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Peace and conflict studies at the University of Utah may grow

Peace and conflict studies at the University of Utah may grow



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SALT LAKE CITY -- It's not every day you can take a class on terrorism, but eventually the University of Utah hopes it's part of something students can major in.

Thirty students are studying everything from conflict theory, war and terrorism, history of peace efforts, human rights and more for a peace and conflict minor.

Kim Korinek, assistant professor of sociology and associate director of the Tanner Center for nonviolent human rights advocacy, is trying to make it a major course of study within the next few years. She says the focus would be on local and global issues.

"With the understanding that conflicts are pervasive and potentially inevitable in societies that are increasingly diverse, where there are a scarcity of resources," she says.

Korinek says it's important to understand the root causes of conflict and understand war, in order to understand peace.

"The political conflict will eventually involve social issues, environmental issues -- and religion might be a part of it or it might get drawn into it," she says.

Korinek says between 20 and 30 students have already graduated with the minor. They are going on to work in politics, law, government, community mediation and human rights advocacy.

"It has a very, a pretty defined end goal in terms of career outcomes. What are the skills you are learning, what is that background of theory that will be very applicable in some careers?" she said.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com

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Mary Richards

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