United Kingdom, London

Development and Conflict

when 22 July 2019 - 9 August 2019
language English
duration 3 weeks
fee GBP 1600

This course examines the linkages between conflict and development, between inequality and violence, and between the structures and interests which contribute to the continuation of violence within and between countries. It is primarily informed by a political economy approach to analysing conflict, and highlights the way in which the economic and political interests of conflict parties and their international backers may conspire to form ‘war systems.’ Additionally, the course looks at how legacies of conflict impact development through a focus on gender, trauma, and memory, inspired by poststructuralist approaches to understanding the relationship between conflict and development.

The course is divided into three parts: First, we will explore the core concepts of conflict, development and violence and introduce several basic approaches to analysing conflict: in terms of rational choice, political economy, and more anthropological approaches that foreground the meanings and social embeddedness of violence. Second, we will explore and critically probe a range of explanations for the causes and consequences of violent conflict, focusing on explanations framed in terms of natural resources and environmental scarcity and in terms of ethnic or religious identities and the impacts in terms of displacement and humanitarian crises, and the effect of violent conflict on non-war, ‘criminal’ violence. Finally, we will consider the role of external interveners in alleviating and exacerbating conflict, focusing on the challenges of externally-led post-conflict reconstruction, the role of the global arms trade and international political and economic institutions more broadly in shaping conflicts, and how the war on terror articulates with the conflicts and approaches to analysing them that we have been studying.

Throughout, the course will draw on case studies from a wide range of on-going and recent conflicts throughout the world, and students are asked to engage critically with some of the most important strands of literature, defining academic and policy debates--about the causes and consequences of conflicts, and the role of development assistance, humanitarian intervention and post-conflict reconstruction in building peace as well as in exacerbating and perpetuating conflict. Students will critically examine the relevant literature, popular discourse and media portrayals of conflict to challenge assumptions and constructively engage with each other, reaching new understandings and strengthening analytical skills.

Course leader

Dr Zoë Marriage

Target group

A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Course aim

Following successful completion of the course, you will be able to demonstrate:

-How wars and conflicts affect development processes and vice versa
-An ability to describe and critique major theories of conflict causes and consequences
-An understanding of the international responses to global complex emergencies (wars, humanitarian disasters, and refugee-crises) and an ability to critique their problems

Credits info

Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and typically our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to claim credits from your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you enrol. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

Fee info

GBP 1600: There is a 10% earlybird discount for applications received by 31st March 2019


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