The Program

In the Peace and Global Studies (PAGS) Program, students explore strategies for constructing a just and peaceful world. They study issues of violence in all its forms, including war, poverty, racism, sexism and colonialism; nonviolent initiatives for social change and peacebuilding; and conflict resolution and conflict transformation. The primary goal of the program is to develop students' competencies in fields contributing toward social transformation and peace.

The course of study begins with a sequence of classes in Economics, History, Philosophy and Politics. These classes help students understand the extant structures of our society to open an exploration into the root causes of injustice and violence. At the upper-division level, the program offers courses that analyze ways of transforming existing structures on all levels, from the personal to the global. Courses such as International Law, Conflict Resolution, Philosophy of Social Science, Marxism, Urban Political Economy and Methods of Peacemaking expose advanced students to theories of and methods for change.

The program is committed to creating opportunities for students to apply what they have learned to particular sites under the guidance of experienced organizers and activists. These activities sometimes take the form of semester-long courses in Northern Ireland, Jordan, India or on the Mexico-U.S. border. They may also involve May Term experiences, internships, workshops and participation in some of the many Earlham student groups committed to progressive social change.

PAGS graduates work around the globe. They are affiliated with non-governmental organizations, human rights groups, political campaigns, environmental organizations, alternative media, religious organizations and international agencies. In the United States, they are employed as mediators, rights advocates, journalists, lobbyists, community organizers, doctors, lawyers, ministers, teachers and university professors.

For a comphrensive look at our program, read a recently published chapter in The College Curriculum: A Reader. "Local to the Global, to the 'Beyond' and the In-Between: Earlham College’s Peace and Global Studies Program" was written by PAGS Director Joanna Swanger.

General Education Requirements

Some of the courses that are part of the Peace and Global Studies curriculum fulfill General Education Requirements.

The Major

Students who wish to major in Peace and Global Studies must take six core courses, as well as a minimum of three courses in one of four areas of concentration.

Core Courses

Six core courses are required:

  • Two of the following three courses:
    • PAGS 100 Introduction to Economics
    • PAGS 107 Introduction to International Relations
    • PAGS 170 Introduction to Diplomacy
  • PAGS 240 Global Dynamics and World Peace
  • PAGS 481 Internship
  • PAGS 486 Senior Research Methods
  • PAGS 488 Senior Capstone Experience

The Four Areas of Concentration:

A minimum of three courses in one of four areas of concentration is required:

1. Religious Pacifism

*At least three of the following clustered courses:

  • REL 330 Criminal Justice and Moral Vision
  • PAGS 343 Conflict Resolution
  • REL 425 Religious Responses to War and Violence

2. Law & Justice

*At least 3 of the following clustered courses:

  • PAGS 343 Conflict Resolution
  • PAGS 371 Theories of International Relations
  • PAGS 372 International Law: Sovereignty, Humanitarian Law and Human Rights
  • PAGS 373 International Law: Environment and Development

3. Praxis

*At least 3 of the following clustered courses:

  • PAGS 315 Marxism
  • PAGS 343 Conflict Resolution
  • PAGS 345 Urban Political Economy
  • PAGS 353 Latin America to 1825
  • PAGS 354 Latin America Since 1825
  • PAGS 374 Methods of Peacemaking

4. “Fourth Generation” Peace Studies

*At least 3 of the following clustered courses:

  • PAGS 315 Marxism
  • PAGS 330 Postcolonial Theory
  • PAGS 341 Contemporary Social Thought
  • PAGS 370 Philosophy of Social Science
  • PAGS 371 Theories of International Relations
  • PAGS 374 Methods of Peacemaking

 *Other courses not currently listed might also count as contributing to each concentration; consult directly with the Director of PAGS

* Key

Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:

  • (A-AP) = Arts - Applied
  • (A-TH) = Arts - Theoretical/Historical
  • (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
  • (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
  • (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
  • (D-I) = Diversity - International
  • (D-L) = Diversity - Language
  • (ES) = Earlham Seminar
  • (IE) = Immersive Experience
  • (RCH) = Research
  • (SI) = Scientific Inquiry
  • (W) = Wellness
  • (WI) = Writing Intensive
  • (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year

