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War, Politics and Society


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Dr Jasmine Bhatia
  • Assessment: a 1500-word literature review (25%), 3500-word essay (65%) and two online quizzes (10%)

    Module description

    On this module you will gain an advanced understanding of the role of war in the modern world. Drawing on a wide range of social sciences and historiographical sources, we will focus on the complex interplay between national, international and global political and social relations, and the theories and practices of warfare since the inception of the modern era and the 'military revolution' of the sixteenth century.

    In particular, we will examine the role of war in:

    • the emergence and development of the nation-state
    • the industrialisation and modernisation of societies and their uses of science and technology
    • changing cultural attitudes to the use of armed force and martial values
    • the shaping of historical consciousness and collective memory.

    Among the contemporary issues addressed are the 'war on terror', weapons of mass destruction, genocide, humanitarian intervention, and war in the global South.

    Learning objectives

    By the end of this module, you will be able to:

    • evaluate and critically apply the central literatures, concepts, theories and methods used in the study of the relations between war, politics and society
    • demonstrate balanced, substantive knowledge of the central debates within war studies
    • demonstrate historically informed, critical analysis of current political and strategic debates concerning the use of armed force
    • obtain and analyse relevant information on armed forces and armed conflict from a wide array of governmental, non-governmental, military and media sources.