Module Identifier IP30320  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Professor Mike Williams  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Lecture   15 Hours. (15 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   7 Hours. (7 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  100%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2,000 word non-assessed   
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module. For further clarification please contact the Academic Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

- Critically assess the literature on the causes of war
- Discuss a range of key concepts and historical and contemporary events in relation to the evolution of war
- Understand the role of legal and moral restraints on war
- Assess the conflicting theories on whether force can be controlled or abolished as a tool of inter-state relations

Brief description

This module provides an analytical foundation to the critical study of war, politics and strategy.


This module aims to provide a comprehensive basis (concepts, theories, history) for understanding and explaining the most salient issues of war, politics and strategy in the contemporary world.


The module is divided into three parts:

(1) the causes of war;
(2) the changing character of warfare;
(3) legal and moral restraints on war;   

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the course, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as basic numeric skills and self-management skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team-work and problem solving. Essay writing will encourage students to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills, and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions.

10 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
David P Barash (ed) Approaches to Peace 2000. Oxford University Press
Lawrence Freedman (ed) War Oxford University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 6