Why study peace and conflict in Rwanda?
Rwanda offers a unique opportunity to study ethnic conflicts and genocide, from causation to transformation and prevention. In less than 100 days in 1994, more than 1 million people were slaughtered by their neighbors and in some cases their own relatives. Nearly three decades later, the political, economic, and social effects of genocide are still felt, but survivors and perpetrators of the genocide now live side by side.
You’ll visit genocide memorials to learn about the history of conflict in Rwanda and examine post-genocide reconciliation and development efforts underway. You will discover what facilitates and hinders the success of these efforts and consider how the case of Rwanda can inform an understanding of conflict/genocide and peace-building processes elsewhere.
Through site visits with local NGOs, documentary films, homestays, and discussions with local experts, you will analyze peace-building models and consider how ordinary citizens, the government, and international actors keep the past firmly in view while moving forward in Rwanda’s rapidly developing economy.
- Learn to critically assess measures to prevent conflict and mitigate its impact.
- Gain an understanding of Rwanda’s active resettlement and reconciliation efforts.
- Be immersed in the cultures of both countries through two two-week homestays.
- Go on a safari in Akagera National Park and learn about responsible tourism as you visit Nyungwe National Park, one of the oldest rainforests in Africa.
Although there are no course prerequisites for the program, psychological stability and emotional maturity are essential for students' effective engagement with these difficult subjects.