Syllabus for International Interventions and Protection of Civilians

Internationella interventioner och skydd av civila

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2FK047
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Peace and Conflict Studies A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2015-05-25
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2019-05-09
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Autumn 2019
  • Entry requirements:

    Fulfilment of the requirements for a Bachelor's degree with a social science subject as the main field of study.

  • Responsible department: Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, students are expected to be able to:

  • Independently and critically analyse the prospects and challenges of the Responsibility to Protect.
  • Analyse the potential impact of different forms of interventions for civilian protection from various theoretical perspectives on violence against civilians
  • Critically and correctly, in English, present state-of-the-art reviews of research arguments and findings in the subject area.
  • Independently delimit, design, and within the specified time limit carry out a report-writing task in the subject area.


This course takes its starting point in the Responsibility to Protect. We trace the origins of the current norm that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians when governments themselves are unable or unwilling to do so. We cover different forms of international interventions - such as military interventions, peacekeeping, sanctions, and diplomacy - and discuss their potential impact with regards to protecting civilians. In order to understand what outcome such interventions may have, it is important to first analyse the conflict situation properly. Therefore, we also examine different theories of violence against civilians, and discuss their implications for the prospects and challenges of civilian protection through international intervention.


Instruction is seminar-based. The course builds on the active participation by the students.


Examination and final grading is based on student performance in three respects:

  • A written academic paper, in which the students address a question related to the topics covered by the course
  • An oral presentation of an analytical seminar assignment
  • Active participation in seminar discussions

Two retake opportunities are offered every year the course is given.

The following grades are used: Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G), Fail (U).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Kuperman, Alan J. The Moral Hazard of Humanitarian Intervention: Lessons from the Balkans

    Part of:

    International studies quarterly.

    Guilford: Butterworth, 1957-

    vol. 52 (2008) nr. 1 s. 49-80

    Find in the library


  • Bellamy, Alex J. Responsibility to protect : the global effort to end mass atrocities

    Cambridge: Polity, 2009

    Find in the library


Other articles and literature will be added.