Security, Peace and Conflicts Resolution

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Security, Peace and Conflicts Resolution

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, International Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Security, Peace and Conflicts Resolution
    Bachelor in International Studies
    ECTS Credits: 6.0
    Semester: 2


    CB1 Be able to show that they possess and comprehend facts and contents in an area of study which, based on a previous general secondary school level, have been extended to those included in advanced textbooks and in some aspects proceed from the most advanced studies in this area.
    CB2 Be able to show that they have learned how to apply their knowledge professionally to their future jobs or tasks and that they possess the competences needed to develop and defend arguments and solve problems in that area of study.
    CB3 Be able to show that they are capable of collecting and interpreting the relevant data (normally within their area of study) needed for formulating judgments which require critical thought on social, scientific and ethical topics of relevance.
    CB4 Be able to show that they are able to transmit information, ideas, problems and solutions both to specialized and non-specialized publics.
    CB5 Be able to show that they have developed the learning skills required to perform further studies with a high degree of self-dependence.

    CG1 Understand social, political, legal and economic realities from a comparative perspective.
    CG2 Be able to approximate and analyze the intrinsic values contained in equal opportunities, multi-cultural society, political ideological and cultural pluralism, human rights, and the international community.
    CG4 Be able to manage information: identify, organize and analyze relevant information critically and systematically within the context of international relations.
    CG5 Be able to debate and formulate critical reasoning, using precise terminology and specialized resources, when analyzing international and global phenomena, employing both the concepts and knowledge from different disciplines as well as the methods of analysis, paradigms and concepts pertaining to the Social Sciences.
    CG6 Be able to apply scientific method to the economic, social and political questions of a global society; be able to formulate problems in this context, identify a possible explication or solution, and a method to contrast them by sensibly interpreting the data.
    CG7 Know how to express judgments, which include ethical reflections, on essential social, scientific and economic topics within a representative context of society both on a local and international level.

    CT1 Acquire the capacity to communicate knowledge in oral and written form, both to specialized and to non-specialized publics.
    CT2 Acquire the capacity to establish good interpersonal communication and to work both in interdisciplinary and international teams.
    CT3 Acquire the capacity to organize and plan workloads, taking correct decisions based on the available information, collecting and interpreting relevant data in order to provide assessments in that area of study.
    CT4 Develop the motivation and capacity to perform independent continuous learning for life, with an endowment to adapt to change and new situations.

    CE1 Be familiar with the principal political and social theories. Be capable of analyzing and comparing contemporary policies.
    CE2 Be familiar with and understand the processes of political, social, economic and cultural change in society and contemporary policy.
    CE5 Be familiar with the leading state models of territorial, political, economic and social organization.
    CE12 Be able to formulate and solve basic economic, social, political problems in an international context.
    CE16 Be able to carry out case studies and apply comparative method to analyze institutions, processes and policies in different countries.

    · Knowledge of the main theories explaining conflict.
    · Knowledge about the evolution and determinants of wars between States, civil wars and terrorism.
    · Applied knowledge on conflict resolution and peace maintenance.


    1. Theories of conflict and violence

    2. The history and political economy of interstate wars: rationalist and non-raationalist theories of war; alliances; deterrance; old vs. new wars; the democratic peace.

    3. The history and political economy of intrastate conflict: poverty, inequality and conflict; failed states; natural resources; ethnicity; rebel recruitment; the microdynamics of civil wars.

    4. The political economy of terrorism: waves of terrorist violence; international terrorism; terrorism and counterterrorism.

    5. The International Peaceful Settlement of Disputes. Political Means of Peaceful Settlement: Negotiation, Mediation. Jurisdictional Means of Peaceful Settlement: Arbitration and Judicial Settlement.

    6. The International System of Collective Security: The Use of Force in International Law.

    7. International Conflict Management: Conflict Prevention; United Nations; peace-keeping, peace-enforcement and peace-building.

    8. The Protection of People in Armed Conflicts: Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law.


    The course is divided in theoretical and practical sessions, as well as in positive and normative analysis.

    For the positive part, the theoretical sessions are a mixture of lecturing and discussion of readings given in advance of each theoretical session. The practical sessions will require empirical analysis (both large- and small-n analysis) informed by the content of the lectures.

    For the normative part, theorerical sessions will be mainly lecturing. In the practical sessions, students will apply the categories of international law to the analysis of peace and conflict resolution processes.


    There will be separate evaluations of the positive and normative parts of the course. In each bloc, the 50/50 proportion between the exam and the practical exercises will be kept.

    The practical part of the grade will be based on class participation, weekly exercises, brief papers, and any other kind of assignment during the course.

    In order to pass the course, students must pass the exam. Without passing the exam, the exam and the rest of the grade cannot be averaged.


    Brown, Graham. Elgar Handbook of Civil War and Fragile States. Edward Elgar. 2014
    Brownlie, I.. Principles of Public International Law. Oxford University Press. 2008
    Coyne, Christopher, Michael Mathews. The Handbook on the Political Economy of War. Edward Elgar. 2011
    Garfinkel, Michelle & Stergos Skaperdas. The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Peace and Conflict. Oxford University Press. 2012
    Kalyvas, Stathis, Ian Shapiro, Tarek Masoud. Order, Conflict, and Violence. Cambridge University Press. 2008
    Lindley-French, Julia & Yves Boyer. The Oxford Handbook of War. Oxford University Press. 2012
    North, Douglas, John Wallis & Barry Weingast. Violence and Social Order. Cambridge University Press. 2012
    Schachter, O.. International Law in Theory and Practice. Martinus Nijhoff. 1991
    Shaw, M. N.. International Law. Cambridge University Press. 2008

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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