module specification

GI5008A - Peace and Conflict in Theory and Practice (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Peace and Conflict in Theory and Practice
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
110 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Essay (2000 words)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module aims to:

• Introduce students to competing theories of peace and conflict
• Explore the nature and causes of conflict in the contemporary era
• Introduce the core practical skills for work in relevant fields, thus enhancing employability


• Approaches to the study of peace and conflict; theories of peace, conflict and violence; positive and negative peace LO1, LO2

• Violent conflict in the contemporary world; greed and grievance as causes of conflict; new wars theory; violence against nature and environmental theory; conflict and gender LO2, LO3

• Key practical skills for peace work LO1

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

• Most weeks’ 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 one or more activities undertaken by small groups. The seminars will involve discussions centred on pre-set readings.
• This module is practically oriented and a heavy emphasis is placed on employability, which is embedded throughout the module in the following ways: guest lectures and workshops facilitated by practitioners such as non-governmental organisations; and simulations and role-play exercises exploring the practicalities of working for peace
• The module makes extensive use of blended learning, primarily through full use of the dedicated Weblearn site for the module, including interactive use of the mail and discussion tools, module information, lecture PowerPoint slides, and scanned copies of key texts that are not available electronically
• Reflective learning will be encouraged through the 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 undertaking assigned readings, to complete coursework by deadlines, and to reflect and act on the feedback they receive

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will have gained:

1. An understanding of both the main theoretical approaches to peace and conflict, and the key practical skills involved in peace work
2. A critical appreciation of the central debates concerning the nature and causes of conflict in the contemporary era
3. An awareness of the complex and diverse ways in which conflict impacts upon the world, including issues relating to gender and the environment



Barash, D. and C. Webel (2017) Peace and Conflict Studies, 4th ed. (London: Sage)
CQ Researcher (2010) Issues in Peace and Conflict (London: Sage)
Wallenstein, P. (2011) Peace Research: Theory and Practice (London: Routledge)
Webel, C. and G. Johansen (eds) (2011) Peace and Conflict Studies: A Reader (London: Routledge)


Anderson, M. B. (1999) Do No Harm: How Aid can Support Peace or War (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner)
Bellamy, A. J. and P. D. Williams (2010) Understanding Peacekeeping, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Polity)
Chenoweth, E., Lawrence, A. and Kalyvas, S. N. (eds) (2010) Rethinking Violence: States and Non-state Actors in Conflict (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press)
Cramer, C. (2006) Civil War Is Not a Stupid Thing: Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries (London: Hurst)
Duffield. M. (2001) Global Governance and the New Wars (London: Zed Books)
Kaldor, M. (2012) New and Old Wars, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Polity Press)
Keen, D. (2012) Useful Enemies: When Waging Wars is More Important Than Winning Them (New Haven: Yale University Press)
People Building Peace,
Polman, L. (2010) War Games: The Story of Aid and War in Modern Times (London: Viking)
Pouligny, P. (2006) Peace Operations seen from Below: UN Missions and Local People (London: Hurst)
Richmond, O. and H. F. Carey (eds) (2005) Subcontracting Peace: The Challenges of NGO Peacebuilding (London: Ashgate)
Van Tongeren, P., Brenk, M., Hellema and J. Verhoeven (2005) People Building Peace II: Successful Stories of Civil Society (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner)
Willetts, P. (2010) Non-Governmental Organisations in World Politics: The Construction of Global Governance (London: Routledge)
Zelizer, C. and L. Johnston (2005) ‘Skills, Networks and Knowledge: Developing a Career in International Peace and Conflict Resolution’: