MSc International Disaster Management

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
The Politics of International Intervention, Conflict, and Peace

Course unit fact file
Unit code HCRI60612
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course will critically explore the politics of international intervention, conflict and peace. Students will interrogate international intervention as a technology of global governance, and analyse the ideas and policy developments underpinning and driving it as relates to conflict and peace. The module will also explore how communities experience and deal with these different forms of intervention, and how their political and economic priorities diverge from those of the interveners. This exploration will be achieved through a critical analyses of theoretical and thematic issues, and in-depth empirical case studies. Among the topics covered are: the politics of intervention, conflict and peace; military intervention and peacekeeping; the political economy of peacebuilding; post-conflict statebuilding; war economies; diasporas; and international aid.

Aims

This course aims to:

  • Develop an understanding of different theoretical approaches to thinking about international intervention, conflict and peace;
  • Develop an understanding of how international intervention, conflict and peace impacts on different communities, and how their political and economic priorities diverge from those of the intervener;
  • Develop a critical understanding of the relationship between knowledge production and policy formation as it relates to international intervention, conflict and peace;
  • Develop an ability to engage in critical discussion and debate, to formulate ideas based upon key readings, and advance a position based on the analysis and synthesis of readings.
  • Engage critically with relevant literature and be able to apply theoretical concepts from the literature to empirical examples.

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered through 10 thematic teaching sessions which will take the form of a 45 minute lecture followed by discussion of key texts. It will be illustrated and supported by multiple case studies that explore various aspects of the politics of international intervention, conflict and peace. There is a strong conceptual and theoretical element to this module but empirical evidence will be used throughout to demonstrate how these theories illuminate real-life scenarios.

Knowledge and understanding

  • To develop a critical understanding of the history and practices of international intervention as it relates to conflict and peace;
  • To critically analyse the ideas behind, and policy justifications for, international intervention practices as they relate to conflict and peace;
  • To critically interrogate the literature related to crises drawn from a range of disciplines, and to recognise the challenges of addressing these crises, both practically and ethically.
  • Understand the impacts of international intervention practices;
  • To critically evaluate key theories and research in the politics of international intervention as it relates to conflict and peace.

Intellectual skills

  • To critically evaluate theoretical approaches and apply them effectively to case studies.
  • To critically interrogate the literatures related to international intervention, conflict and peace, particularly how theory shapes practice;
  • To develop a critical understanding of the relationship between various forms of international intervention, conflict and peace, using contemporary and historical case studies;
  • To critically analyse the different methods of international interventions and the agencies implementing them;
  • To articulate and defend own positions on the politics of international intervention as it relates to conflict and peace.

Practical skills

  • Develop an understanding of how different types of international intervention behaviours, policies and practices provoke and sustain conflict and peace;
  • Understand how academic work relates to policymaking and interrogate the effectiveness of different strategies;
  • Demonstrate analytical and debating skills with peers and tutors through tutorials and online discussions and forums;
  • Show effective use of library resources drawing on relevant academic and grey literature, and seeking out information through the use of virtual sources to underpin learning and gathering information for written work.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Develop communication skills for a variety of audiences;
  • Develop written presentation skills and techniques;
  • Show effective use of library resources drawing relevant literature, and seeking out information through the use of virtual sources to underpin learning and gathering information for written work.
  • Develop analytical skills and the ability to articulate ideas verbally and in writing;
  • Develop confidence in articulating ideas during discussions.

Employability skills

Other
Students will learn to develop analytical skills and the ability to articulate ideas verbally and in writing. Through the student-led discussions, students will learn to interact with others and debate concepts and theories related to their own reading and knowledge. Individual reading and study time will help students to develop time-keeping and organisational skills, as well as the ability to monitor and develop their own learning.

Assessment methods

Assessment Task

Formative or Summative

Weighting

Essay Plan

Formative

0%

Group Presentation

Summative

30%

Essay

Summative

70%

 

Feedback methods

Written feedback on essay plan

Formative

Written feedback on essay

Summative

Verbal feedback on 1-1 meetings with students (during consultation hour or by making an appointment)

Formative

 

Recommended reading

Michael Pugh, Neil Cooper and Mandy Turner (eds.) (2008) Whose Peace: Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding. Palgrave Macmillan.

Mandy Turner and Florian Kühn (eds.) (2016) The Politics of International Intervention: The Tyranny of Peace. Routledge.

Naomi Klein. (2007) The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Knopft Canada.

The West and the Rest in International Interventions’. Special issue of Conflict, Security and Development, edited by Mandy Turner and Florian Kühn, ‘Vol.19, No.3, 2019.

Roger Mac Ginty and Alp Ozerdem (eds.) (2019) Comparing Peace Processes. Routledge.

David Chandler and Timothy D. Sisk (eds.) (2013) Routledge Handbook of International Statebuilding. Routledge.

‘Intervention and the Ordering of the Modern World’, special issue of Review of International Studies 39, 2013, edited by John Macmillan.

Susan L Woodward, The Ideology of Failed States: Why Intervention Fails (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Meera Sabaratnam, Decolonising Intervention: International Statebuilding in Mozambique (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mandy Turner Unit coordinator

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