Every year in excess of half a million people die as a result of armed violence and many more suffer its consequences. In this module we examine the issues surrounding armed violence.

About the Course

Every year in excess of half a million people die as a result of armed violence and many more suffer its consequences. In this module we examine some of the key issues and theories that inform contemporary thinking on violence. We distinguish between different types of violence, examine the scale of the problem and consider how armed violence affects different regions and different groups. We examine some of the principle theories that consider the motivations of those who commit acts of violence, including theories that lay an emphasis on, inter alia, biological and evolutionary (strategic) explanations, and more specifically look at how gender, age and urbanity, and economic factors such as inequality, poverty, underdevelopment and unemployment, all play a role. The course will examine various policy options advocated in armed violence reduction strategies at all levels, from the local through to the international. Along with developing a thorough understanding of the complexities associated with violence, students are expected to conduct original research on methodological factors associated with measuring the scale of the problem, writing skills associated with developing a policy brief in a given area of armed violence research, and advocacy skills that place an emphasis on critically appraising policy options with a view to implementing effective armed reduction strategies.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge

  • Have a clear understanding of the various forms of violence, including the evolutionary and biological theories that explain its origins
  • Understand the scale of the problem in all its forms.
  • Have an appreciation of the ethical and moral issues associated with the problem of violence.
  • Distinguish how it impacts different people and groups depending on – inter alia – location, age, gender, class.
  • Develop a thorough understanding of the various theoretical approaches that explain violence in its various forms.
  • Have a good understanding of the policy options associated with armed reduction strategies.

Skills

  • Have a clear understanding of the methodological challenges associated with measurement of armed violence, particularly lethal violence.
  • Display a thorough understanding of the challenges associated with ensuring that armed violence reduction strategies are effective.

Competence

  • Discuss whether a new definition of conflict is needed.
     Use relevant statistics on global violence.
     Gain knowledge about the global state of violence.

Assessment

Requirement:
The requirement must be passed in accordance to given deadline in order to register for the exams.

  • Policy brief/short essay; memo 800 words (pass/fail).

Exam:
This course consists of two separate exams that together constitute the final grade. Both exams must be passed in order to pass the course. Students can retake one or both exams.

  • Take home exam (individual essay); memo: 2000 words (+/- 10 % excluding front page and reference list) (60 % of the grade, grading system A – F).
  • 3 hour written exam (40 % of the grade, grading system A – F).