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IR5705   Critical Approaches to Peacebuilding

Academic year(s): 2024-2025

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students on the MLitt or MPhil in Peacebuilding and Mediation

Planned timetable: Tuesdays 10.00am -12.00noon

This module analyzes critical approaches to peacebuilding. Key questions include: What are the meanings of peace, and how might the study of peacebuilding differ from the study of violence? Who are the key actors involved in the process of making peace? What are the sites and settings of peacebuilding, and over what time horizons must we orient our attention towards them in order to fully understand experiences of peace? And how do different meanings and manifestations of power and politics inflect the texture of peace? Based on a range of interdisciplinary texts and multimedia, students will apply these questions to case studies that draw together insights from peacebuilding efforts worldwide.

Relationship to other modules

Co-requisite(s): You must also take IR5704

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: Weekly two-hour seminar (x 10 weeks), one-time required two-hour writing workshop, one-time required three-hour workshop on peace processes

Scheduled learning hours: 53

Guided independent study hours: 241

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

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


Module coordinator: Dr K C M Hunfeld
Module teaching staff: Dr Katharina Hunfeld

Intended learning outcomes

  • Analyze the meanings of peace and trace how those meanings have evolved across theoretical, spatial, and temporal contexts
  • Critically engage with the framing of 'the local', 'civil society', and community-led approaches to peace
  • Adopt an intersectional lens to the lasting legacies of violence and the power dynamics of peacebuilding
  • Understand not only how peace is theorized, but also felt and imagined beyond and outside the academy
  • Articulate what critical approaches to peacebuilding propose, not only oppose, with regard to the making of peace
  • Identify the dilemmas peacebuilding institutions may face when confronting or challenging power dynamics, as well as the strategies peacebuilding professionals can use to respond to these dilemmas