Not available in 2020/21
IR476      Half Unit
Gender and Political Violence

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Katharine Millar CBG.8.13


This course is available on the MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research) and MSc in International Relations Theory. This course is not available as an outside option.

All students are required to obtain permission of the Teacher Responsible by completing the online application linked to LSE for You.  Admission to the course is not guaranteed.

Course content

This course foregrounds gender as an analytic lens to highlight and question received wisdom regarding the interrelations of various practices of violence and manifestations of conflict.  It moves away from the concept of 'security' to examine assemblages of threats and vulnerabilities that connect and problematise traditional international relations concepts of scale (eg local, national, international) as well as the public and private.  Taking gender seriously allows us to trace the 'systems level' war into the everyday, and to follow everyday practices of violence into the global.  The course encourages students to consider not only the ways different practices of violence are masculinised/feminising, but also how these gendering violences are implicated in social power relations, sexualised/sexual hierarchies, and the production of order/normality.  Geographically, this approach brings the Global North and South into the same analytical frame.  Particular thematic emphasis is placed on the questions of what constitutes violence, and how this key conceptualisation relates to our ways of analysing, interpreting and making sense, both academically and experientially, of the phenomenon.


20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays in the LT.

Indicative reading

M Zalweski, Feminist International Relations: Exquisite Corpse (2013)

C Sylvester, War as Experience (2012)

M Erikson Baaz and M Stern, Sexual Violence as a Weapon of war? (2013)

V Hudson, Sex and World Peace (2012)

C Nordstrum, Shadows of War (2004)

M Jackman, 'Violence in Social Life', ARS (Vol.28, 2002)

T N Coates, Between the World and Me (2015)


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2019/20: 13

Average class size 2019/20: 13

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication