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Human Security: Violence




Admissions requirements

Institutions in Time, Quantitative Research Methods_.


Human Security is a social scientific course about violence. It investigates the logic and consequences of different types of violence, its causes in situations of group conflict and war, and the ways in which institutions and actors can interact to prevent or reduce it. Students can expect to engage rigorously with state-of-the-art theories on collective violence, as well as a wide range of case studies and statistical evidence on the topic. The central conceptual paradigm will be that of human security. This concept will help us zoom in on the complicated meanings of violence in societies with weak or perverse institutions. Moreover, it will help us identify the many creative strategies people devise to avoid or manage violence. The course will discuss a range of such strategies, including the role of the informal economy and informal market organisations; the role of ethnic and religious organisations in conflict resolution; and the complicated dynamics of patronage and corruption in relation to violence. The course will end with a critical analysis of the potential of nonviolence to present a viable alternative to collective violence.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will:

  • Be able to identify and compare different forms of collective violence;

  • Be able to describe the main social scientific theories explaining collective violence and compare and evaluate them critically;

  • Have used case studies to illustrate, formulate, enhance, or test theories that explain collective violence or its absence within the constraints of short essays (800-3000 words);

  • Have presented their analysis of a case of collective violence;

  • Have reflected actively on the course content through discussions and other class activities.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

This course will be taught through two-hour interactive seminars. Seminars will generally include a short introduction by the instructor, after which students will be asked to present, debate, or otherwise reflect actively on the relevant theme and readings.


Class participation 15%;
Assignments 15%;
Short essays 40%;
Research essay 30%.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. David Ehrhardt,