The Peace & Justice Studies Program takes a global view, rejecting ethnocentrism and celebrating cross-cultural differences. We emphasize the interconnectedness of peoples and problems, such as the relationship between unemployment in the industrialized world and labor exploitation in poorer countries, as well as the relationship between oppressed minority communities in the developed world and the peoples of the Third World.
Using a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates various disciplines throughout the humanities and the social and natural sciences, Peace & Justice Studies analyzes issues both quantitatively and qualitatively. Historical, literary, or philosophical approaches, as well as computer analyses, are available tools for analysis. We can also learn from literature and scientific studies, as well as personal experiences.
Borrowing from educators such as Paolo Freire and John Dewey, we help students develop critical reasoning and evaluation skills. Peace & Justice Studies provides a stimulating and meaningful alternative to passive, vocational education. Students consider conflicting perspectives and examine the principles, values, and emotions that underlie them. PJS promotes knowledge about peace and justice, but also knowledge for peace and justice, linking critical thinking with social responsibility.
People increasingly are questioning the thinking and structures fostering global problems, et often despair about making any difference. The history of social movements, however, shows that people can and do promote significant social change when they overcome their immobilizing despair and embrace new hopes. Higher education has contributed to these goals, but could do more.