Nationalism and Conflict Management

First Semester Credits Second Semester Credits
Methods and Theory in Global and International Studies 6 Multiculturalism in the Contemporary World 6
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving 6 International Organizations and Trade 6
History of War (War and Conflict) 6 Nations and Nationalism 6
Global Migration 6 Global Security 6
Negotiation: Theory and Practice 6 Conflict Assessment, Prevention, and Management 6
Third Semester Credits Fourth Semester Credits
Internships, Professional Experience, and Job Searches 3 MA Thesis Preparation 24
Terrorism in the 21st Century 9 Global and International Studies Research Colloquium 3
Human Rights and Transitional Justice 9 Tutorial (Meetings with Advisers) 6
World Public Opinion 6 Internship or Fieldwork (optional)

Courses are taught in English and offered as a mix of online and in residence at Salamanca. A minimum of two semester stay at Salamanca is required.  Choices for distance online learning are available. 

Online Options Available for the rest of your MA coursework.

Workshops also fully in English.


The rise of populist nationalism in Europe and the U.S. in recent years, emerging primarily from large-scale immigration and perceived threats to national identity, further underscores the need for new analytic approaches.

It is now  obvious that there  is no linear progression towards peace. The world today is certainly not more peaceful than a generation ago. As Syria, Afghanistan, and the Ukraine illustrate, wars and the human suffering associated with them remain a prominent feature of world politics. Recent decades have seen dramatic transformations in the nature of warfare and organized violence. Gone are the “proxy wars” of the Cold War era. Contemporary wars appear to be driven primarily by the same factors: economic greed, domination, appropriation of natural resources, social exclusion, and so forth. Yet clashes of nationality, the formation of collective identities based on ethnicity and religion, the struggle for their recognition, and the insertion/exclusion of nations into the state have become more relevant than ever.

Many commentators invoke “ethnic hatred” as the key explanation for conflicts ranging from Bosnia to Rwanda to Ukraine. In this perspective ethnic and national identities are hard-wired and inevitably lead to conflict. Such an understanding stands in sharp contrast to the accepted wisdom in the social sciences, which treats ethnicity and nationalism as socially constructed, situational, and instrumental identity projects. Neither of these positions is totally right. The transformation of warfare and organized violence, combined with highly contradictory understandings of the role of ethnicity and nationalism in those conflicts, require a fresh perspective. This Masters focuses on the intersection of conflict, conflict management, nationalism, and identity politics. While the twentieth century and the beginning of the twentieth first have demonstrated that nationalism, nationality, and ethnic conflict are a major source of conflict we also know that nationalism and identity construction have positive effects on communal life, decreasing crime rates and helping institution building. This Masters at the University of Salamanca addresses these issues and creates new spaces for the training of new professionals with an expertise in nationalism and conflict management who will properly address these very important matters. This Masters builds upon significant advances in the study of violent conflict, conflict “management”, resolution, and “containment,” as well as the scholarship on peace processes. Scholars have developed and tested sophisticated arguments about the onset, duration, intensity, and termination of civil wars, and have systematically explored the advantages and disadvantages of particular conflict resolution strategies—including peace building, mediation, negotiation, or military intervention—for different kinds of conflicts. To this, this Masters adds recent research on ethnic politics and nationalism, which are also crucial to better understanding peace and prosperity. Students will participate in debates around the extent to which ethnicity, religion, and nationhood should be treated as fundamentally distinct or inherently similar as basic categories of social organization, and how to apply these findings to peace processes and the resolution of conflict.

This specialization is based on interdisciplinary training and offers students the tools that they will need to understand and address complex issues related to nationalism, ethnic conflict and peace processes not only in regions like the Middle East, Easter Europe or Africa but also in the European Union and the Americas. These issues are interlinked with the historical, political, economic, social, and cultural concerns of Global Studies and International Relations.

During the first year students develop an integrated understanding of the global challenges created by nationalism, ethnic conflict, and identity. They study the contemporary international system through coursework across different topics in the fields of Global Studies and International Relations (Peace & Security, Global Economics, History of War and Conflict, International Negotiation, International Organizations, International Law, and Conflict Management). These required courses constantly dialogue with recent findings in the fields of Identity Studies, Nationalism, and Ethnic Conflict. In the second year, students sharpen their skills on Nationalism, National Identity, and Conflict Management, choose a topic of concentration, finish the course work for the specialty/emphasis, and write their MA Thesis. During the last semester students can also choose a practicum/internship project that connects them with the profession of which they want to be a part.

The main objective of the Nationalism and Conflict Management Concentration is to provide a unique and needed resource for coping with the overwhelming challenges that nationalism, violence, national identity, and terrorism present to us today. It is time to create a professional who can implement the best policy and management responses to these rising challenges. Programs in peace and conflict resolution tend to have little or no course offerings on identity politics, while the few established programs in nationalism studies that exist tend to address ethnic conflict without offering a systematic background on conflict management, resolution, and peace processes. This Masters in Nationalism and Conflict Management is unique and stands alone in terms of offering curricula that fills all these gaps and systematic training through the use of both theoretical tools and practicums. Graduates will become a sought out workforce by NGOs, governmental organizations, multinationals, and international organizations with peace keeping agendas.

This Masters provides a wonderful opportunity for students with backgrounds in the social sciences, humanities, ethnic studies, Law, management, negotiation, business, economics, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and/or other types of advocacy or private employment. Students with fieldwork experience and practitioners will find that this Masters provides the needed tools to succeed in an academic career. Students with an academic background will find that this Masters is ideal to learn from practitioners and acquire experience through the selected practicums, especially those offered under our Global Internship Program.