Dirty Wars? Conflict and Military Intervention (L2056S)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

You'll analyse what might loosely be called the 'new security environment' and its impacts on international relations.

You'll also focus on the role of 'hard power', its uses and limitations in the context of civil war, insurgency, the Global War on Terror and intervention so that you know the causes and dynamics of intra-state conflict, and the efforts the international community makes to manage and resolve it.

By using theoretical lenses to study conflict and intervention, you'll develop policy-relevant analysis of the security threats that have emerged since the Cold War.

You'll think critically about the role of 'hard power' in world politics, applying some of your previous knowledge.

However, the main emphasis of this course is to explain and understand conflict and its resolution from an empirical, pragmatic and policy-oriented perspective.

This module is a 'nuts and bolts' analysis of new security challenges complementing the reflexive and philosophical approach that you may have seen in other courses. 

You'll also need to do intensive study, as many of the case studies and themes may be new to you.



100%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 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 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: