Learning outcomes: after completing the course, students will have:|
- Knowledge of theoretical approaches to analyse contemporary violent conflict.
- Capacity to apply abstract theoretical ideas and concepts to selected case studies of contemporary violent conflict. The ability to engage in a dialogue between theory and evidence.
- Basic knowledge of a case study approach as a research method.
- Capacity to conduct a case study of a violent conflict. You will become better conflict analysts.
- Capacity to give oral presentations for a disciplinary mixed and international audience of students.
Learning objectives and skills:
• To introduce you to key texts on the causes of contemporary violent conflict.
• To introduce you to analytical approaches on contemporary violent conflict.
• To acquaint you with new analytical vocabularies on collective violent action, rebel
governance and remote warfare.
• To improve your ability to apply abstract theoretical approaches to actual contemporary
cases of violent conflict.
• To learn by doing: by actively experiencing knowledge.
• To strengthen your research and analytical skills through writing a conflict map.
• To strengthen your capacity to give verbal and written presentations on the issues mentioned above.
• To improve your conceptual and analytical capacity to critically question conventional ideas and accepted courses of action, and to define your own position.
• To train you to become better conflict analysts
This course introduces students to the field of conflict studies and its study of contemporary violent conflicts. Examples are the civil wars in Iraq, Syria, Mali, Uganda, Sri Lanka or Ukraine. In academic literature and the media these conflicts are called differently, varying from ‘ethnic conflict’ and ‘protracted social conflict’ to ‘new wars,’ ‘terrorist attacks,’ or ‘global civil wars’. Rather than choosing one of these labels, this course aims to present a variety of theoretical approaches, each using different terms for the phenomena studied and focusing on different analytical categories.
The aim of this course is to offer a general introduction to the questions that are related to the analysis, explanation and understanding of different forms of intrastate violent conflict. The course covers many subjects and debates, e.g. about the trends of violent conflict, the different root causes and main conflict dynamics, the different motivations of actors to rebel or support rebellion, the issue of identity formation and politicization of identity, the role of the state in these processes and the international dimensions of intrastate conflicts. Students are trained in making multi-level conflict analyses and conflict mapping techniques. Finally, as it provides students with the basics of conflict analysis, it is essential for those who plan to participate in upcoming courses of the Conflict Studies minor.