The Anthropology of Peace and Human Rights

Anthropology is the science committed to the comparative and historical study of humankind. Anthropology literally means the study of humanity and considers human biological and cultural variation. In recent years the department at UAB has developed a topical focus on peace, justice, human rights, and ecology. This has resulted in a new Master’s Degree Program in the Anthropology of Peace and Human Rights that will make its debut in January 2017.

UAB Anthropology of Peace and Human Rights The new program focuses on peace as behavioral process at multiple levels including at the level of individuals, families, groups, communities, cultures and nations. Students will critically analyze how factors such as ecological sustainability, human security, democracy, justice, non-violence, conflict resolution, and human rights are interconnected constructs related to the unifying construct of peace.

Anthropology offers an important set of perspectives that address knowledge about and appreciation of cultural diversity, cultural relativism, multiculturalism, cross-cultural interaction, variation in norms, values, beliefs, conflict resolution styles, and respect for cultural differences and human rights. This unique set of perspectives is at the basis of the new program’s focus on peace and human rights and makes it relevant to the goals of diversity and the challenges and opportunities posed by globalization.

The new program complements the educational and outreach activities of the recently established UAB Institute for Human Rights (IHR). Graduates of similar programs have found positions in human and social services, community mediation organizations, in multicultural education, at legal centers, as U.S. Congressional staffers, at NGOs and human rights organizations, and at the United Nations. The Master’s in the Anthropology of Peace and Human Rights aims to prepare students for doctoral studies and professional careers in peace and human rights.