Conflict Resolution

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
24 May 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA L25212 Conflict Resolution,
MA L252EB Conflict Resolution,
MA L252EK Conflict Resolution,
MSC L25212 Conflict Resolution,
MSC L252EB Conflict Resolution,
MSC L252EK Conflict Resolution

Module description

The module exposes students to different political theories and approaches within the field of conflict resolution. It provides an overview and a basic framework for studying the evolving field of conflict resolution. The focus is on conflict resolution in inter- and intra-state issues. 

The students have the opportunity to explore conflict resolution methods such as mediation, negotiation, arbitration, collaborative problem solving, peacekeeping operations, and other applications. The module especially focuses on the practical as well as on the theoretical aspects of negotiation and mediation.

The students also have the opportunity to explore the applicability of various tools and techniques in problem-solving real cases of international conflict and to make use of negotiation and mediation techniques in role playing exercises and other types of simulations.

Module aims


The main aim of this module is to teach students to think and write critically about conflict analysis and resolution using theories and methods of political science. Students will develop the ability to think and make reasoned arguments using positive theories and supported by the best available empirical evidence. These aims and objectives are achieved through a variety of teaching and learning strategies such as lectures, in-depth seminar sessions, simulations, reflective essays and independently produced assignments.


The objectives of this module are:

  • To introduce students to key concept and models in conflict research;

  • To introduce students to different theories about the causes of interstate and civil conflict;

  • To introduce students to bargaining models and negotiation theory;

  • To introduce students to different theories about conflict resolution, such as mediation, peacekeeping and peacebuilding;

  • To introduce students to critical and gender-based perspectives on conflict resolution.

Module learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Understand key concepts in conflict studies.

  2. Explore the systemic reasons that determine the choice of individuals and/or groups with respect to violence and non-violence.

  3. Critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different conflict resolution approaches.

  4. Evaluate the different methods of conflict resolution using case studies.

  5. Experience the practice of negotiation and mediation through a series of practical exercises conducted throughout the module.

  6. Relate the theory and the practice of the problems involved in the attempted resolution and/or management of international conflicts and intrastate conflicts.

Key Skills

The module also enables students to acquire the following generic and transferable skills:

  1. Library and Internet research

  2. Data collection, presentation, and analysis

  3. Exposition and argumentation in a structured fashion

  4. Working independently and as part of a group

  5. Presenting verbal arguments to classroom peers

  6. Production of short well-researched essays and reports

  7. Working to deadlines

  8. Conducting oneself in a scholarly and professional manner

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This is a 10-week module with teaching taking place in nine weeks for 2 hours using either the format of lecture/seminar or a workshop for all students. One week will be an on-line simulation exercise which will take 3 hours.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Quiz 1    5% 
Coursework   Quiz 2    5% 
Coursework   Quiz 3    5% 
Coursework   Quiz 4    5% 
Coursework   Assignment 1    30% 
Coursework   Essay 1    50% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Han Dorussen, email: hdorus@essex.ac.uk.
Module Supervisor Professor Han Dorussen hdorus@essex.ac.uk or Module Administrator, Jamie Seakens (govpgquery@essex.ac.uk)



External examiner

Dr Kyriaki Nanou
Durham University
Associate Professor in European politics
Available via Moodle
Of 23 hours, 21 (91.3%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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