Ethnic Conflict and its management: theories and cases

Modular value: 20 credits
Term long 
Contact Hours: 
3 hours per week

The module will study the subject of civil war, ethno-religious conflict and international intervention from a multi-disciplinary theoretical perspective which will enable students to understand them in all their complexity by exploring their historical, political, ethno-cultural and religious facets.

The module begins with a consideration of the existing principal peace and security challenges including civil war and ethnic and ethno-religious conflict, as well as theories of armed conflict, failed and weak states, and the emergence of so-called `new wars?. The first part of the module also covers debates regarding the methodological analysis of civil war and ethno-religious conflict, and debates about the causes and nature of this type of armed conflict. The module then considers the causes, dynamics and outcomes of specific civil wars and ethno-religious conflicts by paying special attention to those in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Tajikistan and the Caucasus. The module proceeds to address the role of international military and humanitarian intervention and assesses its strengths and weaknesses in terms of post-conflict societal cohesion and political stability.

Learning aims

  • Appreciate the major types of civil war and armed conflict, as well as their causes.
  • Apply the ideas described above to a range of historical and contemporary case studies.
  • Identify and evaluate theoretical and policy analysis related to armed conflict, international intervention and peacekeeping, and make reference to ongoing policy challenges.


1 x 500 word assessed essay outline and 1 x 4,000 word essay.

 Lecturer: Stefan Wolf

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.