IR5007 - The UN, war and liberal interventionism

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module I will learn how the United Nations manages conflict and war around the world in its pursuit to achieve international peace and security. I will use tools of conflict analysis to investigate contextual dimensions and their interaction with the conflict management tools available to the UN. Case studies will provide me with examples to illustrate and as a means to use conflict analysis methods in-depth.

Topics covered on this module are likely to include:
• United Nations institutions
• Diplomatic measures
• Sanctions
• Collective security
• Traditional peacekeeping
• Wider peacekeeping
• Post-conflict peacebuilding
• Transitional administration
• Peacemaking
• Humanitarian intervention
• Responsibility to Protect

How will I learn on this module?

I will learn on this module by attending lectures where I will be presented with the ideas behind institutions and conflict management tools, how they work and what they do. I will also attend seminars where I will build upon my reading for the lectures, analyse case studies and discuss what I think are the advantages and disadvantages of existing conflict management tools and strategies.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

My academic development will be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with my peers and academics about my understanding of the literature. I expect to have my notions of international conflict management challenged in this module. I will also use seminars and tutorials to further enrich my learning experience.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Analyse conflict analysis frameworks and their relative strengths and weaknesses in providing a full picture of a conflict situation
2. Critically discuss different conflict management strategies used by the United Nations, including the theory and practice of liberal interventionism

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Apply international conflict analysis tools and frameworks to a range of case studies to assess the advantages and disadvantages of real and potential conflict management strategies
4. Investigate and analyse problems, applying and connecting concepts and theories of conflict analysis to historic (and potentially emerging) situations to begin to challenge ‘common sense’ explanations of them and the international community’s response to them

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Be able to apply my discipline and inquiry knowledge to complex problems in the discipline and its practice in order to identify appropriate solutions, which are sustainable and justifiable.

How will I be assessed?

A 2,000 word essay will assess (1) my knowledge and understanding of UN institutions and conflict management tools and the nature of a specified case study, and (2) my awareness and understanding of the opportunities and limitations of these institutions in the conduct of international politics, especially given the fluidity and uncertainty experienced during conflict.

A poster presentation will test my ability to apply frameworks and tools of conflict analysis to a case study in order to develop a comprehensive and in-depth picture of a conflict situation from which assessments of the appropriateness and sustainability of solutions chosen by the UN can be assessed and justified, and alternatives (where necessary) developed.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code LV21

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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