Not available in 2013/14
SO464      Half Unit
Ethnic and Religious Violence in Post-Colonial Societies

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible



This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Conflict Studies, MSc in Political Sociology, MSc in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies, MSc in Religion in the Contemporary World and MSc in Sociology. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The focus of this course is a comparative, theoretically driven analysis of the varying forms of 'ethnic' and 'religious' violence with a focus on post-colonial Asia and Africa. The course will draw on sociological theory, using structuralist and constructivist theories of ethnicity and a variety of theoretical perspectives on violence that draw on recent work in political sociology, anthropology, and post-colonial studies. The course will address concerns such as post-colonial transformations of the state, the roles of political organisation and informal networks, political-economy and the class and gender bases of violence, transformations of space, as well as issues of identity, memory and recognition. Topics include: theories of violence; ethnicity and ethnic conflict; post-colonial states; state failure; riots; pogroms; genocide; sexual violence in ethnic conflict; religious fundamentalism.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Indicative reading

Brass, Paul (1996) Riots and Pogroms. New York University Press; (1997) Theft of an Idol: Text and Context in the Representation of Collective Violence. Princeton University Press; (2004) The Politics of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India. Oxford University Press; Girard, Rene. (1977) Violence and the Sacred. Johns Hopkins University Press; Hansen, Thomas Blom (2001) Wages of Violence: Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay. Princeton University Press; Horowitz, Donald. (2000), The Deadly Ethnic Riot; Jalal, Ayesha (2008), Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia. Harvard University Press; Juergensmeyer, Mark (2000), Terror in the Mind of God: the Global Rise of Religious Violence.University of California Press; Hyndman and Giles (eds) Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones. University of California Press; Malkki, Liisa (1995) Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory, and National Cosmology Among Hutu Refugees in Tanzania (University of Chicago Press); Mamdani, Mahmood. 2001. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Africa. Princeton University Press. Sidel, John (2006), Riots, Pogroms, Jihad: Religious Violence in Indonesia. Cornell University Press. Tilly, Charles (2003) The Politics of Collective Violence. Cambridge University Press; Valentino, Benjamin (2004), Final Solutions: Mass Killings and Genocide in the Twentieth Century; Varshney, Ashutosh (2001) Ethnic Conflict and Civic Life: Hindus and Muslims in India. Oxford University Press; Wieviorcka, Michel (1993) The Making of Terrorism. University of Chicago Press.


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2012/13: 33

Average class size 2012/13: 15

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information