New PhD course in peace studies announced

By staff writers
January 11, 2008

One of the few of its kind in the world, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame has announced a Ph.D. program in peace studies.

The program welcomes applications from scholars of all religious and secular traditions for its first doctoral class in Autumn 2008.

Students can pursue a Ph.D. in history and peace studies, political science and peace studies, psychology and peace studies, or sociology and peace studies.

"The program responds to the acute need for more rigorous interdisciplinary study of peace and war," said Robert C. Johansen, director of doctoral studies at the Kroc Institute. "By preparing leading scholars committed to finding solutions to the armed conflict and political violence that cause so much suffering worldwide, Notre Dame will set the agenda for path-breaking academic work in building peace."

The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., who founded the institute with the late philanthropist Joan B. Kroc in 1986, said a doctoral program will further the vision of the Kroc Institute and Notre Dame.

"The new Ph.D. program magnificently unites the academic strength of Our Lady's university with our call to be peacemakers," he said.

Among peace and conflict doctoral programs worldwide, the Kroc program stands out for two reasons. First, it integrates discipline-based knowledge with interdisciplinary learning and research in peace studies. Second, it aims to produce scholars who not only deepen understanding of war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, terrorism, religious conflict, gross violations of human rights, and other forms of violence, but who generate new ways to build a just and sustainable peace.

The Kroc Institute's mission is integral to Notre Dame, an international Catholic research university, said R. Scott Appleby, professor of history and the John M. Regan Jr. director of the Kroc Institute.

"As an academic discipline, peace studies is not tied to any faith, yet major principles of Catholic teaching - the preferential option for the poor, human solidarity, the common good, and the dignity of each person -- are at the heart of peace studies. As part of its research and education agenda, Kroc engages in conversation with the Church's longstanding teachings on war and peace, ethics and the use of force, and the connection between justice and peace."

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