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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED3261 Violence and Reconciliation in Africa

20 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr Simon Manda

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

To have successfully completed levels 1 and 2

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will examine the causes, nature and consequences of violence in Africa. The module will explore issues surrounding race, class, ethnicity, gender, religion and resources in contemporary African conflicts. Students will develop a conceptual awareness of African statehood, ‘warlord politics', resource wars and state collapse. The module will evaluate the efficacy of current approaches to peace building and transitional justice in Africa, as well as the debates and controversies surrounding international intervention, peacekeeping and the International Criminal Court.


This module offers historical, theoretical and empirical perspectives on the causes and nature of violence and conflict in contemporary Africa. The module will examine the political context of four country case studies in detail, introducing students to debates about democracy, authoritarianism, state collapse and ‘warlord politics’. Each of these case studies will contribute to our understandings of the relationship between politics, underdevelopment and violence. The module will also evaluate the efficacy of current approaches to international intervention, peace building, and transitional justice.

Learning outcomes
- Ability to identify and analyse the different forms that violence takes in Africa in a range of case studies
- Awareness of debates and controversies surrounding race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion and generational change, and how these relate to our understandings of violence in contemporary Africa
- Awareness of current debates surrounding approaches to peace building and transitional justice in Africa, including different theories of what constitutes 'justice' and 'reconciliation' for victims of violence

- Knowledge of the postcolonial state in Africa, including the dynamics of neopatrimonial rule, 'warlord politics' and state collapse.

Skills outcomes
The ability to produce political briefing documents that will be useful practical experience for the future workplace.


The module will explore different types of violence in Africa, including political violence, structural violence, genocide and resource wars. In particular, the module will explore the relationship between violence and issues relating to race, class, ethnicity, gender, religion, African statehood and mineral resources. A wide range of case studies will be examined and the module will cover core analytical debates relating to African statehood, sovereignty, resource wars and the efficacy of current approaches to peace building and transitional justice in Africa.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Independent study will be facilitated by library resources and blended learning. The VLE will host resources for each week including captured lectures, digitised readings, documentary videos and, where appropriate, short introductory lectures using 'desktop capture' software. Students will be required to conduct independent research into particular case studies in preparation for seminars, essays and political briefings.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students can come and talk about their essays with the module leader during extended academic consultation hours in the build up the essay deadline.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written Work1 x 800 Mid Term Political Briefing25.00
Essay1 x 3,000 End of Term Essay75.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 14/09/2023


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