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IR3070   Armed Conflict in Postcolonial Africa

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: Wed 11am

How can we categorise different types and dimensions of armed conflicts in 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, the module 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.

Relationship to other modules

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

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

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


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

Intended learning outcomes

  • understand different types and dimensions of armed conflict in postcolonial Africa
  • recognize both the underlying and proximate causes of armed conflicts
  • develop their personal view on how parsimonious or complex an explanation for a conflict should be
  • identify ways to resolve conflicts
  • apply general conceptual and theoretical insights to specific case studies