GV4C7      Half Unit
Warfare and National Identity

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr John Hutchinson CON3.21


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Conflict Studies and MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Other students may only attend subject to numbers, their own degree regulations and with the permission of the teacher responsible.

Course content

Investigations into the relationships between warfare and the formation of national identities, and the implications of this analysis for understanding contemporary politics.

The issues cover three main areas: War and the origins of national identities, including state formation and territorialisation; the construction of collective memories; imperial collapse and national liberation wars; Modern wars: the formation of national societies, including conscription and national citizenship; total wars, class, and the mass nation; genocide; Contemporary wars: trauma and post-nationalism; religio-national wars; new wars debates.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Week 6 of the LT will be a reading week for dissertation preparation.

Formative coursework

Students are required to write two 1,500 word essays.

Indicative reading

M. Centano, Blood and Debt,1993; R. Collins, Macrohistory, 2000, M. Howard, War in European History,1976; J. Comaroff and P.Stern (eds.) Perspectives on Nationalism and War, 1995; M Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? 1993;; M Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Vol 2, 1993; M. Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy, 2005; C Marvin & D Ingle, Blood Sacrifice and the Nation, 1998; G Mosse, Fallen Soldiers, 1991; H. Munkler, The New Wars,  2005;  A D Smith, Chosen Peoples, 2003; J. M. Winter and E. Sivan.  (eds.),  War and Remembrance in the Twentieth Century, 1999; A. Wimmer, Waves of War, 2012.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 17.7
Merit 45.2
Pass 35.5
Fail 1.6

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2014/15: 21

Average class size 2014/15: 11

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills