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 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. Students will take away from this module a grounded understanding of the key challenges and most effective approaches to conflict resolution.


Contact hours

Private Study: 176
Contact hours: 24
Total: 200


Compulsory to the following courses:
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
Like for like.

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

Show a sophisticated and systematic understanding of the dynamic nature of conflict resolution and management
Have a critical awareness of the main theories and currents of thinking in the field of conflict resolution and conflict analysis
Recognise and apply concepts associated with conflict management to their own research and analysis, including on issues of intervention, peace-building and reconstruction
Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the complex nature of contemporary conflicts and of the range of domestic and international actors involved in them
Describe with depth and clarity the territorial management of divisions, whether by means of power-sharing, 're-scaling', or partition
Appreciate the wider context of conflicts and be able to relate concepts of conflict analysis and conflict resolution to a broader understanding of world politics.

Work at an advanced level with theoretical knowledge at the forefront of this field
Be deeply engaged with the ethical dimensions of the discourses and practices in conflict resolution as well as of their own work.
Have a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of methods and methodologies in their discipline.
Undertake analysis of complex, incomplete or contradictory area of knowledge.
Have a level of conceptual understanding that will allow them to critically evaluate research, advanced scholarship and methodologies and argue alternative approaches.
Be reflective and self-critical in their research work.
Engage in advanced academic and professional communication with others.
Have independent learning ability required for continuing professional study.


  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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