Theories of Conflict and Violence - POLI8280

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Neophytos Loizides checkmark-circle


This module will examine how conflict research has evolved within the field of political science and International Relations. It will initially investigate competing theories on conflict and violence highlighting specific case studies and new security concerns. The theoretical reflections will focus on the understanding of modern nationalism in world politics as well as different aspects of conflict ranging from inter-state to intra-state conflict. Moreover, students will be exposed to a detailed and critical analysis of the political and constitutional options in societies beset by violent ethnic conflict, with particular emphasis being given to mechanisms directed at the achievement of political accommodation.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 178
Total study hours: 200


International Conflict Analysis MA

Method of assessment

Essay (6000 words) (100%)

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Adrian Guelke's, Politics of Deeply Divided Societies, 2012

Hall, John A. The State of the Nation: Ernest Gellner and the Theory of Nationalism. Cambridge University Press 1988

Horowitz, Donald. Ethnic Groups in Conflict. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985

Hugh Miall, Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse. Contemporary Conflict Resolution: The Prevention, Management and Transformation of Deadly Conflicts, Cambridge: Polity. 2005

McGarry, John and Brendan O'Leary. The Politics of Ethnic Conflict Regulation. London: Routledge, 1993

Neophytos Loizides, The Politics of Majority Nationalism: Framing Peace, Stalemates and Conflict, Stanford 2015

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Understand key historical and theoretical issues in international conflict and the study of war and peace

8.2 Explain and evaluate the nature, causes and effects of conflict, at the state and international levels

8.3 Be able to critically identify key debates in theories of conflict and violence studies

8.4 Understand and critically interpret key concepts in conflict studies

8.5 Be familiar with applied methodological and epistemological methods in the field of conflict studies

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 demonstrate specialised knowledge of, and critical insight into, the key historical and theoretical issues in their programme area, together with familiarity with appropriate bibliographical sources

9.2 apply theoretical and conceptual frameworks to the analysis of politics and international relations

9.3 use a variety of research methods and evaluate critically their application in the scholarly literature

9.4 conduct research in politics and international relations demonstrating awareness of epistemological, methodological and ethical principles


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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