Peace, Conflict and Development

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSDS2DS2044

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon, III Semester, 2nd year

Course Coordinator and Team: Ivy Dhar (CC)

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: NA

Course Objectives/Description:

Development is relevant in both peace and conflict because the former draws in and the later draws out resources for development. This course aims at developing an understanding of multifaceted and interrelated themes of peace, conflict and development. These terms in itself have very wide conceptualization and needs an assortment of several disciplines. The course shall familiarize students with theories and approaches to peace, dimensions of conflict, structural and cultural violence, human security, conflict resolution, conflict transformation and post-conflict reconstruction. It will cover the case studies of conflict arising out of resource exploitation and control and equip students to understand and analyse the interplay of macro and micro conflicts. Focusing on gender mainstreaming in peace, it shall discuss women’s role in peacebuilding missions. Drawing analogy to the above dimensions, this course shall rely largely on empirical understanding, analysing cases from India and other parts of the world. Certain modules of the course are transacted through an interactive mode. Drawing from the current global experiences, students may be encouraged to link their assessments & course outputs.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. Understand theories and approaches to peace and conflict studies.

2. Draw linkages of conflict with development issues of South Asia and the global context.

3. Apply case study and conflict mapping methods.

4. Demonstrate an awareness of critical skills required to observe data, facts and texts.

5. Reflect and present observations through class interactions, presentations and write-up.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Peace, Conflict and Development: Interdisciplinary Approaches: This introductory topic will familiarise students with concepts of peace, conflict and development, understanding of which is very much layered in the current debates. Since globalisation, vast volumes of literature have broadened the canvas of thinking, highlighting the often-ignored social-political rights and development insecurities that are at the root of the conflict.
  2. State and Internal Conflicts: This module will take students through the terrain of understanding the opportunities of rebellion in the underdevelopment situation and will pay attention to sites of power struggle and conditions of civil war drawing from a political economy perspective.
  3. Understanding Violence: Violence as a discourse should propose a critical analysis, looking at definitions and the typology of understanding. This module shall more specifically understand gender violence, both at structural and cultural levels, in the context of South Asian societies. It shall debate the symbolic meanings associated with masculinities of violence and victimization of women and their binary relationship.
  4. Resistance and Protest: In this module, we explore meanings and metaphors of resistance and the relationship of resistance and protest. Group activism has, by itself, seen many shifts in contemporary times. Discussions will enable us to understand episodes of protests dovetailing with forms of resistance.
  5. Resource Conflicts and Development: This module shall begin with understanding the concepts used to study the politics of natural resources, and then focus from available literature on the framework for understanding conflicts over resources. It shall consider taking certain case studies of water conflict. A section of the module will take up for discussion on how cases of conflicts are directly caused by competition for essential livelihood resources.
  6. Conflict Mapping: The conflict mapping exercise taken up as module content will allow students to visualise and clarify conflicts; and concentrate on detailing of relationships of issues, goals, parties and consequence of conflicts. This module will be carried out in a practical mode that allows students to take up conflict cases and use analysis techniques. The prescribed reading in this module will depend on case studies.
  7. Human Security: Recent academic engagement in understanding human security vis-à-vis conflict has picked a huge momentum. This module shall discuss the human security concerns along with placing focus on the importance of such concerns in the global development agendas. It shall talk about linkages between health and security and examine how the concerns can be placed in such an area of research.
  8. Peace Building and Conflict Transformation:This module shall discuss the critiques of peacebuilding strategies operational through the liberal peace framework. It will focus on violence and conflict transformations at both individual and societal levels. Such activities can engage students to situate analysis in particular case studies of peacebuilding and conflict transformation in contemporary times.
  9. Gender and Peace Activism: This module puts together debates on the gendered face of protest against violence and demands for peace. It shall study cases where women /women’s groups caught in a society torn with conflicts have contributed to rebuilding peace. It shall also discuss the thrust of transnational feminist practices of allowing comparative perspectives in conflict sites across political borders.

Assessment Details with weights


Type: Period in which Assessment will take place*



Literature Summary -September



Poster Presentation- October



Case-Study Based Report Writing- November


* Due to the COVID situation, more easily achievable targets are set for the course. The format is tentative- subject to change as per the needs &situation.

Reading List:

