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War and Peacebuilding


Admission requirements

Mandatory course for students enrolled in the bachelor’s programme Security Studies.


The focus of this course will be on the challenges posed by war and conflict. Rather than adopting a single disciplinary viewpoint students will be presented with various principles, insights and theories on war and peacebuilding and will be encouraged to approach the topics from a variety of disciplinary angles including international relations, international politics, philosophy, sociology, and history.

While threats to human security may come in many shapes and forms, war is still very much at the centre of contemporary, classical security studies. And, while the essence of war does not change, its manifestations and consequences do. Especially over the last decades the character of warfare has been in a period of change. Both the actors in, and the ways in which, wars are fought have changed beyond recognition.

This course will explore reasoning related to war and peace and helps students to understand the dynamics of war and peace and key elements of, and developments in, the body of knowledge in this domain. It will assess the nature of war and both the ways in which how war and peace have been studied changed, the changes in the way war is waged and peace is brokered and maintained and the changing consequences of war. Finally, the course analyses and applies this body of knowledge to current cases of war and peacebuilding efforts.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students should:

  • Be aware of the range of academic disciplines that may be brought to the study of war and have considered the multi- and interdisciplinary nature of Security Studies

  • Have acquired knowledge of various theoretical principles, paradigms and concepts used in the field of war and peace studies. 

  • Have acquired knowledge and understanding of the actors and stakeholders in the field of war and peace building 

  • Understand the key issues and concepts arising from scholarly debates in relation to war and peacebuilding.

  • Have a basic knowledge of the key literature on war and peacebuilding.

  • Are able to analyse complex conflict situations, and identify various strategies and policies in the field of war and peacebuilding derived from the field of war and peace studies.

  • Are able to identify and evaluate different disciplines, (research) methods, and strategies and value their applicability for assessing different security challenges. 


On the right side of programme front page of the E-guide you will find links to the website and timetables, uSis and Blackboard.

Mode of instruction

14 plenary lectures
4 course labs (attendance is mandatory)

This course is compulsory.

Course Load

Total study load of 280 hours

  • Contact hours: 54

  • Self-study hours: 223

  • Examination: 3

Assessment method

  • Rolling exam: 50% (two essays each counting for 25% of the final grade)

  • Written final exam: 50%


The calculated grade for the two constituent rolling exam questions must be at least 5,50 to pass the course. We do not offer a resit for separate rolling exam questions. In case the calculated grade for the rolling exam is below 5,50 the essay that received a fail grade can be retaken. If both essays received a fail grade an alternative essay assignment weighing 50% will be offered.

The grade for the written exam should be at least 5,50 to pass the course.

Students will be permitted to resit the rolling exam and/or final exam if they have a grade lower than 5,5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.


Course page will be available one week in advance

Reading list

Information on readings will be announced on Blackboard


A link to the website by OSC staff.


Dr. Ernst Dijxhoorn, Course Coordinator (mailto:


Please note that only university e-mail addresses and Blackboard will be used to communicate with students. It is the student’s responsibility to check both regularly.

Students will not be allowed to use laptops during lectures