SOAS University of London

Academic Summer School at SOAS

Development and Conflict (2019 entry)

Summer School

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  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
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3 weeks

Tuition Fees 2019

Tuition fee:

Entry requirements

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Featured events

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: 22 July - 9 August 2019

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Programme Description 

Why are people or states violent? What does it achieve and what are the costs? How does conflict affect development and how does development affect conflict? This course presents a range of theories and case studies to examine the linkages between conflict and development, between inequality and violence, and between the structures and interests which contribute to the continuation of violence within and between countries. It provides students with an understanding of the causes and effects of violence, and of the interaction between different types of violence and the forms of security and insecurity that they promote. The course offers a thorough analytical understanding of the processes of violent conflict and a critical perspective on the policy implications for intervention.

The course is divided into three parts: First, we will explore the core concepts of conflict, development and violence, investigating these categories and how they interact. Second, we will explore and critically probe a range of explanations for the causes and consequences of violent conflict, focusing on explanations framed in terms of psychology, ethnicity, religion and borders. Finally, we will consider how security is organised within the state and in the international system, exploring how development interacts with insecurity and terror.

Throughout, the course will draw on case studies from a wide range of on-going and recent conflicts throughout the world, and students are asked to engage critically with key strands of literature, defining academic and policy debates about the causes and consequences of conflicts, and their interaction with national, human and international security. Students will critically examine the relevant literature, popular discourse and media portrayals of conflict to challenge assumptions and constructively engage with each other, reaching new understandings and strengthening analytical skills.

Learning Outcomes

Following successful completion of the course, you will be able to demonstrate: 

  • How wars and conflicts affect development processes and vice versa
  • An ability to describe and critique major theories of conflict causes and consequences
  • An understanding of national, human and international security priorities and how they are pursued. 

Course Convenor

Dr Zoë Marriage is Reader in Development Studies, and Convenor of the flagship MSc Violence, Conflict and Development, and UG and PG modules in Security. She also convenes online modules in Violence, Conflict and Development and Critical and Human Security Studies; she is convenor of the new online programme, MSc Humanitarian Action, which will be launched in October 2019 (subject to final approval).

Zoë has researched extensively in countries affected by conflict in Africa and is the author of Not Breaking the Rules, Not playing the game. International Assistance to Countries at War (2006, Hurst & co). More recently Zoë has focused on the relationship between security and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo, publishing on demobilisation and the imposition and pursuit of security in numerous articles and in her second book, Formal Peace and Informal War, Routledge 2013. She is currently working on a political economy of capoeira, the Brazilian dance-fight-game, researching the ways in which people present political challenges and pursue their own security through art and activism.

Read Zoe's recent article: 'The Elephant in the Room’


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 a Record of Study will be available on request.


For more information, please fill out our enquiries form


Programme Structure

Week 1: Concepts and approaches

  • Concepts, definitions and the links between conflict and development
  • Knowing about violence: trends, estimates and typologies of war
  • War and non-war violence

Week 2: Causes and consequences

  • Origins and theories of mass violence
  • Ethnicity and religion
  • Gender and sexual violence
  • Borders, migration and refugees

Week 3: Security and terror

  • Security continuities and discontinuities
  • Human security
  • Terror and counterinsurgency 

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.


The course will involve visits to two London-based non-governmental organisations working on humanitarian relief in conflict zones, conflict-prevention, peacebuilding or conflict analysis (such as Médecins Sans Frontières, International Alert, Saferworld, Conciliation Resources, International Crisis Group, or Chatham House) as well as a visit to the Imperial War Museum.

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Contact hours: 

46 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.  

Core hours:

Monday - Friday 10am-3pm. 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). 

Sample Reading list
  • Cramer, C. (2006). Civil War is not a Stupid Thing: Accounting for Violence in Developing Countries. London, Hurst.
  • Duffield, M. (2007), Development, Security and Unending War: Governing the World of Peoples. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Gutiérrez-Sanin, F. (2004), “Criminal Rebels? A Discussion of War and Criminality from the Colombian Experience ,” Politics and Society. Vol 32, No. 2 (2004): 257—85.
  • Human Security Report Project (2014), Human Security Report 2013 - The Decline in Global Violence: Evidence, Explanation and Contestation, HSRP: Simon Fraser University, Canada.
  • Hyndman, J. and Giles, W. (2011), ‘Waiting for What? The Feminization of Refugees in Protracted Situations’ in Gender, Place and Culture.18 (3): 361-379
  • Parfitt, T.(2013), ‘Modalities of Violence in Development: structural or contingent, mythic or divine?’ Third World Quarterly, 34(7), pp. 1175-1192.
  • Paris, R. (2010), ‘Saving Liberal Peacebuilding’, Review of International Studies, Vol. 36, pp. 337-365.
  • Scheper-Hughes, N. and Bourgeois, P.(2004), Violence in War and Peace: an anthology, Oxford: Blackwell

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees


Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


20% discount for our partner institutions


Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House. For more details of how to book a room please visit the Dinwiddy House accommodation page.

Academic Summer School Ambassador Scholarship 2019

The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer three tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.

The scholarships will cover the tuition fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2019. 

Application Deadline: 2019-04-12 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


How to Apply

Click to apply

Entry Requirements

In order to join the Academic Summer School, students should meet the following entry requirements:

  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • Participants must be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
  • Fluency in English language is recommended for non-credit courses, but essential for SOAS Accredited courses. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:
  • 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. 
  • If you are unsure whether you meet the above entry requirements, please contact us to discuss your application.

Enrolment of applicants who do not meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us about your application and we will be happy to help. 

Application Procedure

Once you have paid the £40 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

Applications now accepted on a rolling basis for all courses

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