receiving some mentoring, critique, and advice from the organizations. Students are expected to invest 5-7 hours per week in course projects, in addition to class time. In this non-competitive course, students are asked to engage in deep personal reflection, help teammates, advise other teams, and contribute their skills and talents to their community partners. The course will emphasize how groups work to achieve community goals, how grassroots politics works, the power of social capital, and how these topics link to questions of conflict resolution, brokering peace, and achieving justice.

Taught by Moussa Blimpo (2022-23)

PCJ460H1S: Advanced Topics in PCJ: Conflict and Justice in North America

This course builds on the PCJ commitment to theorizing and understanding the conflict and struggles for justice that occur in entrenched democracies such as Canada and the US. What role do social movements and protests play in democratic governance? When do they opt for peaceful strategies of persuasion, and when do they choose conflict? Almost all protest is aimed at achieving justice; when is it successful, and how can we theorize what counts as justice? Why do states enter into conflict with their own citizens, and how does theorizing such forms of conflict help us to understand other theoretical frameworks of conflict, absence of conflict, and justice? Specifically, the course will explore conflicts over Indigenous land rights and resource extraction; Black Lives Matter; climate change; immigration; abortion; vaccine and mask mandates; and others.

Taught by Courtney Jung (2022-23)

PCJ461H1S: Research Methods in Peace, Conflict and Justice

This course guides each student through their own individual research project, embedded in an interactive group learning process, in order to offer an applied introduction to research methods for peace, conflict and justice studies. Students work through the full research process, including: identifying a research question, learning how to conduct effective literature reviews, developing a rigorous research design, and applying quantitative and qualitative methods to answering questions. Rather than conducting research independently or studying research methods in isolation, the course combines the two: students learn collectively about the different steps in the research process while simultaneously applying those steps to their own research project. This is then complemented by presenting that research and discussing different research projects in class, so as to receive continuous feedback and be exposed to a variety of research methods and approaches.

Taught by Paola Salardi (2022-23)

Elective: PCJ499H1/PCJ499Y1: Peace and Conflict Study Independent Studies Course

This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore topics not covered in the curriculum, or to develop a more detailed focus on topics covered. Approval of the program director is required. The student must obtain written agreement of the instructor who will supervise the independent study, submit the proposal to and obtain approval from the director and program administrator, who will then add the student to the course.