Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3229: Disrupting Western and Neo-Liberal Hegemony: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency Post-WWII

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction to Critical Military Studies;
  • Militarism and militarization;
  • Definitions of irregular warfare, insurgency and terrorism;
  • Classic theories of insurgency/guerrilla war;
  • Classic theories of counterinsurgency;
  • Changing Nature of insurgent and counter-insurgent warfare;
  • Asian Case Study 1: Malaya;
  • Asian Case Study 2: Vietnam;
  • North African Case Study: Algeria;
  • Middle East Case Study 1: Israel and the Palestinian Territories;
  • Middle East Case Study 2: Israel in Lebanon;
  • US interventionism in Central America: Panama and El Salvador
  • Revolution, Drugs & Paramilitarism: Columbia and the FARC
  • The militarisation of urban spaces – North America (USA): the politics of race/racism and police brutality.
  • The militarisation of urban spaces – South America (Brazil): poverty, social marginality, and the counter-narcotics war in the favelas.
  • The ideology of Al-Qaeda and its off-shoots: a global jihadist insurgency?
  • Post-9/11 Case Study: Iraq;
  • Post-9/11 Case Study: Afghanistan. 

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity4623 x 2-hour seminars
Guided Independent Study92Private study – reading and preparing for seminars
Guided Independent Study162Preparation for assessments – including researching and collating relevant sources; planning the structure and argument; writing up the essay and presentation brief; preparing and rehearsing presentation; reading book and writing book review

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

Web based and electronic resources:

Complex Terrain Laboratory: http://www.terraplexic.org/

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: http://www.sipri.org/

Combating Terrorism Centre (Westpoint): http://ctc.usma.edu/sentinel/

UK Defence Academy: http://www.da.mod.uk/podcasts

‘MERLIN’ US National Defence University: http://merln.ndu.edu/

US Institute of Peace: http://www.usip.org/

Institute for War and Peace Reporting: http://www.iwpr.org

US Army War College: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/

International Studies Association web resources: http://www.isanet.org/links/

US Naval Postgraduate School: http://www.nps.edu/

RAND Corps: http://www.rand.org/

Center for Strategic and International Studies: http://csis.org/

Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies: http://www.rusi.org

Chatham House (Royal Institute for International Affairs): http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk

International Institute for Strategic Studies: http://www.iiss.org

Brookings Institute: http://www.brookings.edu/

Bitter Lemons: http://www.bitterlemons.org/

Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies: http://www.ciss.ca/

Centre for Defence Information: http://www.cdi.org/

CIA Factbook: http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/

Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/

International Crisis Group: http://www.icg.org/home/index.cfm

Rand Corporation: http://www.rand.org/


Key journals:

Armed Forces & Society

Civil Wars

Conflict, Security & Development

Critical Military Studies

Critical Studies on Terrorism

Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict

European Journal of International Security

International Affairs

International Political Sociology

International Security

Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding

Journal of Strategic Studies

Journal of War & Culture Studies

Low Intensity Conflict & Law Enforcement

Review of International Studies

Security Dialogue

Security Studies

Small Wars & Insurgencies

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism


Terrorism & Political Violence

Third World Quarterly

Other Learning Resources

Other materials and resources will be identified by the module convener in lectures and via ELE and by tutors in tutorials.