Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3146: International Law, Conflict and Strategy

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

The following syllabus plan is indicative and may be subject to change, including in response to current developments. Some of the lectures may be delivered by visiting lecturers.

The Context: Law, Conflict and Strategy

  • foundations of public international law
  • foundations of strategy

I. The Use of Force

  • the rules governing the use of force
  • the Global War on Terror: from Afghanistan to ‘unwilling and unable’
  • responsibilty to protect

II. The Conduct of Hostilities

  • the law of armed conflict
  • battlefield status and the law of targeting
  • human rights and military operations

III. The Challenge of Technology

  • the challenge of cyber warfare
  • banning weapons: from the cross-bow to nuclear bombs
  • killer robots, artificial intelligence and drones

IV. International Accountability and Justice

  • selectivity in confronting evil: from Nuremberg to The Hague
  • war crimes, genocide and other international crimes
  • international criminal justice and its alternatives

Law, Conflict and Strategy: Some Lessons

  • a practical perspective
  • some conclusions


Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities4623 x 2 hour Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities96 x 1.5 hour Workshops
Scheduled learning and teaching activities3Attendance at relevant Exeter Centre for Intenrational Law seminars
Guided independent study130Individual reading and lecture preparation
Guided independent study32Workshop preparation
Guided independent study 60Summative assessment preparation
Guided independent study 20Formative assessment preparation

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).



Other Learning Resources

D. Patrikarakos, War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century (2017).

L. Freedman, The Future of War: A History (2017).

T. Farrell, Unwinnable: Britain’s War in Afghanistan, 2001–2014 (2017).

D. Kilcullen, Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla (2015).

V. Lowe, International Law (2007).

D. Armstrong, ‎T. Farrell, ‎H. Lambert, International Law and International Relations (2012).

P. Sands, Lawless World: Making and Breaking Global Rules (2nd edn, 2006).