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The nature and characteristics of contemporary conflict politics essay

This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Identity Issues

This course is capped at three groups. The deadline for applications is 12: You will be informed of the outcome by 12: Course content How can we distinguish legitimate resistance and political violence from terrorism? What is the relationship between war and terror? What distinguishes a combatant from non-combatant?

Do counterinsurgency methods based on force and the securitization of the state work? Should we erode civil liberties and democratic values to fight terrorism? What consequences follow from the prominent role of psychologists in the study of political violence and terrorism? This course attempts to answer these and similar questions by a comparative examination of the theories and ethics of political violence and the root causes, nature and types, and dynamics of violence.

Moral or Value Conflicts

This course also evaluates different political and security policies and methods of conflict resolution as change agents. A number of case studies of historical and contemporary conflicts are examined to illustrate the theoretical and policy dilemmas. The course has two parts. Firstly, it examines definitions and concepts, the root causes and factors of radicalization in political violence, the ethical dilemmas, the principles and efficacy of the laws and norms of armed conflict, repertoires of political violence, and the evolution from the era of decolonization of state counterinsurgency COIN and counterterrorism policies.

Key motifs in COIN and counterterrorism will be examined including coercive versus cooperative approaches, the spectrum of dealing with communal resistance from genocide to cooption, policies of criminalization, and the balance between security and liberty. Throughout the course comparisons will be made and lessons drawn from the performance of different regime types colonial, democratic, transitional democratic, and authoritarian in managing political violence.

  • Some suggest that moral conflict be viewed as a particular form of communication and pattern of interaction;
  • By imposing the economic principles and interests of countries and elites outside the territory on local populations, the subsequent deterritorialisation processes produce situations of environmental injustice which make the populations affected vulnerable, not only by loading them with various risks and burdens, but also by failing to recognise their rights in essential areas such as health, land, natural resources and local culture, as expressed in their material and immaterial relations with such resources;
  • Negative Stereotyping Discourse often involves sweeping generalizations about members of the other group;
  • For example, the terms "conflict," "aggression," "peace," "time," and "negotiation" are not value-free.

This is a Moodle course. Teaching 15 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of the MT for private study and assessment preparation. Formative coursework One essay of 2,500 words. Students must also contribute to a group presentation. Indicative reading Tore Bjorgo ed. Jeff Victoroff and Arie W.

Kruglanski eds, Psychology of Terrorism. Classic and Contemporary Insights, Psychology Press 2009.