module specification

GI4007A - Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Peace, Conflict and Diplomacy since 1945
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Essay (1500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module examines the sources and changing nature of conflicts since 1945, at the global, regional and sub-national levels, and the attempts to resolve them through negotiation, mediation and economic and political integration. It introduces students to the main concepts in diplomatic and peace and conflict studies and provides them with a grounding in the evolving nature of conflicts since the end of World War II as well as the comparative analysis of those conflicts.

Module aims

This module aims to:

  1. Provide a detailed account of the development of the Cold War and post-Cold War international systems at global, regional and sub-national levels;
  2. Introduce students to key concepts related to diplomacy, peace and conflict;
  3. Examine the role of diplomatic institutions and peace processes in attempts to contain or resolve violent conflicts;
  4. Encourage the development of the skills of comparative analysis, by comparing conflicts in different regions;
  5. Develop and encourage confidence in the use of appropriate analytical, written and oral skills.


Introduction to the key concepts of conflict, diplomacy and peace; the origins, nature and development of the Cold War and post-Cold War international systems; regional conflict dynamics in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

Learning and teaching

Each week teaching will consist of a two-hour combined lecture and workshop and a one-hour seminar. Each lecture/workshop will comprise an interactive lecture and an activity undertaken by small groups, with the result of these activities fed back in a plenary session towards the end of the two-hour session. The seminars will involve small group discussions, debates and group work.
A key aspect of the learning and teaching strategy is the use of reflective ‘backward glance’ sessions every five or six weeks, in which the lectures, workshops and seminars are devoted to case studies, problem-based exercises and applying models to new situations, to consolidate students’ understanding of the subjects of the preceding five or six weeks.

A number of the lectures, workshops and seminars will focus on developing students study skills and employability. In particular, the module will cover: how to analyse texts, essay writing, the nature of plagiarism and how to avoid it, the support provided by the Careers Service when searching for placements and paid employment, and how to make the most of one’s time at university in terms of personal and career development. These dimensions will be developed in relation to the subject matter of the module, for example, by examining specimen essays on the subjects covered by this module.

The module makes extensive use of blended learning, primarily through full use of the dedicated BlackBoard site for the module, including interactive use of the discussion tool, the posting of lecture PowerPoint slides, full reading lists with hyperlinks, scanned copies of key texts not otherwise electronically available, and video and audio materials recorded by the tutor.
Reflective learning will be encouraged in particular through the consolidation weeks, interaction on the BlackBoard discussion tool, practical activities and the regular interactive lectures, workshop activities and seminar discussions. Students will be required to attend all classes, to engage in the set activities, to prepare in advance by attempting assigned readings, to complete coursework ahead of deadlines, to collect their work once it has been marked and to act on the feedback they receive.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a historical, conceptual and comparative understanding of global, regional and sub-national conflicts and attempts at peace since 1945;
  2. Compare and contrast the Cold War and post-Cold War international systems and understand theoretical debates concerning the changing nature of conflict;
  3. Apply their resulting analytical expertise to write and comment with authority on the subject of conflict, diplomacy and peace

Assessment strategy

A formative piece of work in the form of a 500 word briefing paper on one of the set essay questions. This will form the basis for the summative assessment – the Essay.

Summative Assessments
Assessment of this module is by a 1500-word essay (100%), to be submitted in week 15. The essay enables students to explore one aspect of the module in depth and detail.  Workshop and seminar exercises, along with the use of the discussion tool on BlackBoard, will facilitate formative assessment.



• Buzan, B. and O. Waever (2003) Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
• Calvocoressi, P. (2008) World Politics since 1945, 9th edition. London: Longman
• Clapham, C. (1997) Africa and the International System. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
• Dinan, D. (2010) Ever Closer Union: An Introduction to European Integration, 4th edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
• Gaddis, J. L. (2005) The Cold War. London: Allen Lane/Penguin
• Kaldor, M. (2012) New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era, 3rd edition. Camridge: Polity
• Karsh, E. (1997) ’Cold War, Post-Cold War: Does it Make a Difference for the Middle East?’ Review of International Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3
• Leguey-Feilleux, J-R. (2008) The Dynamics of Diplomacy. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner
• Mazower, M. (2009), Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century, London: Penguin
• McWilliams, W. C. and H. Piotrowski (2009) The World Since 1945: A History of International Relations, 7th edition. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner – CORE TEXT
• Shaikh, F. (2002) ‘Pakistan’s Nuclear Bomb: Beyond the Non-Proliferation Regime.’ International Affairs, Vol.78, No. 1
• Shlaim, A. (2000) The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. London: Penguin
• Westad, A. O. (2005) The Global Cold War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
• Woods, N. (ed.) (1996) Explaining International Relations Since 1945. Oxford: Oxford University Press


• Cold War Museum:
• Flashpoints: Guide to World Conflicts:
• Global Policy Forum: