Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Total War, Total Peace
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour seen exam)  pre-seen exam  schedule am  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour seen exam)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Critically evaluate the differences between and historical roots of the concepts of ‘total’ and ‘limited’ war.
2. Apply and assess a range of conceptual frameworks to understand the complex and changing interaction between war and societies.
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the different levels of societal mobilisation employed by various belligerents in particular conflicts.
4. Critically evaluate the range of stresses placed on a society by different types of conflict.
5. Critically explore the link between ideas, society, economy, politics and the nature of war.

Brief description

This module builds from the questions ‘what is war’ and ‘what is peace’ to explore two popular typologies of war: ‘total war’ and ‘limited war’. By considering examples from a broad historical and geographical span, the module encourages students to examine the relationship between societies and the type(s) of war practiced by their militaries at particular points in their history. By exploring the total/limited war binary, the module also encourages students to develop an appreciation of why societies and governments seek to wage war differently according to the context, and how socio-economic factors influence the practice of war. The module thus links the nature of war with the policy process, promoting an understanding among students of why politicians choose to take military action, and why that action takes the form(s) that it does. To encourage debate, the module will draw on examples including: the World Wars; the Napoleonic Wars; ancient warfare; medieval warfare; imperial ‘policing’ operations; private military actors; Vietnam and other post-WW2 conflicts; and civil wars.


Topics covered will include: Strategies of war and peace; Ancient to Early Modern warfare; Revolutionary and Napoleonic warfare; Prototypes: The American Civil War and the wars of German Unification; Second Punic War simulation; the Second World War; Indochina and Vietnam; Iran-Iraq 1980-88

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 how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. 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 develop aural and oral communication skills through student participation in small group seminars. Students will also be required to submit their essays in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication. Y
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. 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 (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to prepare for assessed seminars 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. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement 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 the essay 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 cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module • Evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary political problems.
Team work Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources.


This module is at CQFW Level 6