Political violence

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This module is a seminar on ethnic violence. During the module, we will read classic and recent scholarly works that address various aspects of this question using different methods and approaches. In the first part, we will review the key debates on the concepts of ethnicity and identity, and discuss their implications for the study of ethnic violence. Then, we will shift our focus to theories of ethnic conflict and violence in order to understand examples from different parts of the world where conflict among different groups has resulted in varying degrees and types of violence. Throughout the course, we will have a strictly theoretical and empirical focus, and aim to answer the following questions:

  1. How do ethnic identities become politically relevant?
  2. What causes ethnic groups to engage in violent conflict?
  3. Can explanations of ethnic violence help us understand non-ethnic forms of violence?

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • engage with various debates surrounding political violence
  • understand different social scientific approaches to the question of violence
  • hone the students’ analytic and research skills
  • hone the students’ oral and written communication abilities.


  • 2 hour seminar per week

Method of assessment

  • Assignment 1: 40%
  • Assignment 2: 60%

Suggested reading


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