*PAGS 100 INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMICS (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the 'economic way of thinking.' It focuses on micro and macro issues and attempts to give the student a way to apply these concepts in different historical, political, social, global and ethical contexts. Macroeconomic topics include aggregate economic measures, income determination and macro policy. Micro topics include marginal and cost-benefit analysis as applied to consumers and firms, market structures, income distribution, market failures and the role of the state in a micro context. Also listed as ECON 100, INST 100 and MGMT 100. (A-AR)

*PAGS 107 INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (4 credits)
Introduces the study of politics and problems on the global political agenda at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. Studies the role of power and values in shaping international governance and institutions; security dilemma; development of the post-Cold War era; North-South relations; global environmental problems and problems of human rights. Also listed as INST 107 and POLS 107. (D-I)

*PAGS 150 EARLHAM SEMINAR (4 credits)
Offered for first-year students. Topics vary. (ES)

*PAGS 170 INTRODUCTION TO DIPLOMACY (3 credits)
An experiential course that examines political, economic and social issues in world politics by simulating the work of states in U.N. committees and organizations. Students serve as delegates to a regional Model UN. Scholarly readings on the practice of diplomacy. Also listed as POLS 170. (D-I)

*PAGS 240 GLOBAL DYNAMICS AND WORLD PEACE (4 credits)
Builds upon the introductory sequence in PAGS and addresses the question of how to define what constitutes "peace," whether and how sustainable peace might be possible, and how to best contribute to peacebuilding efforts. Uses a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to explore the root causes of various forms of violence, including war, terrorism, ecological destruction and poverty, and in what ways these forms of violence are related. Prerequisite: At least two of the following courses: PAGS 101, 107, 130; or consent of the instructor. (D-I)

PAGS 301 CLIMATE AND ENERGY POLICY (3 credits)
Explores issues surrounding climate and energy policy. Prerequisite: POLS 104, 105, 107 or 170, or consent of the instructor. Also listed as ENPR 301. (AY)

PAGS 315 MARXISM (4 credits)
An examination of the Marxist intellectual tradition with heavy emphasis on the writings of Marx himself. Examines Marx's critique of human alienation and capitalism, including an analysis of his work, Capital. Looks at how later Marxists, and critics of capitalism generally, have used, criticized and reworked elements of the Marxian analysis to continue developing contemporary conceptions of a non-capitalist or classless society. Prerequisite: ECON 101 or 103. Also listed as ECON 315. (AY)

*PAGS 330 POSTCOLONIAL THEORY (4 credits)
A study of selected topics in Postcolonial Theory. Investigates the philosophical presuppositions of these topics and the relationship between modern philosophy and European Colonialism. Prerequisite: An Interpretive Practices course or consent of the instructor. Also listed as FILM 330 and PHIL 330. (WI, D-I) (AY)

*PAGS 331 CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND MORAL VISION (4 credits)
A critical examination of the social functions and theories of contemporary criminal justice in the United States. Special attention to the collateral social consequences of the "prison industrial complex," paramilitary policing and the death penalty. Fosters moral interpretations that contribute to popular movements for positive change. Prerequisites: An Earlham Seminar and an Interpretive Practices course. Also listed as AAAS 330 and REG 330. (D-D) (AY)

PAGS 341 CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL THOUGHT (4 credits)
Explores emerging trends in social theory and their relation to classical theory. Each year emphasizes a different problem such as power, culture, structure and agency, or determinism and anti-essentialism. Readings and discussion focus on developing the students’ ability to recognize subtle differences that define theoretical perspective. Also listed as SOAN 341.

*PAGS 343 CONFLICT RESOLUTION (3 credits)
Examines the problem of conflict in social theory and practice. Readings introduce types of alternative dispute resolution. Students practice mediation and negotiation skills through simulated conflicts. Race, class and gender perspectives are presented in class activities, readings and films. Also listed as MGMT 343. (D-D)

PAGS 344 DIPLOMATIC HISTORY: THE COLD WAR (3 credits)
Examines the agents and structures that shaped world politics between the end of World War II and the collapse of the Soviet Union concurrent with the Gulf War. Were these five decades "a long peace" or a period of unprecedented violence in world history? Issues and themes include socialist internationalism, McCarthyism, human rights, decolonization, national liberation movements, proxy wars, the nuclear arms race, perestroika and the New World Order. Also listed as HIST 344. (AY)

*PAGS 345 URBAN POLITICAL ECONOMY (4 credits)
A look at the political and economic processes that shape the uses of urban space. Attention to the rise of suburbanization in the United States and the problems of urban poverty, race and class segregation associated with it. Examines historical analysis and issues relating to the "revitalization" of older urban centers. Prerequisite: ECON 101 or 103. Also listed as ECON 345. (D-D)

