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  1. Week 1: Introduction to the Module and Key Concepts for the Coming Weeks 11 items
    1.  This first lecture and seminar will introduce students to the module by a) providing an overview of the module structure, assessment types and key topics to be covered over the next ten weeks, and b) defining several key concepts for the coming weeks, such as e.g. "civil war" and "ethnic conflict".

       

      When preparing for this session, students should use the following questions to guide their readings: What is "civil war", and what are some of the key challenges in trying to define and measure civil war occurrence? How have patterns of warfare (arguably) changed since the end of the Second World War? Why do civil wars pose problems to a country's development prospects?

       

    2. Essential Readings 3 items
      1. Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy. - The World Bank 2003

        Webpage Core Reading Please read chapter 1 “Civil War as Development in Reverse”

      2. Chapter 1 : Introduction of 'An Introduction to Civil Wars'

        Chapter Core Reading Please read chapter 1 "Introduction". This reading is also available as a sample chapter via the following link http://www.cqpress.com/docs/college/Derouen.pdf .

      3. Global Report 2017: Conflict, Governance, and State Fragility - Monty G. Marshall, Gabrielle Elzinga-Marshall 2017

        Document Core Reading --- Please read pp. 25-29, “Conflict Dimension: Global Trends in Armed Conflict”.

    3. Further Readings 7 items
      1. The Unequal Burden of War: The Effect of Armed Conflict on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy - Thomas Plümper and Eric Neumayer 2006

        Journal Further Reading --- Please skip over the more technical parts of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training.

      2. Peoples versus States: Minorities at Risk in the New Century - Ted Robert Gurr 2000

        Book Further Reading --- Please read chapter 1 “The Ethnic Basis of Political Action in the 1980s and 1990s.”

      3. The New New Civil Wars - Barbara F. Walter 2017

        Document Further Reading

      4. Chapter 1: "The Human Dimension: Facts, Figures, and Stories of Ethnic Conflict" of Ethnic Conflict: A Global Perspective - Stefan Wolff 2006

        Chapter Further Reading Please read chapter 1 "The Human Dimension: Facts, Figures, and Stories of Ethnic Conflict".

  2. Week 2: Why Do People Fight?: Central Theories in the Civil Wars Literature 19 items
    1. This week's lecture and seminar will introduce students to central theories in the civil wars literature that will feature prominently in several of the subsequent module topics. First, we will look at the claims, strengths and weaknesses of three schools of thought that seek to explain the causes of violent ethnic conflicts: primordialism, instrumentalism and constructivism. Second, we will discuss the claims, strengths and weaknesses of greed- versus grievance-based arguments which have dominated the civil wars literature since the late 1990s. Part of these discussions will be a clear distinction of the underlying causes of violent action according to the aforementioned theories (such as e.g. elite behaviour or perceptions of relative deprivation) as opposed to the conditions under which rebel groups might be able to mobilise (such as e.g. high levels of group coherence or forced participation).

        

      When preparing for this session, students should use the following questions to guide their readings: How do primordialism, instrumentalism and constructivism explain the causes of violent ethnic conflict, and which of these explanations do you find particularly convincing and why? What are the causes of civil war according to a) greed- and b) grievance-based arguments, and which of these explanations do you find particularly convincing and why? Building on the aforementioned questions and locating yourself clearly on one side of the academic debate, how would you explain why some countries experience violent intrastate conflicts while others do not?

    2. Essential Readings 4 items
      1. Chapter 1 "Identity, Boundaries and Violence" of Theories of violent conflict: an introduction - Jolle Demmers 2012

        Chapter Core Reading Please read chapter 1 "Identity, Boundaries and Violence".

      2. Chapter 5: 5 "A Framework for Analysis of Ethnopolitical Mobilization and Conflict” of Ethnic conflict in world politics - Barbara Harff, Ted Robert Gurr 2004

        Chapter Further Reading Please read chapter 5 "A Framework for Analysis of Ethnopolitical Mobilization and Conflict”.

      3. Greed and Grievance in Civil War - Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler 2004

        Article Core Reading --- Please skip over the more technical parts of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training.

    3. Further Readings 14 items
      1. "Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflict" [in] The Oxford handbook of comparative politics - Ashutosh Varshney 2007

        Chapter Further Reading Please read pp. 274-294.

      2. Violence and the Social Construction of Ethnic Identity - Review by: James D. Fearon , David D. Laitin 2000

        Article Further Reading Please focus in particular on pp. 857-874

      3. Chapter 3: "The Etiology of Ethnopolitical Conflict" of Peoples versus States: Minorities at Risk in the New Century - T. R Gurr 2000

        Chapter Further Reading Please read chapter 3: "The Etiology of Ethnopolitical Conflict".

      4. Beyond Greed and Grievance: Feasibility and Civil War - Paul Collier, Anke Hoeffler and Dominic Rohner 2009

        Journal Further Reading Please skip over the more technical parts of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training.

      5. Square Pegs in Round Holes: Inequalities, Grievances, and Civil War - Buhaug et al. 2014

        Article  Please skip over the more technical parts of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training.

      6. Serbia's Road to War - V. P. Gagnon 1994

        Article Further Reading

      7. Beyond Greed and Grievance: Policy Lessons from Studies in the Political Economy of Armed Conflict - Karen Ballentine, Heiko Nitzschke 2003

        Document Further Reading ---- Please read pp. 5-12.

      8. Who Fights? The Determinants of Participation in Civil War - Macartan Humphreys, Jeremy M. Weinstein 2008

        Article Further Reading Please skip over the more technical parts of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training

  3. Week 3: Causes and Consequences of Terrorism 15 items
    1. Terrorism is a form of political violence that is distinct from but in many cases related to violent intrastate conflicts. This week's lecture and seminar will focus on three key issues in the academic debate on terrorism: how to define terrorism and distinguish different types of terrorist action; the (contested) causes of terrorism; and the likely consequences of terrorism, i.e. how successful are terrorists in achieving their goals.

       

      When preparing for this session, students should use the following questions to guide their readings: What is terrorism, what types of terrorism do different authors distinguish, and which of these typologies of terrorism do you find particularly useful and why? Is terrorism a "rational political strategy", and what does this mean exactly? How successful are terrorists in achieving their goals?

       

    2. Essential Readings 3 items
      1. The Causes of Terrorism - Martha Crenshaw 1981

        Article Core Reading A fairly old but very widely cited article on terrorism. When reading it, you may want to consider critically whether Crenshaw’s key claims are likely to still hold today

      2. The Strategies of Terrorism - Andrew H. Kydd and Barbara F. Walter 2006

        Article Core Reading

      3. Why Terrorism Does Not Work - Max Abrahms 2006

        Article Core Reading

    3. Further Readings 11 items
      1. Chapter "Terrorism and Civil War" of Terrorism, Economic Development, and Political Openness - Nicholas Sambanis 2008

        Chapter Further Reading Please read chapter "Terrorism and Civil War" by Nicholas Sambanis.

      2. The Political Effectiveness of Terrorism Revisited - Max Abrahms 2012

        Article Further Reading Please skip over the more technical parts of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training.

      3. Terrorism and Democracy - Erica Chenoweth 2013

        Article Further Reading

      4. Rewarding Bad Behavior: How Governments Respond to Terrorism in Civil War - Jakana Thomas 2014

        Article Further Reading Please skip over the more technical parts of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training.

      5. ISIS Is Not a Terrorist Group - Audrey Kurth Cronin 2015

        Article Further Reading

      6. Chapter Economic Consequences of Terrorism in Developed and Developing Countries: An Overview" of Terrorism, Economic Development, and Political Openness - Todd Sandler, Walter Enders

        Chapter Further Reading Please read chapter "Economic Consequences of Terrorism in Developed and Developing Countries: An Overview" by Todd Sandler and Walter Enders.

  4. Week 4: Language, Politics and Power in the “War on Terror” 24 items
    1. From Afghanistan and Syria to the streets of London and Paris, the threat of "terrorism" – both real and imagined – looms large over public and scholarly debates about conflicts, wars and humanitarian crises. 9/11 and the subsequent "war on terror" have fundamentally re-shaped the way we think about political violence. What is more, "terrorism" is regularly invoked by political elites, journalists and international relations experts to justify military interventions and re-writing the international rules and norms governing armed conflict. In this week's lecture and seminar we will attempt to deconstruct the "war on terror" – as both a set of material practices and a discursive regime – and examine the way dominant ideas about "terrorism" have been constructed, mediated and distorted in recent years, and to what effect.

       

      In preparation for this week, please consider the following questions: How do different political and social actors – be they governments, news organisations, activists or "terrorists" themselves – attempt to shape public debate about terrorism? What is the "new terrorism" thesis and how has it informed counter-terrorism policy since 9/11? Why is it important to take language seriously when discussing terrorism? And, in more theoretical terms, how should we understand the relationship between discourse and power in relation to terrorism?           

       

    2. Essential Readings 2 items
      1. Embedded Expertise and the New Terrorism - Jonny Burnett, Dave Whyte 2005

        Article Core Reading

    3. Further Readings 21 items
      1. Media and terrorism: global perspectives - Des Freedman, Daya Kishan Thussu 2012

        Book Further Reading

      2. The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda - Fawaz A. Gerges 2014

        Book Further Reading

      3. ISIS and the Third Wave of Jihadism - Fawaz A. Gerges 2014

        Article Further Reading

      4. ISIS: a history - Fawaz A. Gerges 2016 (electronic resource)

        Book Further Reading

      5. The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq - Derek Gregory 2004

        Book Further Reading

      6. Writing the War on Terrorism: Language, Politics, and Counter-Terrorism - Richard Jackson 2005

        Book Further Reading

      7. Framing Terrorism: The News Media, the Government, and the Public - Pippa Norris, Montague Kern, Marion R. Just 2003

        Book Further Reading

      8. The Essential Terrorist | The Nation - Edward W. Said 1986

        Webpage Further Reading

      9. Burning country: Syrians in revolution and war - Robin Yassin-Kassab, Leila Al-Shami 2016 (electronic resource)

        Book Further Reading

  5. Week 5: Civil Wars and Humanitarian Action 15 items
    1. This week's lecture and seminar will deal with the increasingly controversial relationship between civil wars and humanitarian action. Specifically, we will focus on concerns by practitioners and academics about the apparent politicization of humanitarian action during and after civil war, and the likely effects of humanitarian action on the duration of intrastate violence.    

       

      When preparing for this session, students should use the following questions to guide their readings: What are some of the key challenges in delivering humanitarian assistance during or immediately after episodes of violent conflict? Can humanitarian action be non-political, and why might the politicization of humanitarian action be a problem? What is the "paradox of humanitarian action", why does it occur and how (if at all) can it be overcome?

    2. Essential Readings 3 items
      1. Assisting Uncertainty: How Humanitarian Aid Can Inadvertently Prolong Civil War - Neil Narang 2015

        Article Core Reading Please skip over the more technical bits of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training

    3. Further Readings 11 items
      1. International Development and Assistance: Where Politics Meets Economy - Andrzej Bolesta 2004

        Article Further Reading Please read chapter "Humanitarian Assistance: Good Will, Politics and Dilemmas" by Karimah Hudda.

      2. 'Introduction' and 'Chapter 1: Humanitarian Action and Responsibility' of Condemned to Repeat? The Paradox of Humanitarian Action

        Chapter Further Reading Please read the introduction and chapter 1 "Humanitarian Action and Responsibility".

      3. Chapter "Sudan: Who Benefits from Humanitarian Aid?" in In the shadow of 'just wars': violence, politics and humanitarian action - Marc Lavergne, Fabrice Weissman 2004

        Chapter Further Reading Please focus in particular on pp. 152-161.

      4. Chapter ‘Instrumentalisation of Aid in Humanitarian Crises: Obstacle or Precondition for Cooperation?’ of Humanitarianism and Challenges of Cooperation - Dennis Dijkzeul, Dorothea Hilhorsof

        Chapter Further Reading Please read the chapter ‘Instrumentalisation of Aid in Humanitarian Crises: Obstacle or Precondition for Cooperation?’ by Dennis Dijkzeul and Dorothea Hilhors

      5. Doing Harm by Doing Good? The Negative Externalities of Humanitarian Aid Provision during Civil Conflict - Reed M. Wood, Christopher Sullivan 2015

        Article Further Reading Please skip over the more technical bits of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training.

      6. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Refugees, Humanitarian Aid, and Terrorism - Seung-Whan Choi, Idean Salehyan 2013

        Article Further Reading Please skip over the more technical bits of this article if you haven’t had any previous statistics training.

  6. Week 8: Media, Propaganda and War 22 items
    1. In this week's lecture and seminar we will critically examine the complex relationship between the mass media and armed conflict since the end of the Cold War. In an age of 24/7 global news reporting, major conflicts around the world have become thoroughly mediatized. Some scholars emphasise how strategies of information and news management have become integral components of contemporary wars, as governments, militaries and non-state actors seek to mobilise public opinion and legitimise their use of force. The 2003 Iraq war is one major case that we will explore in more detail. Others argue that the news media may themselves compel 'western' governments to engage in military interventions abroad – the so-called 'CNN effect' – raising important questions about the role of the media in shaping foreign policy.

       

      In preparation for this week, please consider the following questions: What is the changing nature of the relationship between the news media and governments in times of war? Do the media mainly serve as propaganda platforms for governments and the military? Or do the media actively shape (or challenge) foreign policies and military interventions of 'western' states? And how does war reporting influence public understanding of and opinion about armed conflicts?

       

    2. Essential Readings 2 items
    3. Further Readings 19 items
      1. The Media at War - Susan L. Carruthers 2011

        Book Further Reading

      2. The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East - Robert Fisk 2007

        Book Further Reading

      3. Moving Media and Conflict Studies beyond the CNN Effect - Eytan Gilboa, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, Jason Miklian, Piers Robinson 2016

        Article Further Reading

      4. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media - Edward S. Herman, Noam Chomsky 2002

        Book Further Reading

      5. War and Media: The Emergence of Diffused War - Andrew Hoskins, Ben O'Loughlin 2010 (electronic resource)

        Book Further Reading

      6. Reporting Dissent in Wartime: British Press, the Anti-War Movement and the 2003 Iraq War - Craig Murray, Katy Parry, Piers Robinson, Peter Goddard 2008

        Article Further Reading

      7. War and the Media: Reporting Conflict 24/7 - Daya Kishan Thussu, Des Freedman 2003

        Book Further Reading

  7. Week 9: Gender, Masculinity and War 14 items
    1. In almost all contemporary wars, men make up the large majority of frontline fighters. When women do fight, the gendered meanings and consequences that flow from this are usually quite different. In this sense, war clearly seems to be a gendered phenomenon, and yet this fact is only sporadically addressed in mainstream conflict theory. Nevertheless, implicit links are drawn between the concentration of large groups of poor, unemployed men, and outbreaks of violent conflicts in developing countries. This week, we will critically explore the relationship between gender, masculinity and war, asking what role gender relations might play in both the onset of violent conflicts, and the form that they subsequently take.

       

      As you prepare for this week, use the following questions to guide your reading: What are the various claims made in the readings for the role of masculinity in wars? What role(s) might gender relations play in the causation of wars? How does gender relate to other categories of identity (such as ethnicity or economic class) in the causation of war? In what ways and through what means do war and military institutions transform masculinities? What would be the consequences (if any) of not addressing gender for analyses of wars? 

       

    2. Essential Readings 2 items
    3. Further Readings 11 items
      1. Making Sense of Masculinity and War - Kimberly Hutchings 2008

        Article Further Reading

      2. Colonels & cadres: war & gender in South Africa - Jacklyn Cock 1991

        Book Further Reading

      3. Chapter 'All the Men Are in the Militias, All the Women Are Victims: The Politics of Masculinity and Femininity in Nationalist Wars’ of The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire

        Chapter Further Reading Please read chapter ‘All the Men Are in the Militias, All the Women Are Victims: The Politics of Masculinity and Femininity in Nationalist Wars’.

      4. Gendering War and Peace - Fidelma Ashe 2012

        Article Further Reading

      5. Chapter 'Fearing Africa’s Young Men: Male Youth, Conflict, Urbanization, and the Case of Rwanda’ of The Other Half of Gender: Men's Issues in Development - Marc Sommers

        Chapter Further Reading Please read the chapter by Marc Sommers 'Fearing Africa’s Young Men: Male Youth, Conflict, Urbanization, and the Case of Rwanda’.

  8. Week 10: Strategies and Challenges of Peace-Building 15 items
    1. This week's lecture and seminar will discuss three key issues in the academic debate on peace-building: the central claims, strengths and weaknesses of the liberal peacebuilding argument; the role of statebuilding in peacebuilding operations; and the risk of spoilers in peace processes.

       

      When preparing for this session, students should use the following questions to guide their readings: What are the central claims of the liberal peacebuilding argument, and do you think they make sense when trying to achieve direct, structural and/or cultural negative and positive peace? Are there any viable alternatives to the liberal peacebuilding paradigm? How important is statebuilding for peacebuilding, and what are some of the key challenges for statebuilders in war-torn societies? What are spoilers, why do they create problems for peace processes and how can they be addressed?  

       

    2. Essential Readings 3 items
      1. Saving Liberal Peacebuilding - Roland Paris 2010

        Article Core Reading

    3. Further Readings 11 items
      1. The Local Turn in Peace Building: A Critical Agenda for Peace. - Roger Mac Ginty, Oliver P. Richmond 2013

        Article Further Reading

      2. Spoiler Problems in Peace Processes - Stephen John Stedman 1997

        Article Further Reading

      3. The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations - Roland Paris, Timothy D. Sisk 2009

        Book Further Reading Please read in particular "Introduction: Understanding the Contradictions of Postwar Peacebuilding" by Roland Paris and Timothy D. Sisk.

  9. Week 11: Managing Conflict Through Power-Sharing 16 items
    1. This week's lecture and seminar will discuss the features, strengths and weaknesses of power-sharing as a conflict management tool. We will pay particularly close attention to the arguable effects of consociationalism – a type of power-sharing that is most famously associated with the work of Arend Lijphart – and whether it can help to achieve the (West's) twin goals of sustainable peace and durable (liberal) democracy.

       

       

      When preparing for this session, students should use the following questions to guide their readings: How do the different readings for today define power-sharing more generally and consociationalism in particular? [For the latter part of this question, please take a few notes on the four defining elements of consociationalism and how (i.e. through what kind of institutions) they can be put into practice.] Under which conditions does consociational power-sharing seem to work best? Do you think consociationalism is a useful tool to achieve either sustainable peace or durable democracy or both, or is there another type of power-sharing that you prefer? 

    2. Essential Readings 3 items
      1. Power Sharing and International Mediation in Ethnic Conflicts - Timothy D. Sisk 1996

        Book Core Reading

    3. Further Readings 12 items
      1. Ethnic Power Sharing: Three Big Problems - Donald L. Horowitz 2014

        Article Further Reading

      2. Chapter 3: "Favorable Conditions for Consociational Democracy" of Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration - Arend Lijphart 1977

        Chapter Further Reading Please read chapter 3 "Favorable Conditions for Consociational Democracy".

      3. Consociational Settlements and Reconstruction: Bosnia in Comparative Perspective (1995-Present) - Sherill Stroschein 2014

        Article Further Reading Please focus in particular on pp. 102-112.

  10. Week 12: Revision and Essay Preparation 1 item
    1. This week's lecture will be split into two parts: a brief overview of key arguments covered in the preceding weeks, followed by some group work in which students are asked to discuss the implications of these key arguments for the policy-making discourse and actual development practice. This week's seminars will help students prepare for their summative essays by asking everyone to present and discuss a brief essay plan.

       

      There are no new readings for this week, but students are expected to revisit their lecture and seminar notes from the previous weeks to prepare for the revision lecture, and prepare a short essay plan (one page max.) to get some feedback on what they would like to write in their summative essays.