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PEAC502 Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution Theory

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

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 question 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 0.2500
Points 30 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,047.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,209.25

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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.

  • Challenge the often simplistic narratives on how conflicts are reported and gain different tools through which conflicts and peace can be analysed.
  • Gain an understanding for the broad application of conflict resolution principles in our daily lives, personal and professional.
  • Key elements of research methods.
  • Laying the foundation:
    1. Introduction to Conflict and Conflict Resolution
    2. Understanding Conflict: Frame of Analysis, Conflict Analysis
    3. Understanding Conflict: Social Identity
    4. Understanding Conflict: Social Identity and Religion
    5. Understanding Conflict: Ethos of Conflict
    6. Understanding Conflict: Social Dominance Theory
    7. Conflict Resolution: Why and How
    8. Conflict Resolution: Frameworks
    9. Resolving Conflict: Non-Violence
    10. Resolving Conflict: Gender and the Role of Women
    11. Resolving Conflict: Dialogue I (Problem-Solving Workshop)
    12. Resolving Conflict: Dialogue II (Mediation)
    13. Resolving Conflict: Indigenous Peace-Building
    14. Conclusion and Student Presentations
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 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

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    Second Semester

    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