• Offered by Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Cecilia Archie
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings

This course will critically examine the theoretical and practical issues surrounding peace and conflict studies. The course will begin by exploring the range of different understandings of the roots of violence and the contemporary manifestations of conflict. It will then examine the key actors in conflicts such as elites, constituencies, civil society, soldiers, mercenaries, spoilers and outside actors. Turning to major debates in the field, it will explore the question of whether it is ever ‘just’ to use violence for political ends; the concept of ‘non-violence’ in theory and practice; and debates over external intervention (including the R2P debate, various ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ power approaches and the role and efficacy of the UN). We will then investigate key approaches in the field – such as conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict resolution and conflict transformation (and the relationship between these approaches). The role that human security, human rights and international law plays in such processes will also be examined. The course will then turn to the relationship conflict resolution has to peacekeeping, peace-enforcing and post-conflict situations. Integral to these discussions will be the application of theory to case-studies such as Israel-Palestine, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Iraq East Timor, Sri Lanka and Rwanda. The final part of the course will assess the future of conflict and conflict prevention. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

1.    Demonstrate an understanding of key debates concerning the use of violence

2.    Explain the major debates concerning the origins and drivers of, and actors involved in, conflict.

3.    Demonstrate an understanding of the major schools of thought concerning conflict prevention, conflict management conflict resolution, and peace-building.

Indicative Assessment

60%: 3,000 word essay (learning outcomes 1, 2 and 3)

40%: take-home exam (learning outcomes 2 and 3)

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The workload will be 2 hours of lectures and 1 one-hour tutorial once a week. There is an expectation of approximately 7 hours per week of independent study.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed POLS1005 or POLS1006; or permission of the convenor

Prescribed Texts

An e-brick will be prepared for students with a range of readings. Indicative texts include

  • Kaldor, New and Old Wars (Cambridge: Polity, 2007)
  • Galtung, Peace by Peaceful Means (Oslo: PRIO, 1996)
  • Nye, Understanding International Conflict: An introduction to theory and history (New York: Harper Collins, 1993)
  • Cochrane, Ending Wars (London: Polity, 2008)





Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3027 20 Jul 2015 07 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2015 30 Oct 2015 In Person N/A

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