Genocide Prevention Certificate

The Online Genocide Prevention Certificate (GPC) is a new online program that began in Spring 2016. The GPC was developed by the Master of Arts in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (MAHG) Program at Stockton University with the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) in 2015 to meet the need for extended specialized training among professionals in government, the military, the business sector and non-governmental organizations around the world. The aim of the program is to offer rigorous instruction in frameworks of and strategies for genocide prevention based on the ethical insights of liberal arts study. It is the first graduate Certificate program of its kind both in the USA and globally.

The courses will be taught completely online by members of the MAHG faculty and associated programs at Stockton University as well as by Consortium Faculty drawn from international experts in genocide prevention. Our current faculty include Dr. Tibi Galis, Executive Director of the AIPR; Dr. James Waller, Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College (NH); Dr. Carol Rittner, Dr. Marsha Raticoff Grossman Professor Emerita in Holocaust Studies, Stockton University (NJ); Dr. Kerry Whigham, Visiting Scholar at Rutgers University’s Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights (NJ); and Dr. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, Director of the MAHG Program, Stockton University (NJ).

Students will be given a broad-based education in the history of genocide and the Holocaust combined with focused courses on topics central to genocide prevention, including early warning systems, perpetrator psychology, forms of intervention, and justice mechanisms. As a Capstone to their studies, Certificate students will conduct country-specific research in a seminar taught by MAHG faculty members in conjunction the UN Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide.

Please note that the Genocide Prevention Certificate Program has a special online course rate of $650 per credit. GPC courses are 3 credits each, so the total cost per course is $1950.

GPC students who wish to pursue further study are encouraged to apply to the MAHG Program after completing the certificate. All GPC courses will count towards the MAHG degree and students will continue to pay the special GPC online graduate course rate.

GPC students who have already participated in the AIPR’s Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention will be granted three credits (the equivalent of one course) towards the Certificate, which can be used to cover one of the three electives below. It is suggested that students wait until the end of the GPC program to take the Research Seminar, which is meant to be a culmination of student work in the program.

All GPC courses are open to MAHG students.

  GPC Curriculum- 15 credits 
Required Introductory Course- 3 credits (choose one)
GPC 5000 History of the Holocaust (3 credits)
GPC 5001 History of Genocide (3 credits)
Elective Courses- 9 credits (choose three)
GPC 5037 Perpetrator Behavior: Implications for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (3 credits)
GPC 5038 Early Prevention of Mass Atrocities (3 credits)
GPC 5039 Aftermath: Transitional Justice and Collective Memory in the Wake of Genocide (3 credits)
GPC 5040 Religion and Genocide Prevention
GPC 5046 Genocide Prevention and the Law
Research Course- 3 credits (required)
GPC 5033 Genocide Prevention Research Seminar (3 credits)

Please click here for our future class schedule or view below.

Summer 2017 Classes

Early Prevention of Mass Atrocities (MAHG/GPC 5038 – 3 Credits)
Date: June 28 – August 9, 2017
Location: Online
Instructor: Tibi Galis
This course will offer answers to some crucial questions regarding the prevention of mass atrocities before the risk of atrocities taking place is high: What does atrocity prevention look like before the risk is imminent? What is the role of the UN, the US Government, and other international peacebuilding actors? How do governments and civil society within the country at risk ensure that latent tensions do not escalate? Beyond the international frame for prevention, the course will focus in detail on the overlap between human rights policy, educational policy and economic policy and their relationship with the prevention of mass atrocities.

History of Genocide (MAHG 5001 – 3 Credits)
Instructor: Elisa von Joeden-Forgey
Date: May 15 – July 26, 2017
Location: Online (Fulfills GPC & MAHG requirement)
In this course we will seek to address the challenge of an “early warning system” through the historical study of modern genocide with an emphasis on the historical connections between various cases of genocide. We will also examine causes of genocidal processes, possible preventative measures, and social healing after the fact. Particular focus will be on the Ottoman Armenians, the Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina, but other cases will also be examined, including the genocides of indigenous populations during the era of European expansion, of Kurds in Iraq, of Mayan Indians in Guatemala, of East Timorese under Indonesian domination, of Muslims in Kosovo, and of Darfuris in Sudan. Using scholarly texts, fiction, film, and other media, we will discuss the definition of genocide and its representation, the long- and short-term historical contexts that enable genocide, the question of the uniqueness of the Holocaust and the value of “comparative genocide studies,” the problem of prevention and intervention, and the relationship between genocide and other forms of social and political violence.

Religion and Genocide Prevention (MAHG/GPC 5040 – 3 Credits)
Date: May 15 – July 26, 2017
Location: Online
Instructor: Carol A. Rittner
In the 20th and 21st centuries, the international community has witnessed how religion can be used to incite genocide and other mass atrocity crimes: Armenia, Nazi Germany, former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Central African Republic (CAR), Nigeria, Cambodia, Myanmar – the list could go on and on. Too often in these and other places in our world religion has been a destructive social and political force propelling genocide and mass atrocities, instead of being a positive force to prevent them. The question is: Can religion play a role in preventing genocide and other mass atrocity crimes? If so, how? If not, why not?

Religion & Genocide Prevention, an online graduate seminar in the Genocide Prevention Certificate Program, will examine the intersection between religion and mass atrocity crimes, including genocide, and genocide prevention. What is genocide prevention? What is religion? Does religion help to normalize genocide by providing myths of ultimate redemption or rationales for annihilation? Are there specific theological ideas particularly important to the perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocity crimes? What about to those who tried to prevent genocide? These are some of the questions we will explore, examine, and discuss in this course.


Additional Upcoming Genocide Prevention Certificate Program Classes

Fall 2017 Classes

Genocide Prevention and the Law
(MAHG/GPC 5046- 3 Credits)
Instructor: Irene Massimino
Date: September 5 – December 16, 2017
Location: Course Online (Fulfills GPC requirement)

Justice processes are essential elements in genocide prevention. States, both at national and international levels, have understood the need to develop a justice system of accountability and responsibility for the crime of genocide and other international crimes. The relevance of these processes lies not only in building a legal truth but also in helping to develop our historical truth and memory and to begin the healing process that formally and publicly recognizes the experiences of the victims. Therefore, this course is designed to offer a broad overview of all international law related to the crime of genocide and analyze the different types of justice processes, such as the International Criminal Court, international and mixed special tribunals, and national mechanisms, such as special courts and the ordinary justice system. A critical analysis of each of these courts and processes will seek to determine their advantages, disadvantages, and collective challenges in a world that has not yet been able to prevent genocide.

Perpetrator Behavior: Implications for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention
(MAHG/GPC 5037- 3 Credits)
Instructor: James Waller
Date: September 5 – December 16, 2017
Location: Course Online (Fulfills GPC requirement)

This course is a Genocide Prevention Certificate (GPC) elective. This course will focus on perpetrator behavior and motivation in genocide and mass atrocity. Case studies, also focusing on the judicial consequences, will be drawn from the Holocaust, Cambodia, Latin America, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, and child soldiers. In addition to understanding how ordinary people come to commit genocide and mass atrocity, this course will focus on the implications of that understanding for prevention of such ordinary evil.


Previous Genocide Prevention Certificate Program Classes

GPC Courses – Spring 2017

Aftermath: Transitional Justice and Collective Memory in the Wake of Genocide
(MAHG/GPC 5039 – 3 credits)
Date: January 17 – May 8, 2017
Location: Online
Instructor: Kerry Whigham
This course will examine the various ways societies can and have dealt with past violence and human rights abuses—a field otherwise known as transitional justice. The course will focus both on traditionally recognized modes of transitional justice (criminal prosecutions, truth confessions, institutional reform, and reparations), but also more novel forms that are not as often discussed (memorialization and the creation of memory sites, cultural outreach, economic reform, and education). We will develop a deeper understanding of “collective memory” and its role in transitional justice and prevention. Finally, the course will place a special emphasis on the (potential) role of civil society and grassroots activism in shaping transitional justice strategies.

History of Genocide (MAHG 5001/GPC 5001 – 3 Credits)
Instructor: Elisa von Joeden-Forgey
Date: January 17 – May 8, 2017
Location: Online (Fulfills a GPC & MAHG Requirement)
In this course we will seek to address the challenge of an “early warning system” through the historical study of modern genocide with an emphasis on the historical connections between various cases of genocide. We will also examine causes of genocidal processes, possible preventative measures, and social healing after the fact. Particular focus will be on the Ottoman Armenians, the Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Argentina, but other cases will also be examined, including the genocides of indigenous populations during the era of European expansion, of Kurds in Iraq, of Mayan Indians in Guatemala, of East Timorese under Indonesian domination, of Muslims in Kosovo, and of Darfuris in Sudan. Using scholarly texts, fiction, film, and other media, we will discuss the definition of genocide and its representation, the long- and short-term historical contexts that enable genocide, the question of the uniqueness of the Holocaust and the value of “comparative genocide studies,” the problem of prevention and intervention, and the relationship between genocide and other forms of social and political violence.


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Course Descriptions & Schedule | Faculty Biographies | Admissions Criteria