  • Baviskar, Amitaed.( 2008): Contested Grounds: Essays on Nature, Culture and Power (New Delhi: Oxford Publications), Selected Chapters.
  • Bunch, Charllottee (2004) “Peace, Human Rights and Women’s Peace Activism” in Radhika Coomaraswamy and DilrukshiFoneska ed. Peace Work: Women, Armed Conflict and Negotiation (New Delhi: Women Unlimited), pp.28-53.
  • Chatterjee, Piya, Desai, Manali and Roy, Parama ed., (2009): “Introduction: Enigmas of Violence” and “ A History of Violence: Gender, Power and the Making of 2002 Pogrom in Gujarat” in States of Trauma : Gender and Violence in South Asia (New Delhi: Zubaan), pp.1-20 and 293-313.
  • Frerks, Georg, Dietz, Ton and Zaag, Pieter van der ( 2014): “Conflict and cooperation on natural resources: Justifying the CoCooN programme” in Maarten Bavinck, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Erik Mostert ed., Conflicts over Natural Resources in the Global South: Conceptual Approaches (London: Taylor & Francis Group), pp. 13-21
  • Galtung, Johan (1990): “Cultural Violence” in Journal of Peace Research, August, Vol 27, No.3, pp 291-305.
  • Guttman, Matthew C. (1993): “Rituals of Resistance: A Critique of the Theory of Everyday Forms of Resistance” in Latin American Perspectives, Spring, Vol 77, No.20, pp 74-92.
  • Hettige, Siri (2005): “Peace, Conflict and Development: A Macro Sociological Perspective” in Sociological Bulletin, Special Issue on South Asia, September, Vol 54, No.3, pp 574-584.
  • Jacoby, Tim (2008): ‘Dimensions’ in Understanding Conflict and Violence: Theoretical and Interdisciplinary Approaches (London and New York: Routledge), pp. 18-33.
  • Kaldor, Mary (2013): “In Defense of New Wars” in Stability, Vol 2, No.1, pp 1-16.
  • Lautensach, Alexander K. (2015): “Sustainable Health for All? The Tension Between Human Security and the Right to Health Care” in Journal of Human Security, Vol 11. No.1. pp. 5‐18.
  • Loughlan, Victoria “Afghanistan Conflict Map”, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies,, accessed on 23.12.12.
  • Mac, Ginty (2013): “Indicators+: A Proposal for Everyday Peace Indicators”, Evaluation and Program Planning 36, pp.56–63.
  • Muniruzzaman, ANM (2014): “Human Security in South Asia: Vision 2025” in Peace and Security Review, First Quarter, Vol 6. No.11. pp. 23‐55.
  • Murshed, S. Mansoob (2002): “Conflict, Civil War and Underdevelopment: An Introduction” in Journal of Peace Research, Vol 39, No.4, pp 387-393.
  • Ohlsson, L. (2000). Livelihood Conflicts - Linking poverty and environment as causes of conflict (Working Paper No. 10525), Sweden: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. accessed on 10.04.15.
  • Oomen, T.K. (2010): “Student Power: Mobilisation and Protest” in Social Movements II: Concerns of Equity and Security (US: OUP).
  • Paffenholz, Thania (2009). “Understanding Peace Building Theory: Management, Resolution and Transformation” in New Routes: A Journal of Peace Research and Action. [Online] Vol 14 (2),, accessed on 20.03.15.
  • Sen, Amartya (2008): “Violence, Identity and Poverty” in Journal of Peace Research, Vol 45, No.5, pp 5-16.
  • Stewart, Frances (2002): “Root Causes of Violent Conflict in Developing Countries” in British Medical Journal, 9 February, Vol 324, No.7333, pp 342-345.
  • Tiwary, Rakesh (2006): “Conflicts over International Waters” in Economic and Political Weekly, Apr. 29 - May 5, 2006, Vol 41, No.17, pp.1684-1692.
  • Uyangoda, Jayadev (2000):“Nation-State, Security Studies and the Questions of Margins in South Asia” in Dipankar Baneerjee ed. Security Studies in South Asia: Changes and Challenges (Delhi: Manohar) pp.15-23.
  • Wehr Paul, “Conflict Mapping”,, accessed on 23.12.12.
  • Zeilig, Leo (2010): “Students’ Protest and Violence in Sub-Sahara Africa” in Debal K. Singha Roy Dissenting Voices and Transformative Actions: Social Movements in a Globalising World (New Delhi: Manohar), pp.449- 484.
  • Zeleza, Paul Tiyambe (2008): “Introduction: The Causes & Costs of War in Africa From Liberation Struggles to the ‘War on Terror’ in Alfred G. Nhema, Paul TiyambeZeleza and TiyambeZeleza (ed.) The Roots of African Conflicts: The Causes & Costs ( Ohio University Press)


  • Chojnacki, S. (2006): “Anything New or More of the Same? Wars and Military Intervention in the International System 1946-2003” in Global Society, Vol 20, No.1, pp 25-46.
  • Finlay, Christopher J. (2009): “Hannah Ardent’s Critique of Violence” in Thesis Eleven, May, Vol 97, No. 1, pp 26-45.
  • Fisher, Simon, (2010): “Tools for Conflict analysis” in Working with Conflict: Skills and Strategies for Action (London and New York: Zed Books), pp.13-36.
  • Ghani, Ejaz and Iyer, Lakshmi (2010): “Conflict and Development: Lessons from South Asia” in Economic Premise, Vol 31, pp 1-8.
  • Hewitt, J.J., J. Wilkenfeld, and T.R. Gurr (2010): Peace and Conflict 2010, Centre for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland, Chapters 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7.
  • Jackson, Paul and Beswick, Danielle (2015): “What does Conflict look like in a Developing World” in Conflict, Security and Development: An Introduction (Oxon: Routledge), pp. 30-47
  • Lederach, John Paul (1996): in Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures (New York: Syracuse University Press).
  • Scott, J. C. (1992): Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven and London: Yale University Press).
  • Sweetman, Caroline (2004): Gender, Peacebuilding and Reconstruction: Oxfam focus on Gender (Oxford: Oxfam Publishing).