Geographies of Violence and Conflict

Module code: 001G4A
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

Conflict and violence are major components of social process, transformation and change – locally, nationally and internationally. This module gives you an overview of how geographers (and other social scientists) have thought about, studied, and explained, violence and conflict. For example, whether violence and conflict are considered an exceptional situation or a ‘normal’ aspect of societal change.

The module highlights the multiple scales at which conflict and violence occur, from domestic violence to international war. Nevertheless, emphasis will be placed on how violence and conflict affect people (and groups of people) at the micro-level of personal experience rather than simply looking at macro-level aggregate patterns. You will be encouraged to examine the differences between diverse forms of violence. For example, does it make sense to consider structural violence (eg racism, sexism) in the same way as physical (or direct) violence?

The first third of the module will focus on the theories and concepts through which violence and conflict have been explained. The second two-thirds will apply these theories and concepts to a range of diverse examples (such as resource wars, undocumented migration, war games and toy guns, counter-insurgency and urban policing).

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the theories and concepts of geographers and other social scientists who have written about violence and conflict.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a variety of case studies of violence and conflict.
  • Apply theories and concepts of violence and conflict to a range of case studies.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of these theories and concepts to explain observable patterns and experiences of violence and conflict.