Course Title: Peace-Building and Reconciliation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Peace-Building and Reconciliation

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2012


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2013


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2009

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Damian Grenfell

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3462

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 37, Level 5

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Peace remains a basic hope for millions of people around the globe as they seek to escape protracted violence, social upheaval and war. Over the last two decades there has been a fundamental change in how peace is approached by the international community, and yet violent conflict remains a daily reality for many people and communities while attempts at creating a sustained peace vary significantly in terms of success.

  By doing this course you will develop your knowledge of contemporary approaches to peace-building and reconciliation. Drawing upon theoretical debates and case-studies from around the world, this course evaluates different techniques used to rebuild communities in conflict and post-conflict settings. The course is designed to equip you with knowledge of basic terms, approaches and key debates, while also being taught from a critical perspective that addresses underlying questions of power. Peace and peace-building has become a central dimension in the work of government and state agencies, civil society actors and community-based organisations and cuts its way across diplomacy, humanitarian work, development and security. The course will give emphasis to the professional practice of people working as part of peace related programs, the ethical dimensions and challenges of such work, with first-hand field experiences will be drawn into the learning wherever possible. Some of the key arguments include that:   • peace-building is not politically neutral and needs to be understood in relation to power • peace is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted • the dominant framing of contemporary peace-building tends to be ideologically grounded and can, at times, undermine other opportunities for peace or even give rise to the possibility of new forms of violence.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. diagnose conflict and post-conflict situations and plot potential initiatives for effective action
  2. evaluate policies and programs that make meaningful contributions to strengthening of communities that have experienced the impacts of conflict
  3. identify the importance of and develop analytical skills relevant to immediate and long-term planning aimed at reducing violence and conflict.
  4. identify how peace-building and reconciliation initiatives integrate into broader development, humanitarian and security interventions.

If undertaking this course as a postgraduate student you will be required to demonstrate higher capacity for application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation in your investigation of peace related issues.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be engaged in learning that involves face to face and online activities such as lectures and workshops. The workshops will be activity-based, including role plays, scenarios, debates and class presentations Workshop activities will intersect with the course readings.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for International Development and International Studies students. The Library has produced a number of subject guides that includes quality online and print resources for your studies. Please see International Development and International Studies Library Guides.

The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarians.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes. Assessment may include:

Task 1: Class Exercise, 10% CLO 1,2

Task 2: Class Presentation and written report, 40%, CLO 1,2

Task 3: Written Assessment (long essay), 50%, CLO 2,3,4.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: