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IR3029   The Logic of Irregular Warfare

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: Mon 11am

Irregular warfare, insurgency and counter-insurgency are currently hotly debated topics in International Relations. Academic accounts of the ‘hybrid warfare’ and ‘asymmetric’ conflict abound, suggesting that irregular warfare is a new phenomenon. Against this trend, this module takes a historical perspective. It traces the emergence of the notion of the irregular fighter back to the eighteenth century and shows how irregular warfare has played a central role even in the framework of major wars such as the Second World War. The historical trajectory is complemented by conceptual sessions on topics such as legal and moral issues relating to irregular fighters, irregular warfare and the theory state formation and theories of irregular warfare and counter-insurgency.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester. Lectures will be delivered remotely while seminars follow guidance from the University.

Scheduled learning hours: 46

Guided independent study hours: 254

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 100%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Professor S Scheipers

Intended learning outcomes

  • Have an advanced understanding of the history of irregular warfare
  • Have a nuanced overview of the legal, moral and theoretical issues relating to irregular fighters.
  • Be able to assess critically social science research on this topic.
  • Develop their written and oral skills through essays, examinations, and presentations in the tutorial program.