Violent conflict and the use of force remain salient issues in contemporary international relations. While some have theorised that the advent of globalisation and spread of liberal democracy would make the use of force and violent conflict less relevant to the world, war and conflict have remained an integral part of the international system, as well as forming an obstacle to providing stability and security for many states.
The module offers an examination of the ways in which violent conflict and the use of force impact on international relations, how force is used by states and other actors, and how force is managed in world politics. The module surveys a variety of perspectives on the causes of war and peace in order to better examine the roots of violent conflicts and security problems in the present day.
A major theme is looking at war in a global context, not only in terms of integrating contemporary concerns with globalisation, but also by looking at interconnections between north and south, and war and society. Additionally, the responses of the international community to violent conflict will also be explored, looking broadly at the contested notion of the ‘Just War’, international law, and the role of the United Nations.
Overall, the module gives a broad perspective on the place of armed force in contemporary international relations.