The UNM Peace and Justice Studies Program is a collaborative association of UNM faculty, staff, students and administrators with affiliated organizational and community members. The program affirms the citizenship role of the University, participating in campus and community events relevant to establishing a just and sustainable peace. The program sponsors the interdisciplinary undergraduate Peace Studies Minor, including an internship course placing students with organizations dedicated to peacebuilding, and a capstone seminar in Peace & Conflict. Although housed in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Peace Studies minor is readily integrated into undergraduate programs in other schools and colleges in the university, including education, business, community planning, fine arts, health, and branch campus programs.
The interpersonal, community, institutional, structural and international dimensions of conflict all pose crucial opportunities for scholarly inquiry. Examples of the many research questions open for further exploration are the following:
- What is the role of policies aimed at poverty alleviation, compared to law enforcement, in the reduction of community violence?
- On the international plane, what is the role of poverty alleviation, compared to military intervention, in the prevention or resolution of armed conflicts?
- Does the content of mass media increase or decrease rates of social violence?
- How effective are treatment programs seeking to prevent violence in the home?
- What are the best methods for treating the impacts of traumatic violence on soldiers, children, or rape victims? Is there an inverse relationship between progress in gender and racial equity and the incidence of war or community violence?
- What interpersonal communication skills best reduce strife in individual relationships?
The UNM Peace Studies Program seeks to explore and integrate these and other vital questions concerning peace, conflict and reconciliation.