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This is a problem-oriented Peace and Conflict Studies Module designed to meet the needs of international students at Maynooth University. Its intent is to help students understand the nature and impact of conflict, with special reference to the Irish situation. It addresses the problem of how humans manage conflict, in order to instill an understanding of the nature and impact of conflict in society. The Module uses the prism of the long and intractable conflict in Ireland as the basis and primary case study to elucidate the issues involved. This approach will maximize the benefit of the students’ experience of being on the ground in Ireland to give the material a unique authenticity, immediacy and relevance. The Module unites the emphasis on conflict as a process of social interaction with practical examples drawn from Irish experience. By looking at the Irish conflict from historical, political, sociological and international perspectives, students will explore how it is possible to move from a situation of violent conflict towards a transformative peace. The overall matrix and rubric of the module entails interactive contextual tutorial style classes and workshops, together with supervised independent study at Maynooth University, during the entire period of the taught semester. The Module will examine how conflict theories relate to the Irish conflict. In particular the Module will examine how the Enemy System Theory, group identity and territoriality operated as intractability factors in the Irish experience of conflict. It will relate the Irish experience to concepts of general application, focusing on the revolutionary period, the later Northern Ireland troubles and the Irish peace process. The Module will examine the contemporary and historical background of the conflict in Ireland to find a context and model for the road to peace in Ireland. It will include investigation of the impact of grassroots community peace initiatives and how local events and situations are affected, positively and negatively by international factors. Consideration will be given to the etiology1and dynamics of a sustainable peace process.
NOTE: Students cannot take MC302X if they have already completed MC302 in the first semester.