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Conflict, Development and Security

Code: KD618
Module Status: Elective
Facilitator: Rob Kevlihan, PhD
Duration (Mode 1): 25 hours
Credits: 5

Module Aims

This course aims to develop participants’ critical understanding and analysis of issues related to the interplay of conflict, development and security, with a particular focus on intra-state conflicts / civil wars.

Module Objectives

  • To examine current understandings of conflict, development and security in the context of participants’ experience of their own society and through comparative investigation of other situations of conflict.
  • To critically reflect on theories of conflict and conflict management / conflict transformation.
  • To explore in depth the impact of humanitarian assistance on situations of conflict, with a particular focus on complex emergencies.

Module Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will be familiar with and able to analyse perspectives related to current debates within the conflict literature, with a particular focus on conflict in ‘developing’ states.
  • Participants will be able to critically understand concepts and principles related to conflict management and conflict transformation and their relationship to development activities.
  • Participants will have some specialised knowledge of the role of humanitarian assistance and the international community more generally in situations of conflict and insecurity, particularly during so-called complex emergencies.
  • Participants will be able to analyse conflict dynamics and trends with reference to specific cases.


In order to facilitate a high level of participation and in the light of different experiences of learning and a diversity of learning styles, a wide variety of methods/resources is drawn upon. These include reading, research, essays, discussion, debate, small group work, presentations, handouts, lectures, brainstorming, games, personal reflection and attitude/concept clarification.

Module Content

Key areas to be covered include:

  • Human nature, violence and conflict
  • Concepts and varieties of conflict
  • Conflict as a source of development
  • Development and underdevelopment as a root cause of conflict
  • Conflict as a source of humanitarian emergencies / the treatment of civilians during civil wars
  • Humanitarian and development interventions during conflict situations
  • Conflict management and transformation – basic concepts
  • Conflict management and transformation – the contribution of development activities


Details of assessment and up to date reading lists for this module will be made available to learners following enrolment.
Please note that this description is subject to change.


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