*PAGS 353 LATIN AMERICA TO 1825 (4 credits)
Examines the origin and development of Latin American civilization, with particular attention to the European Conquest and its effect on Native Americans; and the origin and development of colonial institutions and conditions which led finally to the demise of the colonial system. Also listed as HIST 353 and LTST 353. (D-I) (AY)

*PAGS 354 LATIN AMERICA SINCE 1825 (4 credits)
Emphasizes the 20th century, examining particularly patterns of modernization, development and resistance. Sources include literature, religion and popular culture. Also listed as HIST 354 and LTST 354. (D-I) (AY)

PAGS 360 WORLD FAITHS, WORLD NEWS (4 credits)
Considers the religious aspects of crucial current events, explores emerging religious movements, analyzes ongoing developments within religious groups world-wide, and tries to make (some) sense of it all. Topics typically include: cyber-ethics, fundamentalism, religious pluralism, liberation theologies, post-modern critiques of religion and New Religious Movements. Required of Religion majors. Prerequisite: Coursework or experience in Religion, Peace and Global Studies, Politics, Journalism, or activism with consent of the instructor. Also listed as REL 360.

PAGS 370 PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE (3 credits)
Investigates the philosophical foundations of the social sciences. Introduces students to questions of theory; research method; interpretation; ideology; the intersection of subjectivity, modern society and the Social Sciences; and ethics. Prerequisites: Previous study in Social Sciences or Philosophy and consent of the instructor. Also listed as PHIL 370.

*PAGS 371 THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (4 credits)
Examines classics, trends and innovations in empirical and normative theories of international relations, from Thucydides and Machiavelli to Galtung and beyond. Reading and writing intensive. Provides opportunities for students to apply theoretical perspectives to problems and issues of particular salience to them (e.g. questions raised by off-campus study). Designed for juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: POLS 107 or consent of the instructor. Also listed as INST and POLS 371. (D-I) (AY)

*PAGS 372 INTERNATIONAL LAW: SOVEREIGNTY, HUMANITARIAN LAW AND HUMAN RIGHTS (4 credits)
Surveys concepts and theories of international law and treaty interpretation, focusing on problems of the international law of war and peace (international humanitarian law), and questions of socio-political justice (human rights). Prerequisites: POLS 107 or consent of the instructor. Also listed as POLS 372. (D-I) (AY)

*PAGS 373 INTERNATIONAL LAW: ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (4 credits)
Surveys concepts and theories of international law focusing on environmental problems and policy-making in the global arena. Topics include the emergence of “the environment” as a global issue, the history of international principles of sustainable development,  managing global common property resources, and the human rights consequences of environmental degradation. Prerequisite: POLS 170. Also listed as ENST 373 and POLS 373. (D-I) (AY)

*PAGS 374 METHODS OF PEACEMAKING (4 credits)
A practical course teaching methods for community organizing through interaction with Richmond community groups and educational centers. Analyzes influence of national and international popular culture within Richmond. Prerequisite: PAGS 330 or 370 or consent of the instructor. (D-D)

*PAGS 375 TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (3 credits)
Offers an in-depth study of a current controversy or theoretical problem in IR. Past topics have included feminist theories of IR, the Bomb, and the Responsibility to Protect. Prerequisite: An Interpretive Practices course or consent of the instructor. Also listed as POLS 375. (WI)

PAGS 481 INTERNSHIPS (1-3 credits)

PAGS 482 SPECIAL TOPICS (3 credits)
Selected topics determined by the instructor for upper-level study.

PAGS 483 TEACHING ASSISTANTS (1-3 credits)

PAGS 484 FORD/KNIGHT RESEARCH PROJECT (1-4 credits)
Collaborative research with faculty funded by the Ford/Knight Program.

PAGS 485 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)
An investigation of a specific topic conceived and planned by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser. Intended for an advanced student.

PAGS 486 SENIOR RESEARCH METHODS (3 credits)
In this student-led course, PAGS seniors choose a topic to research for a semester and present their results at a community-wide event. Recent topics have included labor organization in a post-globaliation era and peace communities in Colombia.

PAGS 488 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE (4 credits)
Focuses on an integrative writing project. Provides a setting in which majors can draw together what they have learned in all of their courses and off-campus experiences.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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