Department of Political Science


POLS0072 Spread of Conflict in International Relations - (module not running 2019/20)

Course Code: POLS0072

Length: One term (Spring Term TBC)

Teaching: 20 hours lectures/seminars

Assessment: Two 2,000 word essays (40/60%)

Credits: 15 credits, 4 (US) 7.5 (ECTS) 

Module Level: L6 (Advanced)

About this course

This course aims to develop students’ understanding of major themes and debates in the contemporary study of the spread and diffusion of conflict. The Arab Spring is only one example of conflict spreading in a region and we will identify a number of general mechanisms and conditions under which conflicts spill-over. A range of advanced topics will be covered, with a primary focus upon the theoretical and empirical study of diffusion and contagion of terrorism, civil conflict, and international war. This course goes beyond traditional theories of international relations by offering a network perspective on conflict. In addition, this module will apply theories and empirics of diffusion and contagion to predict international behavior and design informed policy decisions.

By the end of the course, students will:

  • Have a deep understanding of the conflict contagion literature.
  • Have acquired a set of conceptual tools that can be used for analysing the causes of the diffusion and contagion of violent conflict, democracy, human rights, and economic crisis.
  • Have a good network analytic background -Be familiar with the main issues confronting contemporary policy-makers in the field of international security, and be equipped to conduct independent research on contemporary security issues and debates.