Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
War, Politics and Strategy
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 8 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures
Viewing 4 x 2 Hour Viewings


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar Participation  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word final essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 word assignment, in lieu of seminar performance  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word final essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts related to the study of war and politics, security and strategy.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of ongoing debates about the causes of war and establishment of peace.
3. Distinguish between several levels of analysis when studying war and politics.
4. Discuss and analyze competing theories of conflict prevention in international politics.

Brief description

The module explores key theoretical arguments about the relationship between war, politics and strategy.


The study of the inter-relationships between war, politics and strategy has been at the heart of academic international relations. Both the subject-matter and the approaches adopted, however, have attracted considerable controversy. By introducing students to a wide variety of intellectual traditions and contemporary ideas about the subject, it is the aim of this module to provide students with a comprehensive basis (concepts, theories and some, especially intellectual, history) for understanding and explaining the most salient issues of war, politics and strategy in the contemporary world.


Please give an outline of content, week by week, indicating lectures, seminars and/or other forms of delivery

1. Introduction to the module
2. What is war and how to study war in international politics?
3. The balance of power
4. Cooperation under anarchy; Collective security
5. Security communities; World government
6. The obsolescence of war; Democratic peace
7. Revision lecture 1 – Essay preparation
8. Militarism; The military-industrial complex
9. Defense expertise vs. democratic politics
10. Culture and strategy
11. Crises: between war and peace
12. Revision lecture 2 – Essay preparation
13. Peacemaking; Peacekeeping
14. Conclusion: Every war must end (?)


1. Social science of war
2. Causes of war 1: man
3. Causes of war 2: the state
4. Causes of war 3: the system
5. Security dilemma
6. Anarchical society
7. Strategy, culture, ethnocentrism
8. A case study: the conflict in Syria

Discussion workshops

1. War
2. Politics
3. Strategy
4. Peace

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively individually or as a group. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to use these effectively. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. This module will particularly test aural and oral communication skills as it involves assessed seminar performance.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to prepare for assessed seminar participation and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format and to use online sources appropriately when conducting research.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is intended to advance and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statements of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of two written assignments and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar and dissimilar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research when working on their essays. This will involve utilizing mostly academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
Subject Specific Skills he module will provide students with the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that will help them to understand, analyze and evaluate examples and ideas about war, politics and strategy. These subject specific skills include: • Collection and understanding of a wide range of data relating to the module • Evaluation of competing perspectives • Demonstration of subject specific research techniques • Application of a range of methodologies to various historical and contemporary cases.
Team work Students will engage in group activities during the seminars. For some of the topics on this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group.


This module is at CQFW Level 6