Week One


Theoretical and Conceptual Approaches to Conflict and Violence
Elise FÉRON (Tampere Peace Research Institute, University of Tampere)

This module is designed to examine the various approaches that have been developed to understand conflict in its different forms with a particular focus on contemporary research on the causes, effects and dynamics of intrastate conflicts and civil wars. The module also provides an opportunity to examine emerging approaches to conflict and to look at the extent to which theory is evolving to keep up with rapid changes in different conflict environments.

  • Féron 1: Introductive Remarks and the Concept of “New Wars”
  • Féron 2: Ethnicity, Religion and Conflicts
  • Féron 3: Territory and Conflicts: From Local to Transnational Approaches
  • Féron 4: Socio-Economic Dimensions of Conflicts
  • Féron 5: Gender and Conflicts
  • Féron 6: New Stakes in Conflicts
  • Féron 7: Conflict Prevention and Early Warning


The Challenges of Peacebuilding
Mats BERDAL (King’s College London)

The module is designed to provide a comprehensive and critical overview of the international community’s efforts over the past two decades to bring “lasting peace and stability” to societies affected by war and protracted conflict.

  • Berdal 1: The Political Economy of War and Peace
  • Berdal 2: Post-war Violence and Peacebuilding
  • Berdal 3: From Cambodia to Afghanistan: The UN and International Peacebuilding After the Cold War


The Resilience of War
Christopher COKER (LSE – London School of Economics)

In 2003 the EU celebrated the fact that the world was more peaceful than it had ever been but that was before ISIS, and Ukraine.
Peace is a work in progress. War is one of the most resilient human activities; it is has evolutionary possibilities that have still to be realised; it has not yet reached an evolutionary dead end.

  • Coker 1: Why War Can’t Be Eliminated
  • Coker 2: Humanising War


Understanding and Researching Non-state Agency in Peacebuilding
Birte VOGEL (Manchester University)

This module discusses how we think about non-state actor in peace and conflict studies. It looks both at how the international community engages with local actors in peace interventions, as well as how academics try to conduct research in conflict-affected societies, and thus contribute to our understanding of ‘the local’.

  • Vogel 1: The international community and local actors
  • Vogel 2: Understanding everyday peace
  • Vogel 3: Knowledge production and exclusion: Research in Conflict-Affected Societies



Week Two


Introduction to Mediation and Third-Party Participatory Processes
Juan DIAZ-PRINZ (mediatEUr)

This module is an introduction to the methods and styles of international mediation. It is taught through experiential learning in which students are given personal experiences with the themes through reflection, exercises, practice, and feedbacking. By the end of the unit student will be able to understand key theoretical issues in the field of conflict resolution; to have some familiarity with the main theoretical schools that study mediation; to understand the main concepts and techniques used in mediation; and to experience the practice of mediation through a series of practical exercises. This unit is not a certification in mediation and is not a definitive course on the topic. It is a practical introduction to the topic to complement the existing theoretical courses in the program.

  • Diaz 1: Understanding Third-parties Processes
  • Diaz 2: Understanding of Mediation
  • Diaz 3: The Mediation Process
  • Diaz 4: Mediation Role Play
  • Diaz 5: Mediation Debriefing and Experiences from the Field


Violence and Its Aftermaths
Kieran MITTON (King’s College London)

Violence rests at the heart of conflict, yet it is rarely considered in its own right, as distinct from the wider causes of war. In this module, we critically examine both the causes and shaping-dynamics of violence in civil wars, as well as the subsequent challenges such violence presents for affected societies. By the end of this module, students will have an understanding of how different (and often misleading) explanations for violence result in very different policy-responses, both during and following conflict. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and the case study of Sierra Leone, the module will tease out the practical challenges violence presents to a range of actors concerned with post-war reconstruction, peacebuilding, DDR, transitional justice and reconciliation.

  • Mitton 1: Understanding Violence in Civil Wars
  • Mitton 2: The Challenge of Post-Conflict Reconciliation


Post Conflict Reconstruction and Peacebuilding
Alpaslan ÖZERDEM (Coventry University)

In this module, the main focus would be the nexus of post-conflict reconstruction and peace building. Focussing on a number of strategic and operational level barriers, the module presents a critique of the liberal peace building approach and how it often fails to build sustainable peace in war-torn societies. Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina will be presented as a case study for the investigation of the post-conflict reconstruction-peacebuilding relationship further. Considering the significance of ‘security’ for the sustainability of peace, the module also explores the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants in order to elaborate its linkages with different aspects of peacebuilding such as economic development, governance, security and reconciliation.

  • Özerdem 1: Post-Conflict Reconstruction as a Tool for Peacebuilding
  • Özerdem 2: Mostar – Rebuilding a Divided City
  • Özerdem 3: DDR of Ex-Combatants – how not to do it!


Week two activities will be complemented by “Meet the expert” events.