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IR5924   Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: Thursdays 1-3pm (except week 5 Wednesday 14th February 12 noon - 2pm)

The goal of the module is to familiarise students with different approaches that seek to explain how ethnicity and nationhood are created and maintained, how different forms of ethnic conflict and ethnic violence come about, and what possible mechanisms to contain nationalism and ethnic conflict are. The module takes a comparative and historical perspective and employs a variety of theoretical approaches to tackle the issues at hand, including primordial, constructivist, and instrumental approaches to identity, and rational-choice arguments, Marxism, institutionalism, and culturalist approaches to explain ethnic conflict. Thus, the module aims to support students to become more savvy in understanding, appreciating, and critiquing existing works on the topic, skills that in turn should help them to pursue their own research on nationalism and ethnic conflict, if they so choose.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar (x 11 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 22

Guided independent study hours: 269

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

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

Re-assessment: No re-assessment available


Module coordinator: Dr D Muro Ruiz
Module teaching staff: Dr D Muro

Intended learning outcomes

  • Develop a critical understanding of ethnic and nationalist conflicts within the context of a multidisciplinary approach to security studies
  • Evaluate historical and contemporary ethno-nationalist conflicts around the world and identify the cultural, economic and political root causes
  • Critically evaluate the policy, strategy and tactics of state responses as well as their effectiveness
  • Formulate clear and concise written arguments in a range of formats, supported by academic evidence
  • Skills of literature search, the use of open source material, and an introduction to basic and principal elements of conflict analysis
  • Develop skills in research design and analysis using qualitative and quantitative techniques