From War Studies to Peace Building and Social Transformation at the University of Zimbabwe in the Post-COVID-19 Era: New Directions
Baldwin Hove
Bekithemba Dube
University of the Free State
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Keywords

COVID-19
war studies
positive peace
social transformation
sustainable development

How to Cite

Hove, B., & Dube, B. (2022). From War Studies to Peace Building and Social Transformation at the University of Zimbabwe in the Post-COVID-19 Era: New Directions. Journal of Culture and Values in Education, 5(1), 106-121. https://doi.org/10.46303/jcve.2022.9

Abstract

This paper uses a positive peace lens to examine the evolution of the War and Strategic Studies (WSS) degree curriculum, to the degree in Conflict, Peace Building, and Social Transformation (CPST) at the University of Zimbabwe in the year 2021, by considering the global pandemic and seeking new directions in the field. The paper addresses two questions: 1) What changes and factors provoked the change in direction, from the WSS curriculum to CPST, and 2) What are the potential benefits of repackaging the war and strategic studies degree programme? The paper argues that the paradigm shift accommodates pandemics like the COVID-19 which configured social, political, and economic patterns of life, and a new direction emerged, that is, a change of focus from negative to positive peace. Among the reasons for curriculum changes, from WSS to CPST, was the desire to give the programme a human face, and to align the degree so that it promotes the positive peace and sustainable development needed to address trajectories associated with emerging nonviolent threats to humanity – such as a global pandemics. Lastly, we see the new direction of the CPST as a counterhegemonic strategy to address confrontational and militaristic approaches to human conflict. COVID-19 has reminded us that confrontational politics are slowly becoming irrelevant for addressing the ambivalence of life, and in the struggle to contain global pandemics, which pose new threats to peace, security and development.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).  

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