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Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies




Admissions requirements



This course introduces the Peace and Conflict Studies track of the World Politics major. The course lays a theoretical foundation for analysing violent conflict and its dynamics. Students will be trained in identifying conflict contexts and actors, and in critically examining patterns of conflict emergence and escalation. The course will examine various causes of violent conflict and how they are interlinked. It will also introduce the changing nature of contemporary conflicts and of the international responses to them, including attempts to keep and build peace.

Course objectives

By successfully completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast different types of conflict and conflict actors;

  • Explain why conflicts occur, escalate and turn violent and how these causes may interrelate;

  • Gain an understanding of dilemmas faced by external interventions in conflict zones;

  • Apply concepts and theory to ongoing or recently ended armed conflicts.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course is taught through two two-hour seminars per week. Readings and lectures are complemented by classroom discussions, in which students are expected to participate actively so as to articulate ideas, raise questions and engage in debate. Students are required to do all the compulsory reading and encouraged to explore recommended readings. The readings will allow students to explore each topic addressed in more depth and serve as stepping stone for the written assignments.


  • Participation: 15%

  • Discussion/response paper: 30%

  • Group presentation: 15%

  • Final essay: 40%


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 Ingrid Samset