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Unit information: Conceptual Issues in Security, Conflict, and Justice in 2015/16

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Unit name Conceptual Issues in Security, Conflict, and Justice
Unit code SPOLM0019
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Peoples
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The unit introduces students to conceptual and theoretical issues in the study of security, conflict, and justice. It examines different disciplinary and theoretical approaches to the three themes. Students will engage with normative, empirical and theoretical perspectives and the contemporary research agendas within and between disciplines.

The unit will be taught in five intensive days split into three thematic session as follows:

Session 1 (1 day): Introduction to the pathway; Violence Session 2 (2 days): Ethnicity; Gender Session 3 (2 days): Human rights; Governance and sovereignty Each session will take place on a different DTC campus; it is expected that these will rotate between campuses from year to year. Each day will include:

Introductory session mapping the broad contours of the topic; Different disciplinary perspectives presented through lecturers from a range of disciplines across the DTC partners; Facilitated seminar/workshop to debate particular issues from an interdisciplinary perspective including, where appropriate, presentations from existing PhD researchers; and, Concluding session All students will be expected to attend at the relevant campus; virtual learning is not commensurate with the small group expected for this unit. Lecturers will be encouraged to attend in person but, where necessary, may deliver their presentations virtually.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The learning objectives and outcomes include:

The ability to understand and analyse critically a range of issues in contemporary security and conflict contexts at multiple levels, from the inter-personal to inter-state; The ability to understand and critically analyse security, conflict and justice from multiple disciplinary and conceptual perspectives Wide knowledge and understanding of the state of the art on these issues in different disciplines; The ability to engage in constructive, critical discussion about theoretical and disciplinary perspectives on critical issues in security, conflict and justice; The ability to plan and design independent research into an issue related to security, conflict, and justice; and, The ability to write articulately, concisely and persuasively about issues in security, conflict, and justice.

Teaching Information

1 x 1-day workshop (6 hours study) 2 x 2-day workshops (12 hours study) to be split between Bath, Bristol and Exeter)

Assessment Information

100% essay (3,500 words)

Reading and References

  • Brown, Graham K. and Arnim Langer 2011. ‘Riding the ever-rolling stream: Time and the ontology of violent conflict.’ World Development 39(2): 188-198.
  • Finnemore, Martha and Kathryn Sikkink 2001. ‘The constructivist research program in international relations and comparative politics.’ Annual Review of Political Science 4: 391-416.
  • Goodhand, Jonathan 2000. ‘Research in conflict areas: Ethics and accountability.’ Forced Migration Review 8: 12-15.
  • Timmer, Jaap 2002. ‘Conflict and anthropology: Some notes on doing consultancy work in Malukan battlegrounds Eastern Indonesia.’ The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 32: 65-88.
  • Wood, Elizabeth Jean 2006. ‘The ethical challenges of field research in conflict zones.’ Qualitative Sociology 29(3): 373-386.