BSc International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response and Spanish

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Everyday Peace Building and Security

Course unit fact file
Unit code HCRI20001
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This module concentrates on the key theoretical and conceptual constructs that can help us understand peacebuilding and place it in a wider context. The module will introduce students to key pieces of literature and place an emphasis on the critical deconstruction of ideas and structures. In keeping with the critical ethos that is associated with the study of peacebuilding in Manchester, strong emphasis will be placed on issues of power, agency and bottom-up approaches to peace. In contrast to traditional International Relations-influenced courses, we will concentrate on the agency that people and communities have in building peace, and in questioning the peace that is rolled out for them as part of internationally-supported peacebuilding missions.


  • To interrogate key concepts and theories in peace and conflict studies.
  • To understand the different actors and levels of response to peace and conflict
  • To scrutinize what peace and conflict mean at the level of the everyday
  • To consider the tensions and complementarities between bottom-up and top-down approaches to building peace.
  • To consider the nature of power and agency in relation to peace, conflict and resistance.
  • To engage critically with relevant literature.


Knowledge and understanding

  • To understand the difference between local and international approaches to building peace
  • To interrogate what the liberal peace means as a dominant peacebuilding paradigm
  • To understand how local populations engage with conflict and peace interventions
  • Understanding the intersection between different causes of conflict
  • To discuss how international peacebuilding can be made more people-centric
  • Knowledge of specific case studies (for instance Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Northern Ireland)
  • Knowledge of key concepts in the peacebuilding field such as power, agency and resistance
  • An understanding of the interplay between international and local approaches to peace
  • An understanding of what the everyday means and why it is a political concept
  • Develop an understanding of how people cope with and react to conflict in their societies

Intellectual skills

  • Deepen critical appraisal
  • Appreciate differing methodological/conceptual perspectives
  • Link theoretical/conceptual material with case study material


Practical skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Discursive and argumentative skills
  • Editorial skills
  • Presentation skills

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Working autonomously
  • Working in teams
  • Respecting different views
  • Giving feedback to others

Employability skills

- Editorial and analytical skills - Evidence-led decision-making - Putting together and maintaining arguments (useful for a marketing/awareness campaign or business case) - Oral and communication skills - especially in terms of comprehending large amounts of information and drawing reasoned conclusions - Meeting deadlines - Working autonomously and in groups

Assessment methods

Commentary 40%
Essay 60%
Essay Plan 0%


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Written feedback on written assignments


Verbal feedback in seminars



Recommended reading

Mac Ginty, Roger, and Andrew Williams. Conflict and development. Routledge, 2016.

Ramsbotham, Oliver, Hugh Miall, and Tom Woodhouse. Contemporary conflict resolution. Polity, 2011.

Jabri, Vivienne. Discourses on violence: Conflict analysis reconsidered. Manchester University Press, 1996.

Mac Ginty, Roger. Routledge handbook of peacebuilding. Routledge, 2013.

Jeong, Ho-Won. Understanding conflict and conflict analysis. Sage, 2008.

Cheldelin, Sandra I., Daniel Druckman, and Larissa Fast. Conflict. A&C Black, 2008.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Catherine Arthur Unit coordinator
Birte Vogel Unit coordinator

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