Module Identifier IP34520  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Graeme A M Davies  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours. (18 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours. (8 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  70%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2000 word essay  30%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module students should be able to:

- Discuss the major theoretical positions that explain state behaviour.
- Assess what evidence exists to support the theories.
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of rational choice theories.
- Relate the theoretical developments to actual international events.

Brief description

This module begins by defining what is meant by conflict and cooperation. The course will examine the main theoretical positions that determine whether states will cooperate or engage in conflict. The course will cover areas such as Balance of Power theory, Power Transition theory, Enduring Rivalries, the Democratic Peace Proposition, Diversionary War as well as Globalisation and Armed Conflict. The course will also address the role of international regimes and how cooperation can evolve. Students will then move onto investigate a set of case studies, such as the Iran-Iraq War and evaluate how well these theories explain the events that took place. Finally the students will examine how good these theories are at explaining future conflicts, with particular reference to September 11th.


1. Introduction: A Science of War Studies
2. Rationalist Explanations of War
3. Capabilities and Conflict
4. The Power Transition Model
5. The Prisoners Dilemma
6. Reciprocity and Regional Conflicts
7. A Democratic Peace?
8. Globalisation and War
9. Diversionary War
10. The role of alliances
11. Civil Wars I
12. Civil Wars II
13. Opening Up The Black Box of War.
14. Iran-Iraq War
15. Modelling Terrorism
16. Conclusion

1. Is War Rational?
2. Power and War
3. Reciprocity and Peace.
4. A Kantian Peace.
5. Domestic Incentives for War.
6. Natural Resources and Civil War
7. Why do some states win and other states lose wars?
8. Future Challenges.


The principal aim of this Conflict and Cooperation in International Relations module is to demonstrate the importance of theory and evidence to the study of the causes of war. This course will introduce a body of literature to students that uses formal and empirical techniques to develop an understanding of the causes of international conflict. Students will learn about the impact of domestic politics, globalisation, natural resources, unstable capability balances and rationality upon the likelihood of a state engaging in an international conflict or cooperating with its neighbours. It is crucial for students of international politics to engage with this significant body of literature that analyses international politics in a systematic and rigorous manner.

Transferable skills

Students taking this module will have the opportunity to develop and practice a wide range of transferable skills. The lectures will allow students to develop listening and note taking skills. Preparing for seminars will allow students to develop their reading, note taking and analytical skills. Seminar discussions will help students to develop their listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as teamwork and problem solving. The essay which the students will write will encourage them to develop their independent research, writing and IT skills. The examination will test student'r analytical and writing skills under time constraints.

Reading Lists

Bruce M Russett and John R O'Neal Triangulating Peace: Democracy, Interdependence, and International Organizations.
Daniel S Geller and David J Singer Nations at War


This module is at CQFW Level 6