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Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies




Admissions requirements



This is an introductory course to the Peace and Conflict Studies track of the World Politics major. The course lays a theoretical foundation for analysis of violent conflict and its dynamics. Students will be trained in identifying conflict contexts and actors, and in critically examining the 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, in discussions and written assignments.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

The course is taught through the two two-hour seminars per week. The readings and lectures are complemented by classroom discussions. Students are expected to participate actively so as to articulate ideas and engage in debate. The seminars also seek to clarify any questions that may arise from the readings or lectures. Students are required to do all the compulsory reading and are encouraged to explore recommended readings, but they should also feel free to complement these with readings of their choice. The compulsory and recommended readings will allow students to explore each topic in more depth and serve as stepping stone for the written assignments. They will also offer an opportunity for students to contribute to class discussions and raise critical comments and questions.


  • Participation 15%;

  • Discussion/response paper 30%;

  • Group presentations and discussions, 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


Maja Vodopivec