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Master of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies

Course TitleMaster of Arts in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies
Duration24 Months
Cost Range(NRs.)NRs .110000 - NRs. 165000
Academic YearSemester
Evaluation MethodPercentage
Affiliated toTribhuvan University
FacultyHumanities, Languages, Religious Studies and Library Science
Social Science and Development Studies

Course Description

Although the reality of conflict and aspirations for peace is an ubiquitous feature of human history, the forms and nature of conflict continue to diversify from traditional contests over religion, identity, ideology, and resources (land, water, minerals, and oil) into more complex forms of narco-terrorism, human trafficking, trans-border crime syndicates, and political terrorism. Similarly, the sites of conflicts can also be located from the domestic, organizational, local, to the national and global. What is making the understanding of contemporary conflicts more complex is the way in which various forms and levels of conflicts are intertwined to produce specific manifestations in particular locales. Given the complexity of conflict phenomenon, varied perspectives and analytic frames are evolving in mediation, negotation, and peace practices to deal with the central challenge of our times.

Realizing that traditional single disciplinary focus is inadequate in understanding the varieties and complexities of contemporary conflicts at the dawn of the third millenium, Tribhuvan University (TU) designed the Conflict, Peace and Development Studies (CPDS) as a multidisciplinary Masters program that draws on key insights and strengths from several disciplines in social sciences, humanities, and environmental sciences to provide a comprehensive understanding of the multi-faceted phenomena.

Through a rigorous program of lectures, seminars, research, fieldwork, and internship, the four-semester, two-year M. A. program strives to impart theoretical, methodological, and practical set of knowledge and skills that will equip the CPDS graduates to operate in a variety of roles including academic teaching and research, policy analysis, and as hands-on practitioners in conflict mediation, negotiation, and peace building at local, national, and international level. As a new center dedicated to the teaching and research, CPDS is expected to emerge as a professional forum for academics and practitioners working in the field of conflict, security, and peace.
Theory –practice interface

One of the key innovations of the CPDS program is its comparative approach. Cases from a wide range of conflicts and peace processes in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe are examined to elicit both the universal as well as the historically particular lessons in the interconnected dynamics of conflict, peace and development. CPDS further augments its comparative approach and international knowledge sharing through a regular exchange of students and faculty between its partner institutions, namely: Eastern University, Batticola and Ruhuna University, Matara in Sri Lanka and University of Life Sciences (UMB), in Aas, Norway. The institutional arrangement between the four partner universities is supported by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU).

CPDS began its classes with the first batch of 38 students in September 2007 at its current location at Global College, Mid-Baneshwor, Kathmandu. Since its launch, the program has successfully completed its first semester and the second semester will come to a close in June 2008. Besides the regular teaching, the program has held several workshop and exercises by bringing together academics, experts and students. A number of CPDS students interned as observers during the historic Constituent Assembly elections in April 2008. During the second semester, a CPDS student successfully participated in a short-term peace training workshop held in Austria.

During May 2008, the program successfully ran its field research laboratories in Beldangi of Jhapa district, Shaktikhor of Chitwan district, and border villages of Kapilbastu. The students assigned to each of the three field sites pursued their individual research projects on various aspects of Bhutanese refugee camp life; cantonment and reintegration of Maoist PLA troops; and the causes and impact of communal violence by employing a variety of field research methods and techniques.

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