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Unit information: Conceptual Issues in Security, Conflict, and Human Rights in 2020/21

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Unit name Conceptual Issues in Security, Conflict, and Human Rights
Unit code POLIM0030
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
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 human rights. It examines different disciplinary and theoretical approaches to these themes. Students will engage with normative, empirical and theoretical perspectives and the contemporary research agendas within and between disciplines.

The unit will be delivered in the form of an intensive three day workshop which will include:

Introductory session mapping the broad contours of the topic;

Different disciplinary perspectives presented by lecturers from a range of disciplines across the DTP partners;

Facilitated seminar/workshop sessions to debate particular issues from an interdisciplinary perspective including, where appropriate, presentations from existing PhD researchers;

Concluding session

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 human rights 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 human rights;
  • The ability to plan and design independent research into an issue related to security, conflict, and human rights;
  • The ability to write articulately, concisely and persuasively about issues in security, conflict, and human rights.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

Formative assessment: group presentation

Summative assessment: 100% essay (3,500 words) which will assess all of the learning outcomes

Reading and References

• Galtung, Johan 1969. ‘Violence, peace, and peace research.’ Journal of Peace Research 63: 167-191
• Jacoby, Tim 2008. Understanding Conflict and Violence: Theoretical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. London: Routledge.
• Kolodziej, Edward A. 2005. ‘Chapter 2: The foundations of security studies: Hobbes, Clausewitz, Thucydides’. In: Security and International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Moyn, Samuel, 2010. The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
• Woods, Kerri 2014. Human Rights. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan.
• Freeman, Michael 2002. Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Cambridge: Polity Press.
• Goodhand, Jonathan 2000. ‘Research in conflict areas: Ethics and accountability.’ Forced Migration Review 8: 12-15.