Study Abroad and Exchanges



POL3098 : War, Genocide, Terror: Understanding Organised Violence (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This course aims to outline the nature and politics of organised violence in the modern period. The course aims to show how organised violence takes 3 forms in the modern period: war, genocide and terror. The course then aims to show how each of these forms of organised violence evolves over time through the examination of appropriate case studies. Overall the course aims to provide students with an opportunity to examine of the politics of organised violence, the nature of war, genocide and terror, and an understanding of cases that exemplify these forms of violence.

Outline Of Syllabus

This course examines the politics of modern organised violence: specifically war, genocide and terror (or insurgency). War, genocide and terror have been integral to the shaping of political institutions, social norms and international structures in the modern period. This course seeks to show how organised violence has distinctive, evolving dynamics that are a product of politics, society and technology. In order to do this, the course examines a series of historical cases including: the historical emergence of modern war; the centrality of war to colonialism; the total warfare of WWI and WWII; the so-called new and networked warfare of the late 20th and early 21st Century; terrorism; anti-colonial insurgency and asymmetric warfare; and contemporary counterinsurgency. Overall the course will contend that war, genocide and terror both reflect and constitute a complex relation between society, politics and technology in the modern period.

Topics may include:

•       The emergence of modern war
•       Colonial warfare
•       Total war
•       Genocide
•       The Cold War
•       New Wars
•       Network warfare
•       Insurgency and Terror
•       Counterinsurgency

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture32:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery22:004:00Assessment surgeries
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1163:00163:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The essay gives students the opportunity to research and critically analyse founding principles and definitions in the field giving them an ample grounding in key concepts. An essay requires students to research one or more topics, critically assess evidence and develop and communicate an individual argument. The exam will test students for their broad knowledge of the topics within the module.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M302000 words
Essay1M702500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Essays allow students to research, interpret and present sources and information on theories and cases of war, genocide and terror. Moreover, essays assess critical thinking, written communication and argumentation. The two essays will be on separate topics, responding to different questions thus ensuring students are assessed on their understanding of a wider range of topics on the course. There will be seprate lists of questions – for the first the questions will draw on foundational concepts and material covered in the first 5 weeks of the course. The second list of questions will ask students to interpret material from more than one week of the course including topics from both the first and second half of the course. Weighting towards the second essay allows the first essay to fulfil a formative function – giving the student feedback and the opportunity to develop their skills further. Given the weighting towards the second essay, students will be able to improve their score by reflecting on the feedback received for the first essay. This weighting is a result of feedback received from students indicating they would like a progression between pieces of assessment recognising that the first represents an initial approach to material, the second a more mature discussion.

Reading Lists