Module Identifier IP33120  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Richard D W Jackson  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Richard D W Jackson  
Course delivery Lecture   16 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 x 1 hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,000 word book review  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%
Semester Exam1.5 Hours  30%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Identify and assess the main theoretical perspectives on the causes of inter- and intra-state conflict.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the evolution over time of the international conflict management system.
3. Critically evaluate the main approaches to the management and resolution of international conflict.
4. Identify the conditions under which different approaches to conflict resolution are likely to be deployed with success.
5. Critically assess the core political-normative challenges entailed in contemporary international conflict resolution.
6. Demonstrate an understanding of a number of important case studies of international conflict resolution.

Brief description

The module explores the main concepts, theories and approaches to resolution of contemporary international conflict. The aim is to provide students with a set of conceptual tools through which to evaluate and understand contemporary events in the field of peace and conflict. Although much of the module will be theory-oriented, relevant case studies will be brought in to illustrate core theoretical propositions. The module begins with a theoretical discussion of the nature, causes and approaches to conflict. The main section of the module focuses on the evolving nature of the international conflict management system, and examines: the effectiveness of diplomatic practice, international law and international organization for resolving conflict; the role of the United Nations in resolving conflict; the key issues surrounding the new peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention; and the central challenges of new approaches to conflict resolution, such as multi-track diplomacy, reconciliation and peace-building.


1. Introduction to conflict resolution
2. The causes of interstate conflict
3. The causes of intrastate conflict
4. Approaches to conflict - conflict management, conflict resolution, conflict transformation
5. Diplomatic approaches to conflict resolution
6. Third party intervention
7. Legal methods and approaches - arbitration and adjudication
8. International organization and the UN
9. Traditional peacekeeping
10. Humanitarian intervention
11. Regionalism and security sub-contracting
12. Preventive diplomacy and early warning
13. NGOs and citizen-based diplomacy
14. Transitional justice
15. Truth-telling and reconciliation
16. Peacebuilding

1. Understanding contemporary war - Cry Freetown
2. Human nature and conflict resolution
3. Negotiation
4. Debating the role of the UN
5. Humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect
6. The dilemmas of reconciliation
7. Peacebuilding
8. Conflict resolution and terrorism


This module explores the main processes by which states and international organizations manage and resolve both interstate and intrastate conflict through legal, institutional and diplomatic processes. It complements existing provision in a number of areas and will allow students to gain specialist knowledge of the key issues, debates and methods of international conflict resolution, as well as familiarity with key defining cases.

Module Skills

Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of coursework 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 through the setting of specific problem-solving exercises during the class, group discussions in which students are asked to adopt alternative points of view and debate conceptual and empirical arguments. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of students' ability to work alone can be undertaken.  
Research skills The submission of coursework will reflect the independent research skills of students, especially as the essay for this module will be worth 60% of the overall module mark. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of students' ability to work alone can be undertaken.  
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will understand 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. Lectures will be run in an interactive way, with oral discussion forming a central medium of teaching there as well as in seminars. The emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication.  
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management and self-directed learning, 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 to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework. Group work is integral to the seminars and provides opportunities for students to reflect individually and collectively on their performance. The need to submit a major essay and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.  
Team work Lectures and seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to class topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module learning experience.  
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 (such as Web of Science and OCLC). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE.  
Application of Number N/A  
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning coursework, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing them through to completion will contribute towards students' portfolios of transferable skills.  
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualize and evaluate empirical examples and theoretical ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data and information relating to the module - Ability to evaluate competing theories and perspectives - Demonstrate social scientific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex political problems - Develop a personal ethical framework for understanding and responding to issues of peace and conflict  


This module is at CQFW Level 6