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Peace and World Security Studies

The Hampshire-based Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies (PAWSS) is a multidisciplinary educational program designed to stimulate student and faculty interest in the study of critical international issues, especially those connecting issues of conflict and the environment.

Pursuing the study of peace and world security studies at Hampshire can allow for a wide range of self-designed concentrations—for example, an analysis of the relationship between militarization, economic development, and human rights in a particular region, or an investigation into traditional and innovative strategies for peacemaking and conflict resolution.

PAWSS is a highly diversified program entailing the development of new courses, the sponsorship of public lectures and symposia, and the publication of specialized resource materials.

Affiliated Faculty

  • Michael Klare, director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies

Student Project Titles

  • Enemy of My Enemy: A Short History of Modern Iraq
  • Iranian Nuclear Defiance and the Geopolitical Environment of the Middle East
  • Hamas and the PLO: Implications of Political Integration
  • American Exceptionalism and the Bush War Doctrine
  • Can We Achieve Peace: Portraits of the Peace Movement and the Israel/Palestine Conflict
  • Birth, Rebirth & Radicalization: The Muslim Brotherhood and the Politicization of Islam
  • Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland
  • Lifting Our Skirts in Protest: Traditional Insult and Women’s Resistance to Colonialism in Kenya and Nigeria
  • Prisoners of Guantanamo
  • The Right to Food in Bhutan: A Case Study

Sample First-Year Course

Atomic History: Hiroshima to Iran

This course will explore the technical, cultural, political, and social significance of the nuclear age. We will examine the development of the atomic bomb and the role played by nuclear weapons in American foreign policy and the dynamics of the U.S.-Soviet arms race. Topics will include: the development and use of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the plight of the hibakusha, the debate over international control, the culture of the weapons labs, the seduction of nuclear technology and the nuclear arms race, fears of Armageddon, nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation, as well as the prospects for nuclear disarmament.

Sample Courses at Hampshire
  • America & the World: The Global Debate over U.S. Hegemony
  • The Anthropology of Human Rights
  • The Art of War & Peace
  • Atomic History: Hiroshima to Iran
  • Biopower, Biopolitics & Bare Life
  • Draft Resisters & Warriors: the Social Construction of Military Service
  • Evolution of International Regimes: From the League of Nations to Kyoto
  • Global Resource Politics
  • Identity & Politics
  • Interrogating Fear: Bioterror, the Environment & the Construction of Threats
  • Israel & Palestine: the Clash of Nationalisms
  • The National Security State: Secrecy & Covert Operations in American Foreign Policy from the Cold War to the Present
  • Political Islam in Comparative & Theoretical Perspective
    Political Research & Writing
    Poverty & Wealth
Through the Consortium
  • International Organizations (SC)
  • Oil & Water Don’t Mix: Geopolitics, Energy & the Environment (MHC)
  • The Prevention of Violence and Creation of Peace (UMass)
  • Punishment, Politics & Culture (AC)
  • Resource Policy & Planning (UMass)
  • Seminar in International Relations & Comparative Politics (SC)
  • Seminar in War & Peace (AC)
  • The U.S., Israel & the Arabs (MHC)

Facilities and Resources

Peace and World Security Studies
Since its inception in 1983, the aim of the PAWSS program has been to enhance faculty and student awareness of critical peace and security issues, and to facilitate the examination of these issues in the college classroom. Through its Student Leadership Program, PAWSS also encourages students to pursue advanced education in peace studies and to explore internships and career opportunities with organizations concerned with peace, arms control, development, ecological balance, and human rights.

Global Education Office
The Global Education Office at Hampshire offers students the opportunity to study abroad as part of their time at Hampshire. Through that office, Hampshire offers programs in France, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, China, Cuba, Germany, India, and Mexico. Hampshire also assists with locating and planning study abroad through other programs, fellowships, colleges, or individually designed field study programs.

Five College International Relations Certificate Program
Students participating in the PAWSS program can also be certified in international relations through the Five College International Relations Certificate Program. To do so, students must complete courses on introductory world politics, global institutions or problems, the international financial/commercial system, the historical development of the international system since 1789, contemporary American foreign policy, and the Third World. Students must also become proficient in a foreign language through the completion of two years of study at the college level or the equivalent.

Global Migrations Program
The Global Migrations Program seeks to rethink old Cold War paradigms of knowledge and citizenship in light of the unprecedented movements of persons across national and cultural borders that characterize our globalizing world. Students are able to take courses designed to focus on migration and movement over discrete nations and cultures; courses that emphasize “routes” over “roots.”

Annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture
The annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture, which honors the teaching, scholarship and activism of the late Eqbal Ahmad, a long-time professor of world politics at Hampshire College, often deals with issues of peace and world security. The event has attracted many notable speakers. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan inaugurated the series in academic year 1998–1999. Other speakers have included renowned professor and author of Orientalism, Edward Said; Palestinian doctor and recent candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian National Authority, Mustafa Barghouthi; Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Middle East Institute, Columbia University; as well as New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh, who broke the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

Recent News in Peace and World Security Studies

Michael Klare

Professor of Peace and World Security Studies Michael Klare writes for the Huffington Post on 'Keystone XL, Cold War 2.0, and the GOP Vision for 2016.'

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