War and peace: understanding conflict around the world
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HWH57
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
Has war between nation states become a thing of the past? Does globalisation mean that conflicts are being fought for different reasons than previously? The New World Order proclaimed in 1991 by US president, George Bush, was supposed to bring peace and prosperity to all corners of the world. Yet in the last 3 decades millions of people have died in wars and millions more have become refugees. The course is an exploration of war and peace examining the ideas that underpin our understanding and approach to these notions. We illustrate our discussion by looking at several examples, including Northern Ireland, Palestine, and Yugoslavia.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• What is war? Can we speak of a ‘war’ on drugs or terror? What is the state’s role?
• What are the causes of war? How do systemic, state and sub-state causes differ?
• How has war changed?
• What concepts are used to theorise war? How have these changed over time?
• What is peace? What are the different conceptions of peace?
• How is peace taught? Has that evolved? Can we ever achieve lasting peace?
• What is the role of the UN and NATO? What challenges do these organisations face?
• What is the conflict triangle? What is the cost of conflict?
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Define war, explain its role, and understand its contestability
•Discuss the causes of war at different levels
• Locate, describe, and understand the evolving practices of war
• Explain the different concepts used to theorise war
• Define peace, list conceptions, and outline how they differ
• Explore different forms of peace, their challenges, and why they matter
• Describe the remit – and challenges – faced by the UN and NATO
• Discuss the conflict triangle and the cost of conflict.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous knowledge is required, although there will be some recommended reading. Books should be available from a library, although you might wish to buy a particular text if you wish to explore a topic further.
This is an `introductory` course and does not assume any previous study or reading. Although a good grasp of English will help you keep up with the course. You will gain more from the course, in terms of enjoyment and learning, if you are able and willing to do some supplementary reading. As with most of our history and current affairs courses, intellectual curiosity and an open mind are more important than specific levels of skills.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Most sessions involve the tutor leading in with a prepared talk or lecture. There is ample opportunity for discussion of issues or problems raised. As the course progresses learners are encouraged to take an increasing part in the learning process, especially with regard to discussing aspects of the topics covered.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please bring a pen and notebook to class if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Check out our online prospectus for more courses on history and politics.
Francesca is a Teaching Fellow at King's College, London. She completed her PhD on Trust and Revolution, having earned an MA in International Relations. Her book -- Trust, Politics, and Revolution: a European History -- was published by IB Tauris in 2019.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.