Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3233: Military Revolutions and Political Change

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 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 Brieg Powel (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module explores the relationship between war, state, and society throughout human history. Drawing on works from many disciplines, the module approaches its subject matter from a global perspective, encouraging non-Eurocentric analysis and an awareness of a broad span of human time. It asks a number of conceptual questions that require you to deepen your empirical-historical awareness. Such questions include: what is the difference between a ‘military revolution’ and a ‘revolution in military affairs’?; what are the impacts of such ‘revolutions’ on the relationship between war, state, and society?; how ‘global’ have these ‘revolutions’ been?; and how do changes in politics and society affect warfare?. It explores topics including: the role of war in state formation; the importance of the so-called ‘military revolution’ in Europe and beyond; the evolution of military administration and logistics; the interplay between war, finance, and the broader economy; the role of nationalism in both war and the state; the technologies of war and rule; the importance of territory and population; war commemoration; the socio-political effects of war; and the figure of the soldier as combatant, citizen, and subject.

In terms of teaching method, the module will involve 2-hour workshops which merge lectures and seminars into a single, more interactive learning experience. The workshops will involve multimedia delivery in the form of audio-visual resources and experiential learning through simulations. These will be supported by links to further optional online material.

Module created


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