Denmark, Aarhus

The Causes of Intrastate Armed Conflicts: Dominant Theories and Empirical Evidence

when 1 August 2011 - 26 August 2011
duration 4 weeks
credits 9.9 ECTS

A total of 244 armed conflicts have been recorded since the end of the Second World War. Of these, 131 conflicts have been active in the post-Cold War period. These facts suggest one clear conclusion: armed conflict remains to be a commonplace in contemporary world. However, the most striking fact is not the high number of these conflicts, but the fact that the majority of these violent events took place within states: out of those 131 conflicts, only eight have been fought between states. It simply means that the number of intrastate conflicts is more than ten times higher than the number of interstate conflicts. This course is aimed at examining the causes of such devastating and wide-spread events. The primary aims of the course is (I) to introduce students to the dominant theories explaining the causes of intrastate armed conflicts and (II) to demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of these theories with regard of their usefulness in explaining the causes of particular conflicts. Course offered by Department of Political Science, AU.

Course leader

Henrikas Bartusevicius

Target group

Applicants must be at Master level

Course aim

The objectives for this module are:

1. An in-depth understanding of the theories that dominate current debate on the causes of intrastate armed conflicts;

2. An overview of alternative theories that aim to explain the causes of intrastate armed conflicts;

3. Analytical skills that are requisite for the application of these theories in empirical analysis of the causes of particular conflicts;

4. An overview and analysis of the state-of-the-art empirical studies (both quantitative and qualitative) of intrastate armed conflicts.

By the end of the seminar students should be able to:

- Demonstrate their thorough understanding of the dominant theories of the causes of intrastate armed conflicts;

- Summarize and discuss similarities and differences, strengths and weaknesses of these theories;

- Demonstrate their ability to critically evaluate dominant theories and provide accounts of alternative theories;

- Examine these theories with regard of their usefulness in explaining the causes of particular conflicts;

- Apply these theories in empirical analyses of the causes of intrastate armed conflicts;

- Critically analyze and discuss scientific studies of the causes of intrastate armed conflicts.

Fee info

EUR 0: See website for information regarding fees