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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary War: Understanding Change & Continuity (PLIT10085)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryDesigned as an Honours level module, the course provides students with the theoretical and conceptual foundation to understand change and continuity in contemporary conflict, and acts as a platform to think about the place and role of war in the modern security environment. Exploring the ongoing debates regarding the changing nature and character of war, the course balances analysis of these debates with comprehension of how these translate to the practical use of military force in the modern world. The course critically engages with contemporary debates and requires students to assess and explore this discourse in relation to traditional approaches to strategic and security studies. It begins by introducing students to the conceptual problems attached to the identification of war as a social phenomenon. Using this as a basis for debate, the course then explores the utility of the military instrument (particular its relationship to the state), the role of technology (the Revolution in Military Affairs debate), the ideas the new war thesis, the place of the 'great strategic thinkers', asymmetric warfare and terrorism, as well as examining debate surrounding the issue of victory and defeat in modern war.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Students should gain:
1. Balanced and comprehensive appreciation of the complex character of modern strategic/security studies, with particular emphasis on the core strands of the changing character of war debate in the Post-Cold War era.
2. A theoretical foundation with which to understand change and continuity in war.

3. Detailed insight into the theoretical, historical, and contemporary experience of war and strategy.

4. Appreciation of the sources of political/social/technological change and their impact on war.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This course has a quota. Preference will be given to Politics and IR students
Additional Class Delivery Information Plus 1 hr tutorial per week
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Colin Fleming
Tel: (0131 6)51 1364
Course secretaryMiss Sopita Sritawan
Tel: (0131 6)50 6595
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