Masters Modules.

“Really enjoyed the module, made me think beyond what I had expected to learn.”

International Political Sociology of Civil Wars.

This module will introduce you to the politics of civil war—the dominant form of armed conflict today. The module will open with an overview of international conflict trends and the debate on the “new” versus “old” nature of present-day wars. The second part will focus on structural determinants of the cross-national and sub-national variation in civil wars. The remainder will explore the micro-level foundations of fighting, from the “greed” versus “grievance” and “opportunity” versus “motivation” debates to the complex interaction of rationalist and constructivist mechanisms of mobilization and recruitment.

Through this multi-level approach, you will acquire an advanced conceptual and theoretical understanding of civil war as an international political phenomenon. More specifically the module will help you to explain explain dominant trends in contemporary armed conflict; examine civil wars in the context of global and domestic politics; understand a range of political, social, and economic motivations and recruitment strategies behind individual mobilization to fight; and analyse key issues in ongoing civil wars and challenges in international responses to armed conflict.


Students develop critical analysis skills in a three-step process reflected in the oral presentation, literature review and research paper and applied in class through the analysis of current events (e.g. why Zimbabwe did not fall to civil war in 2017), films, research interview transcripts and working papers and participation in group exercises (e.g. collective action game and international crisis simulation). These tools and practices provide students with a range of skills for future academic and policy careers and responsible civic engagement in the area of international conflict.


The module is assessed through a variety of means, which typically includes individual coursework and presentations.

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