Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3214: Disrupting Western Hegemony: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency Post-WWII

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Sergio Catignani (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module will provide you with a strong foundation in the conceptual, historical, strategic, operational, organisational and ethical issues associated with “irregular warfare”. Whilst looking at in-depth historical case studies of irregular warfare, the module will enable you to examine how varieties of irregular warfare have risen to prominence during the Twentieth Century. This module will help familiarise you with the sub-types of irregular warfare: mainly guerrilla warfare, insurgency, terrorism and counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism.

This module will, in particular, enable you to explore the evolutionary phases of insurgency and counter-insurgency from the Maoist version of the “people’s war” in China to the development of global jihad. The module will particularly focus on the dilemmas and problems that conventional militaries have faced in trying to adapt to irregular warfare and help you investigate the issue of whether or not the military is the ideal instrument in defeating insurgencies.

No pre-requisite or co-requisite modules are required in order to register for this module. However, it would useful for you to have a basic knowledge of twentieth century conflict and diplomatic history, as this will comprise some of the case study subject matter and background information that will be discussed in the module’s seminars. However, such knowledge is not vital as background readings will be provided for all of the cases examined. In any case, this module is suitable for both specialist and non-specialist students who are interested in studying sub-conventional conflicts from an interdisciplinary perspective, thus, rendering it suitable for interdisciplinary pathways.

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