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Durham University

Postgraduate Modules 2019/2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run in each academic year. Each module description relates to the year indicated in the module availability box. Please be aware that modules may change from year to year, and may be amended to take account of, for example: changing staff expertise, disciplinary developments, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

No such Code for pgprog: L2K609, L2K909

Department: Government and International Affairs

SGIA43015: Consolidating Peace after Violence

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20
Tied to L2K609, L2K909


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • to study, at an advanced level, the complex and inter-related issues of post-war recovery and reconstruction in failed and fragile states.
  • to examine post-war reconstruction and recovery through a sustainable peace building analytic lens.
  • to explore linkages between state stabilisation, the establishment of good governance through democratic processes, building sustainable peace and security
  • to examine contributions from civil society in state building and peace building processes.


  • Indicative module content typically includes: the design of power sharing models of governance and post-war constitution building; anti-corruption; election processes and election monitoring; track 2 and track 3 contributions to peacebuilding (including the role of media and education); demobilisation, disarmament and re-integration; the role of business; reconciliation and transitional justice; international criminal courts; law, order and an independent judiciary. The module will also investigate (within the context of fragile states): the evolution of co-operative and inclusive state-society relations; the role of external donors, development, humanitarian and peace building agencies; the building of state legitimacy; the issue of aid conditionality linked to progress in peace building and reconciliation; how external actors can at the least ‘do no harm’ and at the best ‘do some good’ in what is usually a turbulent and changing environment.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will have, by the end of the module,
  • • an advanced knowledge of theories and concepts of building peace and state building in fragile states, particularly from the perspective of civil society.
  • • an advanced understanding of the linkages (coherence and complementarity) between the various elements involved in building peace, civil society and state building
  • • knowledge, at an advanced level and drawing from recent research, of the activities of agencies in the areas of building peace, civil society and state building
  • • an understanding of the methodologies used to study building peace, civil society and state building, and of the impact of our choice of methodology and conceptual framework on our understanding of conflict and negotiations, and vice versa.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will, by the end of the module,
  • • to relate linkages between state stabilisation, the establishment of good governance through democratic processes, building sustainable peace and security with contributions from government, international organisations and civil society in state building and peace building processes
  • • to engage in research projects at MA level in the subject of conflict analysis and principled negotiation
  • • to apply subject related knowledge and advanced theoretical models to the evaluation of current local and global issues, to interpret and analyse empirical data at an advanced level and according to competing explanatory frameworks, and to recognise the impact of a chosen conceptual framework on one’s research findings
Key Skills:
  • Students will be able, by the end of the module,
  • • to demonstrate an ability to construct argument critically for both oral and written presentation from different sources of material, including material delivered orally and in an article review, report or policy document.
  • • to demonstrate an independent approach to learning, critical thinking and creative problem-solving.
  • • to use sophisticated techniques of information retrieval and management using an array of print and digital resources.
  • • to formulate complex arguments in articulate and structured English, within the discursive conventions and genres of academic writing and written to high academic standard
  • • to demonstrate effective time management.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Students will be taught and learn through self-guided learning, lectures, class discussion, and seminars.
  • Students are taught in 2 hour seminars that combine different teaching approaches among them lectures, student presentations, discussions, role-plays. The seminars will introduce the students to the key theoretical approaches and accommodate the differential knowledge and disciplinary skills of different cohorts. They encourage students to explore the module content in detail and guide students through required and further reading. The seminars will enable students to develop their abilities to conduct research, to communicate, to present theoretical alternatives and data, and to develop their own argumentation skills. Class discussion encourages background reading, contributing to the students’ independent learning. It will further allow students the opportunity to exchange ideas, to explore issues and arguments that interest or concern them in greater depth, and to receive feedback from both the group and the lecturer on their own arguments and understanding. Class discussions and seminar tutor interventions will be the main form of formative feedback students receive on this module, and students will be made aware of this at the start of the module.
  • A 3,000 word essay will form the assessed element of the module. Summative assessment by essay formally tests the skills developed throughout the course. The essay, to be submitted at the end of teaching, tests the ability to plan a substantial piece of work, identifying and retrieving sources and selecting and displaying appropriate subject specific knowledge and understanding. It tests the ability to develop an extended discussion which utilises concepts and examines competing interpretation and analysis. It also develops key skills in sustaining effective written communication and information presentation to high scholarly standards. It enables students to demonstrate that they have sufficient subject knowledge to meet the assessment criteria, that they have achieved the subject skills and that they have acquired the module’s key skills. In particular, summative essays test the acquisition of knowledge through independent learning and the ability to apply it in critical argument in relation to a specific question. They furthermore help students to develop time management skills by working to a deadline, as well as the ability to seek out and critically use relevant data sources. The summative assessment will test skills of synthesis, analysis and critical evaluation with reference to material drawn from the module.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 9 Weekly 2 hours 18
Preparation and Reading 132
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment will take the form of continuing feedback in seminars.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

    If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our User Guide. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the User Guide, or a query about the Postgraduate Module Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.