If you are pursuing an MA in International Policy and Development you are required to choose a specialization, while MPA students have the option of a specialization.

Why Become a Conflict Resolution and Social Justice Specialist?

If you care about ending war, violence, polarization, and marginalization, this specialization is for you. You’ll gain the skills, the knowledge, and the courage you need for conflict resolution:

  • Represent the interests of all parties.
  • Identify the sources of conflicts.
  • Analyze and intervene.

If you want to work toward an equitable society and see social justice as the way to get there—ensuring that every person is able in exercise the agency they are due in society—then knowledge and skills in conflict resolution are absolutely necessary. 

Specialization Overview

  • Explore how conflict interveners can minimize the destructive effects of conflict while transforming relationships and oppressive structures.
  • Gain professional skills for jobs at the grassroots level (community organizations, NGOs), the institutional level (international NGOs, research organizations, think tanks), and at policy institutions (UN, World Bank, other major international organizations).
  • Integrate theory, research, and practice through critical analysis, simulations, case studies, and internships.
  • Reflect on personal ethics when dealing with social challenges such as migration, refugees, poverty, insecurity, discrimination, human rights violations, and environmental crisis.
  • Strengthen key skills, such as communication, listening, negotiation, mediation, and dialogue.
  • Develop an interdisciplinary lens to identify, analyze, and frame conflicts using theoretical concepts and models.

Sample Courses

  • Conflict, Security, and Development
  • Seminar: Integration Theory, Research, and Practice
  • Politics of Development 
  • Globalization and Development 
  • Development Theory & Practice 
  • Culture and Conflict 
  • Decolonizing Knowledge for Racial Equity 
  • Dismantling Whiteness, Capitalism, and Patriarchy for Racial Equity 
  • Storytelling for Change 
  • Women and War 
  • Qualitative Data Analysis 
  • Fieldwork and Reporting 
  • Racism and Policy 
  • International Migration, Security, and Human Rights 
  • Program Evaluation 
  • Non-State Armed Actors 
  • Economic Statecraft, Culture, and Conflict Resolution 
  • Directed Study: Summer Peacebuilding Program 
  • Allies at MIIS 
  • Human Trafficking 
  • Peace Education for the 21st Century (taught in Spanish)
  • Environment and Sustainable Development in the Spanish Speaking World (taught in Spanish)

Professional Experience

You have several opportunities to gain profession experience and supplement your studies: 

  • Enroll in an immersive learning program such as the International Professional Service Semester with work that involves analyzing and/or intervening in conflicts, conducting empirical research on conflict situations and conflict parties, and using conflict resolution skills to manage social change and build social justice.
  • Participate in peace and conflict workshops to enhance your skills, and in conferences and other meetings to build your network. Pursue additional certificates in mediation, peacebuilding, and conflict transformation.
  • Secure an internship with a nonprofit organization, international organization, or government agency that involves analyzing, intervening in, and managing social conflict. 
  • Update your résumé regularly to reflect your accumulating academic and professional development experiences and highlight your growing expertise.

Your Network of Support

  • Students have direct access to our faculty, who combine academic expertise with years of professional experience. They mentor and guide you through your studies on campus as well as during your internship or research trips.
  • Our Center for Advising and Career Services (CACS) provides you with customized advising and professional development services.
  • A dedicated staff for Professional Immersive Learning and Special Programs advises students interested in participating in semester-long immersive learning programs, fellowships, and internship worldwide.
  • Our Alumni Relations Office maintains alumni connections to support your efforts in finding the right career.

Faculty Coordinator

Pushpa Iyer

Associate Professor; Director, Center for Conflict Studies; Chief Diversity Officer

Email: piyer@miis.edu
Tel: (831) 647-7104
Office: McCone Building M124D