Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Force and International Relations since 1945
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 20 Hours. 1 x 2 hour seminar per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay  40%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the use of force in international society over the last six decades.
2. Compare different conflicts between states and non-state actors.
3. Discuss the limits of military intervention in the nuclear age.
4. Illustrate and evaluate the influence of alterations in the structure of international society on perceptions about military power.
5. Explain the impact of modern technological developments for protagonists in international relations.
6. Demonstrate through written work and in seminars an ability to explain the strategic parameters of a specific conflict.
7. Demonstrate an understanding of theories and contemporary doctrines within military organizations concerning the application of force.
8. Discuss and evaluate the justifications for using military force over the last six decades.


This module is designed to add to the departmental provision in the area of Strategic Studies. It offers students the opportunity to analyse recent examples of conflict in international society that will complement their theoretical knowledge of strategy gained from other modules.

Brief description

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the application of military force in international relations over the last five decades. As such it will consider different type of conflict that accommodates alterations in the structure of international society and changing perceptions about the role of military forces.

Transferable skills

Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the module, students should practice and develop their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management. In seminars students enhance and develop their analytical skills and practice listening, explaining and debating skills. Through writing and researching their essays and preparing for examinations, students will develop their library and IT skills, practice good writing techniques, and develop their analytical skills.


1. The utility of the absolute weapon in conventional warfare (The Korean War).
2. The unacceptability of colonial military actions after the Second World War (Suez).
3. Threats, armageddon and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
4. The limits of western military force and the Vietnam War.
5. Fighting for limited military objectives in the Middle East (The Yom Kippur War).
6. Campaigning for communism in the foothills of Afghanistan.
7. Special Forces: a novel use of force to resolve political difficulties.
8. Gambling with the force option: Britain, Argentina and the Falklands Conflict.
9. Saddam, Scuds and Sand: The Persian Gulf War of 1991.
10. New era, new name, old strategies? Russia and the experience in Chechnya.


This module is at CQFW Level 7