Conflict takes many forms. Hot wars, cold wars, trade wars. Battles in cyberspace and for hearts and minds. Tensions between individuals and clashes of civilization. Conflict is as old as humanity, but peace is possible.
To prevent—or prevail in—a conflict, you must understand: who tips the balance between war and peace? How are circumstances changing on the ground? What is the role of technology in mitigating disagreements? In sparking them? How can communities rebuild in the aftermath? Are marginalized groups welcomed into the process to prevent future problems?
Training in international affairs and policy builds a critical foundation of expertise to recognize the underlying cultural, economic, social, and political forces at work in the world. It challenges students to develop communications, leadership, and teamwork skills. An interdisciplinary curriculum and a rich community of people with which to study bring differing ideas together. Graduates are distinguished by their flexibility and adaptability. They can separate facts from opinions.
As you begin your search for a master’s program, consider which programs help you establish a grounding in the past, prepare for the present, and get ready to adjust to the future. Look at how they bring emerging voices and a gender perspective into the conversation. Discover in what ways students challenge traditional ideas and formulate new ones. See how programs train students to engage stakeholders and create inclusive systems in order to solidify the building blocks of peace.
War may be politics by other means, but solutions can be found in the context of each situation. International affairs graduates master underlying principles of an ever-changing world to help prepare for a more peaceful future.