In the fall 2013 semester, Alex de Waal is teaching the “Conflict in Africa” course at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. This course consists of an overview of theoretical approaches to violence in Africa, an analysis of a number of important case studies, and practical application of the skills of analyzing conflict situations and writing policy or action memos. The focus is both on the origins and nature of violence (theoretical), and also policy responses and solutions (practical). The course is inter-disciplinary and involves readings in political science, international relations, and social anthropology, while also touching on economics, environmental studies and history.
In the spring 2014 semester, Bridget Conley-Zilkic is teaching the “Understanding Mass Atrocities” seminar. The past two decades have witnessed an exponential increase in the amount of popular, scholarly and policy attention paid to systematic violence against civilians. However, this area of concern is beset by a number of challenges, including the array of definitions deployed, the relative youth of the field of study, discrepancies in the knowledge bases that inform research versus policy, and the clash of political realities with the ethical dilemmas. This course introduces students to the core debates around the problem of understanding, preventing and responding to mass atrocities.
Dr. Conley-Zilkic also leads a “How Mass Atrocities End” Independent Study Research Group. Students select cases from a master list of 20th century incidents of mass atrocities and conduct research about how killing campaigns ended, following a template developed by the WPF. These case studies will eventually be accessible online and insights drawn from examination of patterns across cases will inform the theorization of atrocity endings.
Alex de Waal and Bridget Conley-Zilkic also offer guest lectures in other courses at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy or other Tufts schools. Topics of these guest lectures have included Sudan, international mediation efforts, memorialization initiatives as part of transitional justice, peace education, museum practices and more.
The WPF is involved in two emerging projects building on the wealth of research and engagement across Tufts University to offer interdisciplinary insights into atrocities and global peace. As the projects develop, we will provide additional information about them.
Annual Student Seminar Competition
The World Peace Foundation at the Fletcher School invites proposals from students at the Fletcher School for a two-day seminar to be held on campus in February 2014. WPF seminars offer a rare opportunity for leading experts to engage in incisive, collegial and sustained dialogue on the pressing problems of our day. The student competition enables Fletcher School students to frame an issue and interact with leading global experts on the topic of their choosing.
More information, including past winners and guidelines, can be found here.