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IR3070 Armed Conflict in Postcolonial Africa

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 9
Planned timetable:12.00 noon Wed

How can we categorise different types and dimensions of armed conflicts in postcolonial Africa? What are their underlying and proximate causes? And what can be done to resolve them and achieve lasting peace? These are the overarching questions that guide the module. Following a broad historical overview, it addresses the relative paucity of interstate and secessionist conflict while highlighting the abundance of external involvement. Then, the module turns to problems of governance, the motives of rebels, and the role that ethnicity and religion play in the outbreak and continuation of conflicts. The module concludes by investigating the promises and pitfalls of both peacemaking and peacekeeping. Each tutorial provides students with the opportunity to apply general insights from the week's lecture to a specific case, including some of Africa's most recent conflicts.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for International Relations and BA (Intl Hons) International Relations

UG Pre-requisite(s):IR1005, IR1006, IR2005, IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:1-hour lecture (x 11 weeks), 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks) 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks)
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 21
  • Guided independent study: 279

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 0%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 100%
UG As used by St Andrews:Coursework = 100%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr H Tamm
Module teaching staff:Dr H Tamm