SOAS University of London

Development and Conflict

Development and Conflict

Duration: Three weeks.

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • How to Apply


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Mode of Attendance: Full-time


Session 2: 4 - 22 July 2016

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 beginning of the 21st century has witnessed a continuation and sometimes escalation of some of the world’s most violent conflicts with multiple and protracted challenges on how to resolve these conflicts in the Africa, the Middle east and some other parts of the developing world. 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 last five years, especially since the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011, countries such Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, have not only emerge as epicentres of violence, but also as breeding grounds for Islamic fundamentalists such ISIS  and Al-Nusra front. These conflicts have led to refugee and humanitarian crises across the Middle East and Europe, leading to one of the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the end of World War II. 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.

This course will be co-taught by Idrissa Mamoud Tarawallie, Professor Chris Cramer, Dr Tania Kaiser, Dr Zoe Marriage and Nithya Natarajan.



A tuition fee of £1450 will be charged per 3 week programme. This figure does not include accommodation fees.

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 or if you take a combination of sessions 2 and 3.
20% discount for current SOAS students and our partner institutions.
Other discounts are available for groups, please contact us for further information.

Accommodation is available at an extra fee of £700 for 20 nights. For more details of how to reserve a room please visit our accommodation page.


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


Contact hours: 46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.   Core hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-3pm, and 2 hours on one specified Friday over the 3 weeks.   Optional hours: In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of 'activities' relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc). On Fridays, all courses open up one of their activities to all summer school students and these are optional. For example, if you have been studying a Development course, you may choose to join an activity belonging to a Politics, Economics and Environment course. All activities will be staggered throughout the day so that you have a chance to take as many as possible. Please note however that the Friday activity relating to the course you are registered on is compulsory.

Week 1: Understanding conflict

  • Concepts, definitions and trends
  • Conflict and Development
  • Causes of Conflict: Barbarism, Greed, and Grievance

Week 2: Conflict theories, prevention and intervention

  • Democratisation and conflict
  • Conflict prevention and intervention
  • Reconstruction and liberal peace building
  • Humanitarianism, NGOs, International Organisations

Week 3: Manifestations and structures of conflict

  • Conflicts, refugees and borders
  • Gender, violence and conflict
  • 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 and 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

Entry Requirements

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 sub scores.
    • 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.

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £60 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Application Deadline

Session 2 is 15 June

Session 3 is 4 July

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