Syllabus for War and Development

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A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 2FK049
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Peace and Conflict Studies A1N
  • 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 completion, the student is expected to be able to:

  • Critically evaluate core arguments for why and how socio-economic development leads to less armed conflict
  • Account for arguments for the effects of conflict on development
  • Evaluate arguments for how peace and prosperity may have joint explanations
  • Critically evaluate empirical evidence in support of or in opposition to the various arguments covered in the course
  • Independently identify research problems and relevant practical-policy issues in the subject area.
  • Critically and correctly, in English, present state-of-the-art reviews and overviews of recent research findings in the subject area.
  • With good scientific insight and the required methodological skills collect, organise, analyse and draw appropriate, independent conclusions of relevance for the theory and practice in the subject area.
  • Independently delimit, design and write a report within the specified time limit.
  • Be able to judge/asses the works and efforts/performances of others from a wide theoretical and practical perspective.
  • See connections, interactions, influences and interdependence between the dynamics of organised violence and those of broader socio-economic development.


The course will give an introduction to the literature on the relationship between armed conflict - domestic and interstate -- and socio-economic development, widely defined as a mixture of economic productivity, state capacity, and citizens' welfare. It will discuss theoretical arguments where the relationship between war and development is mediated by state capacity, asset specificity or appropriability, economic networks, education, demography, or through democratisation. The course will have a strong focus on empirical documentation but also look at the theoretical arguments explaining the empirical patterns. The course will consider the effect of development on conflict as well as the effect of conflict on development in terms of economic growth, public health, refugee flows, and gender differences in health outcomes. It will also look at arguments that link both conflict and development to deeper causal processes.


The course will be given in the form of lectures and seminars.


Assessment and final grading is based on

  1. A course paper
  2. Active participation in lectures and seminars

Grades: Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G), Fail (U).

Two dates to resubmit the final course paper are offered every year the course is given.

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 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Iqbal, Zaryab War and the health of nations

    Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2010.

    Find in the library


  • North, Douglass C.; Wallis, John Joseph; Weingast, Barry R. Violence and social orders : a conceptual framework for interpreting recorded human history

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009

    Find in the library


  • Pinker, Steven The better angels of our nature : why violence has declined

    New York: Viking, 2011

    Find in the library


In addition, there will be a great number of articles, reports and websites

Last modified: 2022-04-26