IR349     
Conflict and Peacebuilding

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr David Rampton

Availability

This course is available on the BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and Chinese, BSc in International Relations and History and BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

This course has a limited number of places (it is capped).

Pre-requisites

A basic background knowledge of the subject themes or related areas would be an advantage.

Course content

This course is intended for those interested in theoretical and practical approaches to the question of peace, the problems of war, conflict and violence, and responses to these issues, particularly in the form of liberal peacebuilding  and statebuilding. The course is divided into three unequal but interconnected parts. The first part examines ideas and debates about the concepts, causes, contexts, dynamics and representations of conflict, violence and war. The second explores and problematises the concept of peace and the nature, meanings and goals of peace and peacebuilding. This leads into the third section which is concerned with a critical engagement with the range of international responses to conflict associated with the discourses and practices of liberal peacebuilding and statebuilding. The classes explore the nexus between theory and practice. Although the course and its readings are mainly theoretical and conceptual rather than empirical, students are encouraged to apply the ideas to actual cases, past and present. The course reading list has been selected in order to explore the contentions between mainstream and critical (e.g. feminist, postcolonial and poststructural) perspectives.

Teaching

This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 40 hours across Michaelmas and Lent Term. Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

The course teaching includes film showings linked to some of the lecture themes, followed by a discussion session. These are normally delivered in-person but may occasionally involve online screening and discussion sessions

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT and 1 essay in the LT.

Formative essays 1,500 words. 

Indicative reading

Mark Duffield Global Governance and the New Wars (Zed Books 2014).

Sinisa Malesevic The Sociology of War and Violence (Cambridge University Press 2010).

Gëzim Visoka Peace Figuration after International Intervention: Intentions, Events and Consequences of Liberal Peacebuilding (Routledge 2018)

Edward Newman and Karl DeRouen (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Civil Wars (Routledge, 2016).

Jacob Bercovitch, Victor Kremenyuk and William Zartman (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Conflict Resolution (Sage Publications, 2009)

Oliver Richmond (ed.) Palgrave Advances in Peacebuilding: Critical Developments and Approaches (Palgrave MacMillan UK 2010).

Hugh Miall, Oliver Ramsbotham, and Tom Woodhouse, Contemporary Conflict Resolution: The Prevention, Management and Transformation of Deadly Conflicts, 3rd ed (Polity, 2011).

Assessment

Essay (40%, 2000 words) in the LT.
Essay (60%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 24.6
2:1 59.3
2:2 15.3
Third 0.8
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2021/22: 46

Average class size 2021/22: 12

Capped 2021/22: Yes (48)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills