Justice, Violence and the State - PL621

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 30 (15) DR LV Radoilska







Under what circumstances might it be permissible to use violence to further political goals? What distinguishes different sorts of political violence? Ought the state to have a monopoly on political violence? Are there some methods that should never be used to further political goals? In this course, we will look at the various forms of political violence, and consider how political and legal theorists have tried to regulate violent interaction between states and within states. We will examine the conceptual difficulties that arise when postulating international laws, and consider the role of the United Nations as international mediator and law enforcer. We will also look at the rights of self-determination amongst sub-national groups, and at the obligations of the international community to intervene to prevent humanitarian abuses.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

2 hour lecture, 2 hour seminar for 10 teaching weeks


Also available under PL620 (Level 5)

Method of assessment

100% Coursework

Preliminary reading

Indicative Reading List:

Altman, A. and Wellman, C.H. (2009) A Liberal Theory of International Justice, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Coady, C.A.J. (2008) Morality and Political Violence, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Held, V. (2008) How Terrorism is Wrong, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Walzer, M. (1977) Just and Unjust Wars, New York: Basic Books

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module Level 6 students will also be able to:

8.4 approach the material in this module at a higher level and in a more critical fashion than Level 5 students;
8.5 write and discuss whilst paying attention to articles, books and ideas, commensurate with advanced undergraduate study.

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