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Module Code: POU44382

Module Name: Advanced Topics in Civil Conflict

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 2
  • Contact Hours: TBC
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Dr Dino Hadzic
  • Office Hours: By appointment

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Understand what factors make the onset and cessation of civil conflict / civil wars more likely and what explains variation in the duration and severity of civil conflict.
  • Appreciate how civil conflict affects post-conflict social and political outcomes such as civic engagement and representation.
  • Describe how the research agenda on civil conflict has developed both theoretically and empirically over time.
  • Identify current gaps in the research agenda and potential opportunities for scholarly contributions.

Module Learning Aims

This module aims to introduce students to the state of current research on civil conflict and war. Students will gain a thorough understanding of (a) what factors determine the onset, cessation, duration, and severity of civil conflict and (b) how civil conflict shapes post-conflict political and social outcomes.


Module Content

This module examines the state of current research on the causes and effects of civil conflict and war. The first half of the module addresses civil conflict as an outcome: what makes conflict onset (and cessation) more likely? Why are some conflicts longer and more severe than others? Why are some societies peaceful while others appear stuck in a conflict trap? The second half will explore civil conflict as a predictor: why does conflict increase civic and political engagement in some settings but decrease it in others? How does conflict affect representation, particularly for social minorities and women? What are the short-, medium-, and long-term consequences of conflict? These are just some of the questions we will address in the module.

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Recommended Reading List

All readings (required and optional) will be available on Blackboard. Most of the readings will be journal articles, but students will also be assigned chapters from the books listed below. Once again, the assigned chapters will be available on Blackboard, but students may wish to obtain the books for themselves as well. Each has received a significant amount of attention from conflict scholars and political scientists more generally.

  • Balcells, Laia. 2017. Rivalry and Revenge: The Politics of Violence during Civil War. Cambridge University Press
  • Driscoll, Jesse. 2015. Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States. Cambridge University Press
  • Tripp, Aili Mari. 2015. Women and Power in Postconflict Africa. Cambridge University Press
  • Wilkinson, Steven I. 2004. Votes and Violence: Electoral Competition and Ethnic Riots in India. Cambridge University Press

Assessment Details

  • 1 mid-term essay (40%)
  • 1 end-of-term essay (60%)

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