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The aim of this subject is to provide a grounding in analytical approaches to the political economy of conflict, security and development. To achieve this aim, we draw on the notion of the 'continuum of violence’ to show how differing forms of violence are connected in complex ways throughout the various processes of development. The subject examines the foundational theories of conflict and violence, including gender perspectives, debates about the origins of human violence, and the role of violence in historical change. Against this background, we explore a range of competing theories and claims in development theory to trace ways assumptions have influenced ideas regarding the causes and dynamics of conflict . Further, the subject looks critically at contemporary efforts to address insecurity and conflict through conflict mediation, ‘state building’, and post conflict stabilization/reconstruction. We also examine empirical trends in relation to conflict, and the varied responses, to areas that include insecurity/violent conflict; the difficulties of data collection; and the importance of categorization and boundaries to matters of conflict and development.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should be able to:
- explore a range of ways of understanding the possible linkages between ‘development’ and security/conflict;
- develop a political economy approach to understanding these issues, which encourages an exploration of the connections between contemporary trends and historical processes, and an openness to inter-disciplinary methods and approaches;
- encourage critical questioning of available models of explanation and policy packages, through a critical view of theory and empirical evidence, and to explore alternative approaches and policy responses to the challenges created by conflict and insecurity;
- develop case study knowledge of particular conflicts or manifestations of conflict and insecurity;
- develop the ability to critically engage with analytical and operational tools designed to address violent conflict.
On completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to think critically (for example, about development and its measures);
- obtain information to evaluate propositions (about development)
- write coherent and researched essays;
Last updated: 3 November 2022