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Unit information: Peacebuilding: Theory and Practice in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Peacebuilding: Theory and Practice
Unit code POLI31557
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Christie
Open unit status Not open
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School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

This unit will introduce students to the evolution of the forms of conflict prevention and resolution, and will focus on the institutionalisation of peace-building. Students will be exposed to major debates within the academic and policy literature about the forms of international intervention and reconstruction, and will explore how peacebuilding is linked to broader processes in international relations. The course will then examine and critically engage the underlying claims of peacebuilding (including how it claims to work on behalf of individuals rather than states; how it is linked to development; and the expansion of the roles number of non-state actors). In addition to literature dealing specifically with peacebuilding a number of case studies will be used to explore the course's central themes, these will include: Cambodia, Mozambique, Haiti, South Pacific Islands and Afghanistan.

This unit aims:

  • to provide students with a theoretical and empirical understanding of the evolution of peacebuilding.
  • to provide students with the ability to explore the theories and practices of peacebuilding.
  • to develop in students an appreciation of the links between peacebuilding and liberal global governance.
  • To provide students with a consideration of the ways in which peacebuilding has been translated into policies by state actors and the non-governmental sector.
  • To provide students with an introduction to policy-based literature,
  • To offer students an introduction to a number of case studies .

Your learning on this unit

At the end of this unit students will:

  • Acquire knowledge of how peacebuilding has evolved, and how it has been put into action at the international level, and its effects at the state and local levels.
  • Be able to understand and critically engage the key debates surrounding peacebuilding, international intervention, and global governance.
  • Be able to apply knowledge to key issues in peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction.
  • Be able to use knowledge acquired in this unit as a foundation to courses in international relations and development studies.

How you will learn

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

How you will be assessed

Formative - 500 word essay plan

Summative - 3,500 word Essay 100%


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. POLI31557).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.