Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3229: Disrupting Western and Neo-Liberal Hegemony: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency Post-WWII

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


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (12 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Sergio Catignani (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module will provide you with a strong foundation in the historical, conceptual, strategic, operational, organisational and ethical issues associated with “low-intensity conflict”. Whilst looking at in-depth historical case studies of low-intensity conflict, the module will enable you to examine particularly from a Critical Military Studies perspective how and why varieties of low-intensity conflict have risen to prominence during the Twentieth Century. In this module you will be asked to examine such case studies and employ primary sources material (including, film and literature).

This module will help familiarise you with the sub-types of low-intensity: mainly guerrilla warfare, insurgency, terrorism, counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism and the increasingly militarised forms of urban policing operations.

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 focus on the dilemmas and problems that conventional militaries and other security organisations have faced in trying to adapt to low-intensity threats and help you investigate the issue of whether or not military force is the ideal instrument in countering low-intensity security threats.

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  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 a Critical Military Studies interdisciplinary perspective, thus, rendering it suitable for interdisciplinary pathways.

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