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Development and Conflict

Duration: Three weeks.


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Mode of Attendance: Full-time


Session 2: 6 - 24 July 2015

Programme Description 

This course looks at trends in violent conflict in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and asks   whether there have been significant changes in the type of violent conflicts. It also explores ways   in which development processes and policies themselves impact upon, and often generate   violent conflicts.

The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen a continuation of the challenges facing many   developing countries in terms of addressing violent conflict. Neoliberal globalisation has   increased inequality within and between nations, aggravating tensions and causing new   outbreaks of violence and armed conflict. 

Countries such as Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq, Somalia,   Syria and Nigeria are examples of places where multiple political and economic interests clash,   with devastating consequences for millions of people. In the past two decades, foreign   interventions have increased significantly on the grounds of protecting civilians. This raises new questions about notions of humanitarianism, human rights, peace-building and their implications  for democracy, poverty reduction and development.  

As part of the course students will be able to enjoy activities such as, screenings of critically acclaimed films ‘The Trouble with Aid’ and ‘No More Tears Sister’.



A tuition fee of £1400 will be charged per 3 week programme. This figure does not include accommodation fees.


A limited number of rooms will be available at International Hall which is located in the heart of Bloomsbury. The cost for 20 nights is £800 (breakfast included) for a single room with shared bathroom*. To reserve a place through SOAS, please tick the relevant box in the application form. 

*(If you would like a different type of room, please book with International Hall directly)

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £60 will be charged to cover administration costs. 


An early bird discount of 10% is available if fees are paid by 31 March 2015.
15% discount for SOAS Alumni.
20% discount for current SOAS students.
Other discounts are available for partner institutions and groups, please contact us for further information.


Please note that summer courses are not accredited by SOAS.

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.

Assessment will be optional and will vary for each course. Participants will be provided with a certificate of attendance and transcripts will be available on request.

Social Programme

You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party and an optional river cruise on the Thames for a small additional charge. Details about how to book will be communicated to you once you are registered. You will also receive discount codes for day trips and overnight tours with our partner International Friends.


For more information, please fill out our enquiries form


The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Contact Time: 46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities) 

Week 1: Understanding conflict

  • Concepts, Data, and Trends
  • Causes of Conflict: Barbarism, Greed, and Grievance
  • Dynamics of Conflict

Week 2: Conflict and development I

  • Democracy, Human Rights and Free Trade
  • Gender, Violence and Conflict
  • Intervening in Conflict: Conflict Prevention and Intervention

Week 3: Conflict and development II

  • Humanitarianism, NGOs, International Organisations
  • Reconstruction and Liberal Peacebuilding
  • Case Studies; Reflecting on Policy and Practice
  • Reflections on Development and Conflict – A debate

Assessment: is optional and will be in the form of a 2000-2500 word essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.

Teaching & Learning

Teaching & Learning

At the end of a course, a student should be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of how wars and conflicts affect development processes and vice versa
  • An understanding of the major contrasting conflict and development theories and how they relate to practice

How to Apply

In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:

  • Participants have to be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
    • TOEFL Paper based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills. 
    • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
    • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
    • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
    • Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
    • Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject based courses with English language support.

Apply Now

Extended Deadline on selected courses only:
21 June (for session 1&2)
12 July (for session 3)

A Student's Perspective

I realised that one of the most pressing contemporary issues in need of qualified social scientists is climate change. I wanted a program that skilled me with the multidisciplinary understanding necessary to deal with the complexity of this challenge.

Stina Maria Lindholm