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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.

In the first part of the paper we will explore key concepts to understand the causes of conflict and will be asking questions such as: How do social identities or religion foment conflict?

The second part of the paper will focus on conflict resolution and how the understanding of these concepts can inform reconciliation and peace building activities. We will reflect on non-violent movements and also on the role gender plays or does not play in peace-building. As these concepts aim to explain intergroup conflicts, which are multi-layered phenomena often appearing at the macro-level of society, we will discuss the boundaries of each concept and the challenges of how to study them appropriately.

The paper will describe a full cycle: beginning with the outbreaks of conflicts and finishing with their resolution and peace-building through reconciliation processes. It will involve reading materials, discussions, documentaries, simulations and case studies.

Paper title Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution Theory
Paper code PEAC502
Subject Peace and Conflict Studies
EFTS 0.25
Points 30 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,162.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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PEAC 402
Limited to

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.

Teaching staff
Dr Mariska Kappmeier
Paper Structure

Students will develop knowledge and skills regarding the main theories, research and approaches for peace and conflict studies.

Laying the foundation

  • Introduction to Conflict Analysis & Resolution
  • Understanding Conflict: Social Identity

Conflict Analysis

  • Understanding Conflict: Power & Social Dominance Theory
  • Understanding Conflict: Ethos of Conflict
  • Understanding Conflict: The Frame Matters

Conflict Resolution - Why and How

  • Transforming Conflict: Non-violent Theory of Change
  • Transforming Conflict: Reconciliation
  • Transforming Conflict: Non-Violence
  • Transforming Conflict: Gender & Gendered Peace Process
  • Transforming Conflict: Culture
  • Transforming Conflict: Indigenous Peace Building
  • Transforming Conflict: Local and International 3rd party intervention
  • Taking Stock & Wrapping up
Teaching Arrangements
Weekly 3-hour seminars combining seminar-style discussions, exercises, interactive activities and problem-based learning.

The paper makes extensive use of the following texts:

Ramsbotham, O., Woodhourse, T., and Miall, H., 2011. Contemporary Conflict Resolution, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Cresswell, J, 2014. Research Design, Thousand Oaks: Sage.

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.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will have

  • Advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in one or more disciplines or areas of practice
  • The ability to apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment adaptability and responsibility
  • The ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, formulate judgments with incomplete or limited information, but that reflect includes reflection on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application for their knowledge and judgement
  • Advanced theoretical and technical knowledge in one or more disciplines and areas of practice
  • The ability to analyze critically, reflect on and synthesize complex information, problems, concepts and theories
  • The ability to apply knowledge, skills and understanding in planning and executing a significant project of research

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


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