cod. 1008963

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - Second semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course aims at discussing the broad concept of peace through a multidisciplinary approach. More specifically – building upon research and teaching carried out by its faculty in the field of economics, sociology, international and European Union law and political science – B4PEACE aims at investigating both the internal and the external dimension of peace in the European Union. On the one hand, its goal is to explore the theoretical determinants of the European Peace at the domestic level (the development of the European Social Model as a tool for social cohesion and its possible evolution); on the other, it aims at discussing its main international implications (the promotion of democracy, peace and security by the European Union).

Knowledge and Understanding:
the course provides students with an overview of the European peace in its multiple dimensions. It also offers some theoretical tools that are needed to critically understand both the evolution of the Welfare state in Europe and the principles that shape the European Foreign Policy. At the end of the course, students will acquire a basic knowledge of the European Social Model and understand the role of the EU as a Global Actor of Peace.

Applying knowledge and understanding:
peace is a multi-faceted phenomenon that has to be studied in its multiple dimensions. For this reason, besides knowledge, the course will provide students with a method for the study of social science phenomena, adopting an innovative approach to teaching. At the end of the course, students should be able to apply their knowledge to the study of other relevant social issues, analyzing social science topics through a multidisciplinary approach.

Making judgments:
the course offers a multidisciplinary knowledge on the evolution of the European Social Model and on the European approach to foreign policy. At the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able to formulate their own point of view on those issues, critically understanding both the relationship between economic growth, social inclusion and welfare policies carried out in the EU, and the European Union’s role in maintaining and promoting peace, democracy and human rights also outside its borders.

the inter- and multidisciplinary of the course should also impact on students’ ability to communicate their own point of view on European issues using the jargon that is used in Politics, Sociology, Law and Economics. Moreover, at the end of the course they should be able to clearly express and debate any point related to both the European Social Model and the European Foreign and Security Policy, making reference to the main theoretical perspectives and to the founding principles of the European Union.



Course unit content

The entire B4PEACE course schedule (calendar, required readings, and testing methods) will be available on the project website (www.b4peace.unipr.it) and on Elly before the course begins. It is advisable to consult these sites for a better understanding of the multidisciplinary organization of the course.
The lectures will be introduced (3 hours) and concluded (3 hours) by the course coordinator - Prof. Emanuele Castelli.

In the Political Science module (Prof. Castelli, 6 hours) students will be offered the framework for the theoretical debate on the causes of interstate peace (democratic peace, capitalist peace, commercial peace, nuclear peace, dictatorial peace and modern peace) and the decline of violence. Next, the causes of peace in Europe will be reviewed with reference to the process of European integration and the Kantian hypotheses of perpetual peace, which views Europe as the realization of Kantian peace.

The International Law module is divided into two parts:

In Prof. Pineschi's lectures (6 hours), the main strategies and synergies that the United Nations and the European Union are implementing to address threats to international peace and security in the 21st century will be explained.
Prof. Carpanelli's lectures (6 hours), on the other hand, will provide an overview of transitional justice (the set of mechanisms and processes aimed at ensuring accountability and reconciliation following abuses that have occurred on a large scale) in conflict and post-conflict contexts, including the most relevant international instruments that govern it. Next, the European Union's approach to transitional justice and the role it plays or could play in relation to preventing future crises and human rights abuses will be examined.

In the Economic Policy module (Prof. Degli Antoni, 6 hours), students will be introduced to the concept of Social Welfare, discussing its possible evolutions through the involvement of public and private stakeholders, particularly from the perspective proper to the notion of Second Welfare. In the first lesson, the notion of welfare will be analyzed by considering different welfare state models. In the second lecture, a new paradigm based on a multi-stakeholder approach to social welfare involving different actors (the state, for-profit and nonprofit enterprises, citizens) will be presented.

In the Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes module (Prof. Pellegrino, 6 hours) the concept of social insecurity (youth unemployment and loneliness among the older population) and the decline of political participation will be considered. The evolution of Welfare in a "participatory" direction (increasing involvement of citizens in the management of social policies) will also be analyzed, showing how it can strengthen the construction of a true European citizenship.

Full programme

The extended course schedule will be available on the project website (www.b4peace.unipr.it) and on Elly before the course begins.


Coesione interna e sicurezza internazionale.
Quali sfide per la pace europea?, Napoli, Editoriale Scientifica, 2022 (in corso di pubblicazione).

International Students should contact the course coordinator for specific readings.

The volume will be available for free in Open Access on the project website.

Additional exam reference texts will be available on the project website (www.b4peace.unipr.it) and on the Elly platform prior to the start of the course.

Teaching methods

Theoretical approach (lectures) and case studies. Dialogue, interaction and active participation by students will be emphasized during lectures.

Assessment methods and criteria

The final exam will be written (1hour and 30min) and divided in two sections:

a) a first section with 10 closed-ended questions (multiple choice) on the 4 modules;
b) a second section with 4 open-ended questions to verify students’ ability to use the correct jargon and discuss topics.

Students’ knowledge and understanding of the approaches and paradigms of the disciplines will be assessed through the first, multiple choice section (1 point for each question).

Their ability to apply their knowledge and understanding, and to make judgements will be verified through the open questions (5 points max for each question).

The maximum final grade is 30/30. Honors will be awarded, in exceptional cases, only to Students who demonstrate excellent knowledge of the subject in the test.

Results will be available within 10 days from the exam.

Other information

More information is available on the project website (www.b4peace.unipr.it) and on Elly before the course begins