• Religions and Empires (I)
  • Religions and Empires (II)
  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
  • Political Economy of Peace and War
  • Thesis Preparation
  • Thesis

All courses are 3 credit courses

Religion and Empires (I)

The course provides students with a systematic knowledge and understanding of religious topography and religious history of Rome, Italy and the Mediterranean. It explores various religious traditions from the foundation of Rome to the Protestant Reformation. The focus is on topics related to the ancient Etruscan religion, Roman religious beliefs and practices, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as traditions that shaped to a significant extent the cultural and political history of Rome, Italy and Europe. Students will also learn about the cultural, social and political impact of these religious traditions on the later development of Europe and the Western world in general. This course enables students to choose elective courses and helps them design their own academic profile, which best suits their research interests and future careers.

Religion and Empires (II)

The course offers students an insight into the religious landscape of Rome, Italy and Europe, from the Protestant Reformation to the present. The course is designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge and understanding of religious topography and religious history in modern (post-Medieval) times. The course covers the period from the Protestant Reformation to the present. The course explores topics related to the role of religion in modern, secular societies, and complex interactions between religion, culture and politics in modern and postmodern times. 

Conflict Resolution and Negotiation

Conflict is part of daily life: it can be destructive as well as constructive but it needs to be dealt with productively. Resolution is a collaborative process by which differences are handled and outcomes are jointly agreed by the interested parties. It is the transformation of the relationship and situation such that solutions are sustainable and self-correcting in the long term. This course will introduce the student to conflict, the cause, how it happens and why it occurs. Techniques and methods to approach, manage and resolve will be introduced, including good listening and communication skills. Various forms of intervention will be examined and applied: negotiation from a humanitarian perspective with armed groups, using selected case studies, will be examined and applied in depth.

Political Economy of War and Peace

This course focuses on the international political and economic aspects of conflicts from WWII up to today. It explores the concepts of Empire and Hegemony in the contemporary international affairs. The course also investigates various theories and strategies to avoid conflicts, such as hegemonic stability theory, balancing between major powers, cooperation within international institutions, trade integration, or socialization of norms and principles.
The absence of a major war on a global scale does not indicate the presence of peace, since conflicts and competitions take place on a different level (through, for instance, trade wars, sanctions, boycotts, embargos, etc.). In addition to that, global actors in contemporary international political economy (ranging from states, religious and non-governmental organizations, to multinational corporations, arm dealers, transnational extremist organizations, etc.) often have competing objectives when waging the costs and benefits of war and peace. Only when the actors of conflicts, and the political economy factors that drive them are addressed, can one understand the conditions of resolving the conflicts and promote peace.

Thesis Preparation

This course prepares students for their M.A. thesis. Classes are designed to help students,
through seminar discussions, to define their own field of research for their MA thesis. The
purpose of this seminar is also to teach students how to formulate a problem statement, and
how to choose an adequate methodological approach, which will lead to a solid structure and
successful completion of their MA thesis. Students will report on their progress and discuss with
other students methodological issues and difficulties that they may face during the preliminary
work on their thesis.