This degree examines the major theories and leading practices of conflict and conflict resolution in international affairs, supplementing theory with detailed case studies. Topics include risk analysis, negotiation, mediation, conference diplomacy, twin track diplomacy, third party intervention, peace keeping, peace making, and coercive diplomacy.
The programme includes simulation exercises. The programme draws on the vast pool of expertise on conflict analysis, management and resolution in the Department and benefits from the presence of the Conflict Analysis Research Centre, a leading research centre in the field.
Why Study International Conflict Analysis at Kent?
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time (90 ECTS credits) or 2 years full-time (120 ECTS credits).
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- key historical and theoretical issues in international conflict and the study of war and peace, together with familiarity with appropriate bibliographical sources
- how to apply general theoretical and conceptual frameworks to the analysis of specific conflicts
- the nature and distribution of power in the international systems, problems of political order and the social, economic, historical and cultural context within which actors operate
- the different kinds of actors on the international scene, their respective interests and influence in conflict situations
- key theoretical problems of war and peace
- current political challenges to international peace and security and possible strategies to address them
- the changing role of the state in the context of globalisation and regional integration and the implications for international peace and security
- how to design and conduct a research project demonstrating awareness of epistemological and methodological principles
- how to carry out an independent research project and write in a scholarly manner demonstrating familiarity with academic conventions.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- general research skills, especially bibliographic and computing skills
- gathering, organising and deploying evidence, data and information from a variety of secondary and some primary sources
- identifying, investigating, analysing, formulating and advocating solutions to problems
- developing reasoned arguments, synthesising relevant information and exercising critical judgement
- reflecting on, and managing, your own learning and seeking to make use of constructive feedback from your peers and staff to enhance your performance and personal skills
- managing your own learning self-critically.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- understanding the nature and significance of conflict as a human condition
- applying concepts, theories and methods used in the study of conflict to the analysis of political events, ideas, institutions and practices
- the ability to critically evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events
- the ability to collect, analyse and present information about conflict and political events
- an awareness of the main epistemological issues relevant to research in the social sciences, including the major theoretical and epistemological debates in the social sciences as they bear on international conflict analysis.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- communication: the ability to communicate effectively and fluently in speech and writing (including, where appropriate, the use of IT), organise information clearly and coherently, use communication and information technology for the retrieval and presentation of information, including, where appropriate, statistical or numerical information
- information technology: produce written documents, undertake online research, communicate using email, process information using databases
- working with others: define and review the work of others, work co-operatively on group tasks, understand how groups function, collaborate with others and contribute effectively to the achievement of common goals
- improving your own learning: explore your strengths and weaknesses, time-management skills, review your working environment (especially the student-staff relationship), develop autonomy in learning, work independently, demonstrate initiative and self-organisation
- important research management skills include the setting of appropriate timescales for different stages of the research, with clear starting and finishing dates (through a dissertation), presentation of a clear statement of the purposes and expected results of the research, and developing appropriate means of estimating and monitoring resources and use of time
- problem-solving: identify and define problems, explore alternative solutions and discriminate between them.
The programme aims to:
- provide a programme that will attract, and meet the needs of both those seeking to prepare for careers in fields concerned with international conflicts and those with a general intellectual interest in international conflict analysis
- provide you with a research-active teaching environment which gives you a good grounding in the study of study of international conflict and war, co-operation and peace
- examine how state, non-state and supra-national actors behave and interact in conflict situations
- ensure that you acquire a solid knowledge of the theories of the causes and dynamics of different kinds of conflict and the means to overcome them
- ensure that students who specialise in regional conflicts acquire an advanced understanding of the historical, cultural, social and institutional context of the area to be studied
- prepare students for various careers in jobs related to international conflict analysis as well as for career changes in the spirit of lifelong learning
- develop your general research skills and personal skills (transferable skills).