Course Title: Intercultural Conflict Resolution

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Intercultural Conflict Resolution

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global Studies, Soc Sci & Plng


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Joseph M. Siracusa

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2328

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 37.5

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Intercultural conflict has had a long history but relatively short academic life as the profound diversity of human cultural expression* bedevils contemporary efforts at international cooperation. This cultural diversity is often ignored or overlooked in the hope that compelling globalizing trends in information, politics and economics will simply overwhelm these inconvenient regional and ethnic peculiarities. But these “peculiarities” are often at the heart of numerous conflicts, sometimes very deadly conflicts. This course will explore the historical relevance of diplomacy, negotiations and mediation to the amelioration, management and resolution of such conflicts by studying, among other things, the Arab-Israeli conflict, with special emphasis on refugees, boundaries and the status of Jerusalem. The readings for this course will be both eclectic and interdisciplinary. Some will provide essential historical background on the Arab-Israeli wars, from partition to the events of 9/11, as well as some other cultural and ethnic conflicts such as those in the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Kosovo), Kashmir, and Iraq. Other readings will draw on international relations, political science, sociology and psychology. There will also be a discussion of the Australian response to the War on Terror.( *The term “culture” in this course follows for the most part Akira Iriye’s definition of culture as a shared system of beliefs, artifacts, ideology, customs, and a way of life. Akira Iriye, “Culture and Power: International Relations and Intercultural Relations,” Diplomatic History, 10 (Spring1979), 115-28; idem, “Culture,” Journal of American History, 77 (June 1990), 99-107; idem, Power and Culture: The Japanese American War, 1941-1945 (Cambridge, MA, 1981), viii.)

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will prepare students for a better understanding and management of conflict. The student will acquire an appreciation of the theoretical and practical framework of conflict and conflict resolution; an appreciation of the historical causes and consequences of conflict and intercultural conflict; and the role of language as the cause of conflict and the means to its resolution. ;

Overview of Learning Activities

A range of learning experiences are planned for this course, including lectures, group problem-solving exercises and group debates. A structured tutorial program is also provided to give students the opportunity to explore intercultural conflict issues in greater depth through active participation in small discussion groups. Learner input: active and constructive participation is expected in the tutorials in addition to weekly reading assignments.

Overview of Learning Resources

The resource of the RMIT Library, surrounding library resources and the internet.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment is designed to enhance the student’s grasp of the various approaches, methods and instruments of intercultural conflict resolution. Tasks will develop strategic, reflective, communicative and facilitative capabilities and enable the student to explore the historical and contemporary relevance of diplomacy, negotiations, and mediation to the amelioration, management and resolution of such conflicts. Assessment includes a major research essay, tutorial presentation and a written exam.