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PEAC502 Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution Theory

An advanced introduction to the study of some of the main theoretical frameworks, concepts and lines of debate employed in peace studies for the analysis of violent conflict at the interpersonal, group, national and international levels.

Paper title Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution Theory
Paper code PEAC502
Subject Peace and Conflict Studies
EFTS 0.2500
Points 30 points
Teaching period(s) First Semester, Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,929.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,500.00

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Restriction
PEAC 402
Limited to
MPCS
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to
  • Explain the main theories and approaches in the development of peace and conflict research
  • Explain the key lines of debate on the causes and resolution of conflict and violence
  • Understand and explain some of the key challenges of contemporary peace-making and conflict resolution
  • Demonstrate critical skills in conflict analysis and theory
  • Demonstrate argumentation, analytical and writing and presentational skills
  • Make theoretically informed and empirically based arguments
Eligibility
Suitable for graduates of all disciplines interested in issues of war, violence and the peaceful resolution of conflict, as well as professionals and interested members of the public
Contact
peaceandconflict@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Dr Mariska Kappmeier
Paper Structure
The introduction to the paper explores some of the key concepts and lines of debate within peace studies, such as the purpose of theory and the normative status of peace research. This is followed by the first main section, which examines some of the primary approaches to understanding conflict and violence, including issues such as human aggression theory, relative deprivation, capitalist inequality, ethnic identity and the social construction of political violence. The second part of the paper examines some of the main approaches to the resolution of conflict, including bilateral and third-party approaches and the United Nations, as well as nonviolence and humanitarian intervention. Assessment is fully internal and includes a book review, a research essay, a group project and a weekly learning log.

The paper will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction - What is conflict theory for?
  • Key concepts - peace, violence, conflict transformation
  • Origins of conflict - war, aggression, human needs and relative deprivation
  • Origins of conflict - imperialism, capitalism and class conflict
  • Origins of conflict - identity, ethnicity and religion
  • The social construction of war and violence
  • Resolving conflict - radical disagreement and dialogue
  • Resolving conflict - third-party intermediaries
  • Peacekeeping, humanitarian intervention and nonviolent peace forces
  • Liberal peacebuilding
  • Pacifism and nonviolence
  • Putting theory into practice - responding to terrorism
  • Summary and conclusions - the future of peace studies
Teaching Arrangements
Weekly three-hour seminars combining seminar-style discussions, exercises, interactive activities and problem-based learning
Textbooks
The paper makes extensive use of the following texts:
  • Demmers, J., 2012. Theories of Violent Conflict: An Introduction, Abingdon: Routledge
  • Bercovitch, J., and Jackson, R., 2009. Conflict Resolution in the Twenty-first Century, Michigan University Press
  • Ramsbotham, O., Woodhourse, T., and Miall, H., 2011. Contemporary Conflict Resolution, Cambridge: Polity Press
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

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Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Monday 14:00-16:50 9-15, 17-22

Second Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Tuesday 14:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41