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Development and Conflict

Duration: Three weeks.


Featured events

Start of programme: Monday 30 June 2014

Mode of Attendance: Full Time

The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen a continuation of underdevelopment and violent conflicts. Neoliberal globalisation has increased inequality within and between nations, aggravating tensions and frequent outbreaks of violence and armed conflict. Ongoing conflicts in countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Sudan are examples where multiple political and economic interests clash, with devastating consequences for millions of people. In the past two decades, foreign military interventions have increased significantly on the grounds of protecting people, which raises new questions about notions of humanitarianism, human rights, democracy, and liberal state building.

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 or ‘technology’ of violent conflicts. It also explores ways in which development processes and policies themselves impact upon, and often generate violent conflicts.


Monday 30 June - Friday 18 July 2014

Social Programme

You will also be able to enjoy our social programme, starting with a welcome party and a river cruise on the Thames. A guided tour of historical Bloomsbury where SOAS is situated will help you find your way around the campus area. You will also receive discount codes for day trips and overnight tours with our partner International Friends once you have registered for one of our courses.

Further details: International Friends Summer School students are also welcome to attend the wealth of activities hosted by the SOAS Students Union in the summer months.



An early bird discount of 10% is available if fees are paid by 15 April 2014.
10% discount for SOAS Alumni.
20% discount for current SOAS students.
Other discounts are available for partner institutions and groups, please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk for further information.


A tuition fee of £1250 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. You will be able to request a place once your application has been approved. The cost for 20 nights is £800, which includes breakfast every day. Please email summerschool@soas.ac.uk to reserve place.

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £55 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment, once you have submitted your summer school application.


Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and generally our courses receive 3 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. However the summer courses remain non-accredited by SOAS. 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.


For more information, please email Sophie Dilley at summerschool@soas.ac.uk


The course will be delivered Monday - Thursday over the 3 weeks, in a combination of lectures, tutorials and class visits.

Part 1: introduction

  • Trends and debates
  • Concepts, data, and definitions

Part 2: theory

  • Barbarism, greed, and grievance
  • Democracy, human rights and free trade
  • Gender, violence and conflict

Part 3: intervening in conflict

  • Intervening in conflict: conflict prevention and intervention
  • Humanitarianism, NGOs, international organisations
  • Reconstruction and liberal peace building
  • 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:

  • A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
    • IELTS (www.ielts.org), 7 overall or higher, with at least 6.5 in all subscores.
    • iBT 105+ with 22 in all subscores or 100 overall with no less than 25 in writing and no less than 22 in any other subscores.
    • Or equivalent.

Summer School Application Form (pdf; 779kb)

Application deadline for the summer school courses is 31 May 2014.