Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC1022: Violence in World Politics

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

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 4
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Owen Thomas (Convenor)

Available via distance learning


This module will help you to understand the different conceptual approaches that enable a critique of violence in the contemporary international system.


Violence is an ever-present feature of international politics. Violence can be a direct and physical act, such as war and terrorism. Violence can also be a non-physical and anonymous act of neglect or abuse, such deprivation and abandonment. Violence can also be performed through culture and institutions. In this module we will examine a series of questions: What is violence? Where and how does it happen in world politics? What causes it? When is it justifiable? Is violence inevitable, or can violence be reduced, and even eliminated? By studying violence, we will examine some of the greatest challenges and issues in international politics today: war and terrorism; economic inequality; religious and secular justifications for violence; environmental, cultural and urban destruction; borders; sexual violence; and new technologies. Through the lens of International Relations scholarship, you will research, engage with, and critique different ways of conceptualising both the root causes of violence and the possibilities for change.

There are no pre-requisite or co-requisite modules required in order to take this module. This module is particularly recommended for students who intend to pursue modules in International Relations at levels 2 and 3.

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