Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Miranda, Wilma

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership and Educational Policy Studies


Peace--Study and teaching (Higher)--United States; Peace--Research--United States


This work investigates the philosophical and political underpinnings of peace studies programs in the U.S. Through description and analysis of representative literature and programs, epistemological bases are uncovered and discussed. The argument is developed that we need to move beyond the liberal model to the transformative approach to peace studies. The first chapter gives a brief history of peace studies in the United States, followed by an introduction to the concept and definition of peace. Initial issues dealing with peace education are discussed, including the problems of values, indoctrination, scope, disciplinarity, acceptance, and legitimacy. The second chapter reviews the literature of peace studies. It explores the work of several recognized peace studies researchers and educators, such as Betty Reardon, George Lopez, Kenneth Boulding, and Johan Galtung, among others. The differing patterns and perspectives on peace studies are explored through the historic struggles and transformation of the field. Three main positions—liberal, liberationist, and transformationist—are examined. The political, axiological, and epistemological bases of these three perspectives are investigated. The third chapter describes and discusses current representative university level peace studies programs in the United States. It asks the questions: (1) What are the prevailing beliefs, attitudes and points of view represented in peace studies programs? (2) What are the prevailing practices? and (3) What trends can be found in and between programs? Instructional methods and program aims are also explored. The fourth chapter addresses the problems posed by the liberal approach to peace studies. It presents a liberationist critique of direct and structural violence, followed by the development of a critical epistemology focusing on being peace and based in the transformationist approach. Chapter Five looks at curricular implications of the transformationist approach to peace studies detailed in the fourth chapter. The educational philosophy of J. Krishnamurti, independent philosopher who rejects all dogma and authority—whether secular or sacred—is discussed at length. Lastly, the designing of an "ideal" peace studies minor from the transformationist perspective is explored.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [306]-333)


333 pages




Northern Illinois University

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