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IR3045   Violence in Deeply-Divided Societies

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: Both

Planned timetable: Thursday 2pm

Bloodshed is what tends to keep divided societies in the headlines: yet the nature of this violence often remains under-examined as a political force in its own right. This module seeks to explain what drives processes of violence in deeply divided societies with particular emphasis on what happens at the grassroots and between communities. The module combines theory with in-depth consideration of case studies from across the world (in previous years this has included Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Lebanon) to understand what causes conflict, how conflict is resolved and whether deep societal divisions can be healed.

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: 22

Guided independent study hours: 278

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: Dr N Brooke
Module teaching staff: Dr N Brooke

Intended learning outcomes

  • Understanding of the recurrent and (often) intractable nature of political violence in deeply divided societies.
  • Understanding of the challenges facing both top-down and bottom-up attempts to build peace in deeply divided societies.
  • Understanding of the current state of theoretical debate about how communal identities and conflict dynamics may or may not be inter-related.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia and Sri Lanka.