Peace and Conflict Studies undergraduate programs

The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies currently offers two undergraduate units of study:

  • PACS2002 - History and Politics of War and Peace, in conjunction with the Department of History
    This unit of study will not be offered in 2012
  • KOCR3602 - Race, Racism and Indigenous Australia, in conjunction with the Koori Centre

KOCR3602 - Race, Racism and Indigenous Australia

Lynette Riley, Koori Centre
Dr Lynda Blanchard, CPACS

This unit explores theories of race and racism focussing on This unit explores theories of race and racism focussing on Indigenous Australian race relations. Opportunity is provided to understand the development of Racism as an impact on individuals – victim and perpetrator; and systemic systems at local, national and international levels. The unit explores what racism means in the social justice agenda through issues such as: equity and anti-racism; in particular the direct impact of racism as a tool in the creation of social and economic disadvantage in Australian Indigenous communities.
This unit aims to provide students with skills to examine theoretical concepts of race and racism and its impact on both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Australia. In analysing race and racism, students will consider theories of structural and cultural violence; and the ways in which racism is linked to poverty, justice and human rights; critical whiteness theory; and race representation. Through such analyses of race and racism – with particular location in Indigenous Australia – students will gain an understanding of visible and invisible racism and skills for unmasking racism as a process of constructive individual and social change.

PACS2002 - History and Politics of War and Peace

This unit of study will not be offered in 2012
This unit will examine the history of the causes of war and the processes and outcomes of peacemaking, with particular emphasis on attempts to limit the frequency and severity of war and the creation of instruments of collective security, notably after the Thirty Years War (Treaty of Westphalia, 1746), the Revolutionary Napoleonic Wars (the Congress of Vienna, 1815), the First World War (the League of Nations, 1919), and the Second World War (the United Nations, 1945).


From holy wars to world wars, from bows and arrows to weapons of mass destruction, what lessons have we learnt about war and how to achieve a more peaceful future?

How have history and politics shaped the wars people fought and the sorts of peace they have accomplished in the last millennium?

What are the origins and impact of aspirations to limit war, control its conduct, create international collective security and promote peace with justice?

Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 3.5m X 7.8 M mural, 1937

Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 3.5m X 7.8 M mural, 1937
Tapestry copy outside United Nations Security Council, New York

In this course, taught jointly by the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and the Department of History, you will learn about the history and politics of the causes of war and attempts to reduce its frequency and impact from the Middle Ages through to the Cold War, the War on Terrorism and the war in Iraq. You will gain a better understanding of how nationalism, ideology, racism and imperialism influence the propensity to engage in war and other mass violence.

Hear CPACS Director and international expert on peace journalism, Associate Professor Jake Lynch, explain the significant role the media has played in the politics of war. Learn from Dr Ken Macnab, whose extensive knowledge and passion for teaching about the history of war and peacemaking is well-known at the University of Sydney. Engage with CPACS Academic Coordinator, Dr Wendy Lambourne, in critical discussions about the vision and performance of the United Nations in its quest to maintain international peace and security.