IR5007 - The UN, war and liberal interventionism

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn how the United Nations manages conflict and war around the world in its pursuit to achieve international peace and security. You 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 you with examples to illustrate and as a means to use conflict analysis methods in-depth.

How will I learn on this module?

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

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with your peers and academics about your understanding of the literature. You can expect to have your notions of international conflict management challenged in this module. You will also use seminars and tutorials to further enrich your 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) your knowledge and understanding of UN institutions and conflict management tools and the nature of a specified case study (KU 2), and (2) your 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 (IPSA 4, PVA 5).

A portfolio will test your ability to research a conflict case study and 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 (KU1 & 2, IPSA 3 & 4, PVA 5)





Module abstract

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

Course info

UCAS Code L2L2

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

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

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020 or September 2021

Fee Information

Module Information

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