War in World Politics (826M9)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

The module offers an advanced understanding of the place of war in world politics. What is war and how, if at all, is it different from other forms of violence? What is politics and how, if at all, is it to be distinguished from war? What is the relationship between politics and war? That there is a distinction between these activities is fundamental to the self-understanding of liberal democracies. We begin by enquiring into this politico-military history with a close reading of Carl von Clausewitz. We then turn to an examinination of war in specific relation to ethics and law (the distinctive political morality of war and legal rules governing its conduct), gender (the construction of certain kinds of 'men' and 'women' through military socialisation), and culture (military Orientalism and associated forms of identity construction). We then use the knowledge acquired in the first part of the module to investigate three specific forms of warfare. These are genocide as a war of annhilation, insurgency/guerrilla warfare and counterinsurgency. The overall aim and objective of the module is to develop advanced knowledge and analytical skills to think, talk, and write in an informed and critical manner about war in world politics

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 24 hours of contact time and about 276 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: