• Offered by School of Politics and International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest Political Sciences
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Nicolas Lemay-Hebert
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2021
    See Future Offerings

This course critically examines the theoretical and practical issues surrounding peace and conflict studies. The course begins by exploring the range of different understandings of the roots of violence and the contemporary manifestations of conflict. It  then examines 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 explores 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 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 is also examined. The course then turns to the relationship that conflict resolution has to peacekeeping, peace-enforcing and post-conflict situations. Integral to these discussions is 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 assesses the future of conflict and conflict prevention.

Learning Outcomes

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

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills 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; and
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the major schools of thought concerning conflict prevention, conflict management conflict resolution, and peace-building.

Indicative Assessment

Research Essay, 1500 words (40%). LOs 1,2 & 3
Policy Report, 800 words (25%). LOs 1,2 & 3
Presentation, 10 minutes (25%). LOs 1,2 & 3
Participation (10%). LOs 1,2 & 3

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

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
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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
5610 26 Jul 2021 02 Aug 2021 31 Aug 2021 29 Oct 2021 In Person N/A

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