Hopes and expectations for global peace that came up after the end of the Cold War have not been fulfilled. Instead, the focus has increasingly shifted from wars between states to violent conflicts within the states, which have been gaining ground rapidly. The initial resolution of some of these conflicts with the help of international action was futile, however, as many of them flared up again. Many “former” countries in conflict still suffer from a high level of violence. The vast part of armed conflicts nowadays is characterized by a complex parallel existence of peace processes and conflict situations. The fact that such complex conflict situations with international consequences are increasing shows that conventional approaches of peace and conflict studies have reached their limits, at the same time it confronts the international community with great challenges.
Strategies and approaches from humanities with a historic background are becoming more and more relevant in this context. For this reason, the MA program focuses not only on traditional approaches in peace and conflict studies but is also characterized by its “memory component” and binational design.
The degree program
Degree program and structure
The MA program Conflict, Memory and Peace has a duration of 4 semesters in which 120 ECTS credits have to be completed successfully.
Basics and research skills (year 1)
The first two semesters cover the basics of peace and conflict studies, taking into account the memory component. Furthermore, students will receive an introduction to the basics of international law in which transitional justice plays also an important role.
Already in the second semester, students are invited to focus on their Master’s thesis in the context of a research seminar. In addition, qualitative methods of conflict analysis are introduced. The module 'Conflict Resolution & Transformation' involves representatives of practical fields and ends with a practice simulation in Bogotá, in which both KU students and their peers from Universidad del Rosario participate.
Preparation for the stay abroad
Students will be given the opportunity to take part in workshops in which they can develop their intercultural skills. The International Office and ZILAS also provide assistance to prepare students for their time abroad
Specialization, profile development and Master’s thesis (year 2)
During the second year, students will have the opportunity to develop their individual profile by participating in required elective modules, completing the required internship and preparing their Master’s thesis. Furthermore, students will gain deeper insight into the conflict and peace process in Colombia. Intensive support and advice is provided for the students’ research project, their Master’s thesis.
Required elective modules: Students must complete required elective modules worth 10 ECTS credits. They may choose these modules from the range of required elective modules offered at both universities. This allows them to take advantage of the different specialisms of the two universities when choosing which area they wish to focus on. For example, they may choose to specialize in legal topics related to transitional justice at UR, or in memory studies or development cooperation at KU.
Required internship: The required internship is worth 10 ECTS credits. KU students must complete their required internship in Latin America. Specific partnerships help students to find internship places at desirable organizations and companies.
Master’s thesis: The module ‘Master’s Thesis’ is worth 20 ECTS credits. Students are encouraged to start thinking about the topic of their Master’s thesis from the second semester onwards and are prepared for it through suitable research and methods modules. The reviews for the Master’s theses are carried out binationally. Representatives of the relevant subject at each university may be appointed as supervisors. Students defend their Master’s thesis in the defense.
In this component, in addition to the field of transitional justice, which is an established element of peace and conflict studies and is essential for peacebuilding, approaches from the humanities also play a key role. In this context, particular emphasis is placed on collective memory, politics of memory and historical culture. This promotes a multidimensional understanding for peace and conflict.
In most cases, long-standing conflicts are not put to an end with a ceasefire or by signing a peace treaty. Instead, post-conflict societies have to cope with the challenge of working through their own conflict history. In particular in intra-state conflicts, victims and offenders from different conflict parties are confronted with each other and have to find a way for peaceful coexistence. Often, former countries afflicted by conflict are unable to overcome these challenges.
This degree program is based on the assumption that legal and material measures are generally insufficient for conflict resolution. The search for truth(s) in the transition process and the way in which post-conflict societies deal with their violent past also play a key role. It is of particular importance where, how, and by whom past conflict is remembered in mass media and schools, as well as museums and public spaces (street names, memorials, places of remembrance, etc.). The memory component helps students to gain a deeper understanding of this complex set of issues by examining various theories, approaches, and case studies.
Colombia is currently implementing a recently concluded peace treaty after having lived through decades of conflict. Although Germany can look back on a successful conflict transformation process, it still intensively deals with working through its own past. From a Colombian perspective, Germany’s social development and conflict transformation process as well as the way in which the country dealt with its own past is an important topic. Students from Germany, on the other hand, can gain valuable insight into complex conflicts and on flight and migration.
Overall, the binational design enables a mutual exchange of experiences, ideas and approaches between students and lecturers both from Europe and Latin America. This encourages students to examine their own approaches and paradigms critically while allowing them to benefit from knowledge and skills gained in their partner country. Students will be able to apply these skills in their future careers.
Admissions are made for the fall term. To apply for the consecutive MA program and for more information regarding the required documents and deadlines, please visit the admissions page of the Studierendenbüro (German only).
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Program Coordinator MA Conflict, Memory and Peace
If you are interested in the MA Conflict, Memory and Peace degree program or if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
Information on the required internship
The required internship comprises 10 ECTS points. Students of the KU have to complete it in Latin America. Through specific cooperations, students have easier access to attractive internship providers. The study coordination of the Universidad del Rosario helps with the selection of the internship.
Information on the semester abroad
Preparation for the stay abroad
The intercultural skills of the students are expanded through relevant workshops. Information events of the International Office and ZILAS round off the preparation.
Since 1653, Universidad del Rosario (UR) has contributed to the social, political and economic development of Colombia. The UR attaches great importance to making a contribution to the country’s successful conflict transformation. In this context, the interdisciplinary research unit JANUS was founded. Since 2015, the group has been dealing with the multidimensional research (history, peace process, post-conflict, dimensions of violence, gender etc.) of the internal Colombian conflict and brings together some of the most renowned scientists of Colombia. In its research, particular emphasis is placed on the areas of transitional justice research from a legal and political perspective as well as on the research of post-conflict dynamics of peacebuilding (DDR etc.). Almost all courses of the MA Conflict, Memory and Peace are held by professors who are involved in JANUS.
Furthermore, the UR is a member of the academic network of the German-Colombian Peace Institute, the development of which has been supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) since 2016 with funds made available by the German Federal Foreign Office. The UR also maintains a teaching and research cooperation with the Centro Nacional de Memoria Histórica.
Besides the specialist expertise in the area of peace and conflict studies, particular emphasis should also be placed on the UR’s outstanding position within the academic landscape of Colombia. It is listed in top positions both in national (MIDE) and international (QS University Ranking) rankings.
The UR is situated in the heart of Bogotá’s old town and is characterized by its outstanding study atmosphere. The university’s historical courtyard invites to linger and philosophize. At the same time, the university has a broad offer both for individual learning and group work. The Centro de Recursos para el Aprendizaje e Investigación (CRAI) offers students a state-of-the-art learning environment with a comprehensive selection of books and journals as well as group work spaces, quiet areas and reading rooms.
In addition to the degree programs, students have the possibility to engage in many different cultural and sports activities. For example, there is an own gym and numerous dancing and sports classes.
KU students get professional support during their time abroad at the UR and intercultural events as well as a tutor system help to introduce them to everyday life at the university and in Bogotá.
Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and has just under 10 million inhabitants, which is why it may well be referred to as a vibrant metropolis. Being one of the fastest growing big cities in Latin America, it is subject to constant infrastructural change and a city of extremes. Lush green wooded hills lie between concrete buildings; nightlife neighborhoods which make you think of New York are situated right next to Barrios de Invasión – unofficially constructed quarters. Bogotá is a cultural hot spot for museums, street art and street performers. Graffiti meets Botero, numerous local recreation areas meet collapsing traffic. Bogotá is an ugly beauty radiating with fascination and charm and having something on offer for virtually everyone.
Its numerous pubs, restaurants, salsa bars and cultural offerings in the center (Candelaria), which lies in close proximity to the university, offers everything students could wish for.
Bogotá is situated in the Andes Mountains (2640 m above sea level), the east side of the city is lined by the mountains Monserrate and Guadalupe. The plantations where the famous Colombian coffee is cultivated are only two hours away from Bogotá - thanks to the good flight and bus connections - they are worth spending a weekend.
The crime rate in Bogotá is low compared to the rest of the country. However, it is advisable to exercise a general degree of caution and to avoid certain districts, just like in any other big Latin American city.
Information on scholarships
A few outstanding students can be supported through scholarships from the DAAD during their stay abroad. Another funding option is the Elisabeth-Käsemann-Scholarship.
The Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation is engaged in a critical examination of the authoritarian and conflictual past and its consequences for societies in Latin America, Spain and Germany.
The scholarship program of the Elisabeth Käsemann Foundation is aimed at students of the binational Master's program "Conflict, Memory and Peace" at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and the Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá.
The complexity of current conflicts poses significant challenges to the global community. In view of this, innovative and context-sensitive approaches in the field of peace and conflict studies have become increasingly important. The MA Conflict, Memory and Peace is aware of such developments.
Due to its characteristics and global focus the program qualifies students for taking over responsible positions in an international context, e.g. in:
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
National and international organizations
Universities and research institutes
Private sector companies
Political foundations and associations
Degree program speaker & chairperson of the Board of Examiners
Program Coordinator MA Conflict, Memory and Peace
Student body/student representatives
Since 2010, the students of the BA Latin American Studies (since 2020 together with the students of the MA Conflict, Memory and Peace) have organized an annual Latin American movie week, in which various film productions from and about Latin America are shown in the original language. The offer of the Cine Latino is not only intended for the target group of KU students, but also for all Eichstätt citizens and other interested people: From feature films to documentaries, there is something for every taste. The movie week helps to provide an insight into Latin American life, dreams and problems and brings the audience closer to the diversity of this continent. The movies are accompanied by a diverse program, beginning with a champagne reception, the performance of a live band to open the premiere, followed by an opening party after the first screening, where you can also dance to Latin American rhythms. As an introduction to the individual movies, each screening was preceded by a short introduction by the students of the Latin American Studies program. The students are not only involved in the realization of the event but also in its preparation. This includes the promotion of the event and the search for sponsors as well as the selection of movies, the organization of the premiere party and writing reviews for the flyer material. The students are supported by the ZILAS team, various professors and the owner of the Eichstätt movie theater, so that despite the many preparations, their studies are not neglected. More information on the Cine Latino is available here.
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