Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Knowing about Violent Conflict in International Politics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2500 Words  60%
Semester Assessment Seminar Presentation  40%
Supplementary Assessment Report (in lieu of seminar presentation)  1500 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2500 Words  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Discuss critically and in detail the relevance of knowledge production and problem interpretation for our understanding of contemporary international politics.

2. Critically analyse how the politics of knowledge affects policy-making and implementation.

3. Evaluate systematically different examples of conflict knowledge producers.

4. Critically examine different examples of conflict knowledge consumers and analyse how they use conflict knowledge in policy-making.

5. Reflect critically on how academic knowledge is limited by the same influences that affect policy knowledge.

Brief description

This module provides the foundation for problem-oriented analysis and understanding of the role of conflict- and security-related knowledge production in international politics. It examines how key institutions and actors in international politics interpret and problematize violent conflicts, war and security threats, what kind of policy solutions are constructed based on these problematisations, and what their effects are.


The module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. It is divided into three parts:

Part 1: Introduces students to knowledge production and problem interpretation as a (research and practical) problem in international politics.

Part 2: Discusses the conflict knowledge producers and the context and processes through which conflicts are interpreted and acted upon.

Part 3: Discusses the conflict knowledge consumers and their ways of using conflict knowledge in the policy circle.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas verbally and in writing, and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will develop skills in using the many sources of information available 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. Students will also be required to submit their written assessments 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.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from the module convener and other students. 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 how to answer assess essay questions.
Information Technology Students will enhance their proficiency using Blackboard, where materials to support learning will be made available. Students will also develop skills in searching for, and assessing the validity of, online information sources as part of preparation for lectures, seminars and assessed tasks. Assessed work will be presented in electronic format, according to standard expectations.
Personal Development and Career planning The 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 requires students to write 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 an essay and preparation for the seminar presentation 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; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research in order to complete the assessed work. This will involve utilizing a range of information sources, including core academic texts, journal articles, electronic primary sources/documents, and online news sources.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop and practice a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualize and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of information relating to the module • Develop critical thinking and capacity to ask questions • Evaluate competing perspectives • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary social and political problems.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For many of the topics of this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group the core issues related to the seminar topic. These class discussions and debates form a significant part of the module, and will allow students to approach and examine a given topic through team work.


This module is at CQFW Level 6