Introduction to Conflict Analysis and Resolution - PO325

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5)







The module is designed to introduce students to the principle approaches to conflict and conflict resolution. Starting with a discussion of the pervasiveness of conflict in human existence, the module will engage with the key question of “what is conflict?” Students will be introduced to conflict management and conflict resolution approaches before engaging with conflict resolution processes such as negotiation and mediation. The module will rely on case studies and simulations to help students engage directly and better grasp the different theoretical approaches. Case studies will include an in-depth analysis of the Oslo process and a discussion of the specific difficulties linked to negotiations with “terrorists.” The students will emerge from the module with knowledge of the central paradigms and concepts of conflict analysis and resolution, and with an initial set of skills (negotiation and mediation) which can be used to further understand international politics but also in their personal engagement with others.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

150 hours including 22 hours lecture/seminar; 128 study hours

Method of assessment

60% coursework (essay (40%), reading assignments (20%), 40% exam (2 hrs).

Indicative reading

Ramsbottam, O. Miall, H. and T. Woodhouse (2011). Contemporary Conflict Resolution: The Prevention, Management and Transformation of Deadly Conflicts. Cambridge: Polity. (Textbook)
Azar, E. (1990) The Management of Protracted Social Conflict: Theory and Cases. Dartmouth: Aldershot.
Bercovitch, J. and R. Jackson (2009). Conflict Resolution in the 21st century: Principles, Methods, and Approaches. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Burton, J. and Sandole, D. (1986). “Generic Theory: The Basis of Conflict Resolution”, Negotiation Journal. 2(4) 333-44.
Fisher, R. and Ury, W. (1991). Getting to Yes, New York: Penguin.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, students will be able to:
Recognize key approaches to the study of conflict.
Understand the main concepts and theories of international conflict and conflict resolution.
Identify the main practices of conflict resolution and their limitations.
Engage with empirical cases and simulations of international conflicts.
Identify the main critiques of conflict theories.

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