Module Identifier IPM7030  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Alastair J Finlan  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours 1 x 2 hour seminar per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment essay 3,000 words  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 five 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 in the Cold War, Post-Cold War and the early part of the Twenty-First century.


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.


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 (Operation Eagle Claw).
8. Gambling with the force option: Britain, Argentina and the Falklands Conflict.
9. New era, new name, old strategies? Russia and the experience in Chechnya.
10. Force for good: British intervention in Sierra Leone.

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.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Baylis, John & Wirtz, James & Cohen, Eliot & Gray, Colin S (2002) Strategy in the Contemporary World: An Introduction to Strategic Studies Oxford, Oxford University press
Gray, Colin S (1999) Modern Strategy Oxford, Oxford University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 7