nl en

Peace and Conflict Studies (Block 4)




Admission Requirements



Note: the information in this outline pertains to the section of Prof.dr. Madeleine Hosli (Section D).

This course familiarizes students with recent work in peace and conflict studies. We look at topics such as international negotiations, mediation and conflict resolution. Students will contribute by analyzing specific cases of conflicts, such as a recent intrastate war, and see how tools of conflict resolution and mediation could be used to address such challenges. We will also look at studies that aim to account for a variety of factors to see what contributes to the successful resolution of a conflict. Successful resolution may imply, for example, that a peace agreement is reached and successfully implemented (i.e., that violence does not re-occur for several years after the conflict has been settled). We explore the role of several factors that are likely to contribute to the chance that conflicts are solved. These include aspects such as the character and number of mediation attempts, the type of conflict (e.g., ethical or non-ethical), the mediator type (neutral or non-neutral), the economic situation in a conflict zone and the number and characteristics of warring parties involved. Finally, we analyze the composition and workings of an institution that is crucial to the maintenance of global peace and security: the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). We explore how the UNSC operates and how its composition could potentially be adapted in the future to make it more representative of current global power constellations. By presenting existing work, writing short assignments and reflecting on the topic in the framework of a final research paper, students will learn to apply tools of conflict resolution and to explore challenges to UNSC reform. With this, the course encourages students to bridge ‘theory and practice’ in the study of conflict resolution.

Course Objectives

Students learn to apply tools and concepts of conflict resolution to a specific case, such as an intrastate war. They acquire knowledge about recent developments in peace and conflict studies. In the framework of presentations, essays and a research paper, they apply knowledge gained in the course to situations occurring in practice.