Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3020: The Politics of War

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


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

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

Academic staff

Dr Sarah Bulmer (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


The problem of war is perhaps the most fundamental of political issues. Conventionally studied through abstract theorising and the perspectives of political elites, many traditional approaches to the study of war fail to capture the experience of violence and destruction or the complex social, political and economic dynamics of militarism and violence. In this module you will be introduced to a range of critical perspectives about war, which will foreground the political nature of any attempt to understand, commemorate or respond to war. You will use these critical approaches to understand and analyse past and present wars and their consequences.  This module will invite you to consider the following questions: What social processes legitimise and make war possible? How is war experienced by different people? How are wars remembered? How have people tried to resist war? Please note that this module is not about geo-politics, military strategy or military history. The emphasis in this module is critical and social which means that war will be understood in relation to wider socio-economic, historical and political contexts. The assessment has been designed to encourage and reward sustained engagement throughout the module and your communication skills.


There are no pre-requisites or co-requisites for this module.

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