Pathways to Peace: Approaches to Conflict Resolution - POLI8320

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Smytta Yadav checkmark-circle


The module aims to introduce current thinking and practice in the field on conflict resolution, conflict management and conflict transformation, including conflict prevention and peace-building. Can protracted violent conflicts be prevented, and how are they brought to an end? Is it possible to deal with the root causes of conflict? How do the wider conflicts in the international system impact on local and regional conflicts, and under what circumstances are conflicts transformed? We will explore these questions with reference to theories of conflict resolution, comparative studies and case studies. The module will focus mainly on international and intra-state conflict. There will be opportunities to discuss conflicts at other levels, such as the role of diasporas and the media in conflict and its transformation. You are encouraged to draw on your own personal knowledge of conflict situations.


Contact hours

Private Study: 176
Contact hours: 24
Total: 200


Compulsory to the following courses:
• International Conflict Analysis MA;
• Peace and Conflict Studies (International Joint Award) MA.

This module is available to all students on MA courses within the School of Politics and International Relations.

Also available as an elective module.

Method of assessment

Essay 1, 2000 words (30%)
Essay 2, 4000 words (70%)

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

1 Have a critical awareness of the main theories and currents of thinking in the field of conflict resolution and conflict analysis
2 Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the complex nature of contemporary conflicts and of the range of domestic and international actors involved in them
3 Critically assess the appropriateness, scope and limitations of a range of approaches to conflict resolution in contemporary conflicts at different phases in the conflict's course
4 Have an introduction to the skills involved in conflict resolution, including conflict analysis, active listening, mediation and negotiation
5 See a conflict from the point of view of different protagonists
6 Appreciate the wider context of conflicts and be able to relate concepts of conflict analysis and conflict resolution to a wider understanding of world politics.


  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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