International Conflict Resolution

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 2FK015

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
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)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 9 May 2019
Responsible department
Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 90 credits in peace and conflict studies, or 90 credits in a related relevant discipline and at least 30 credits in peace and conflict studies or the equivalent.

Learning outcomes

After the course, students are expected to have acquired knowledge within the following areas:

  • Different theoretical perspectives on conflict resolution.
  • Understanding of central factors and conditions that influence how wars can be terminated through conflict resolution processes.
  • Why and under what conditions the parties in armed conflict can move from violent interactions to durable peace.
  • How different phases in conflict resolution processes interact with each other and between different levels of analysis (local, national, regional and global level).
  • How to structure and classify conditions and problems on different levels of analysis and in different stages of the conflict resolution process.
  • Compare conditions and problems in peace processes within and between countries in their regional and international context.
  • The role that third parties and civil society can play in conflict resolution processes (e.g. through negotiations, transparency, mediation, peacekeeping operations and development assistance).
  • Demonstrate insight into contemporary peace processes.
  • Ability to independently analyse cases using central theories and concepts within the field of peace and conflict research.
  • Insight into the particular challenges that peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts are facing in contemporary armed conflicts.
  • Independently write assignments/essay within a given time frame.


The course focuses on the conflict resolution process, that is the process through which conflict parties move from violent interactions to durable peace. Particular attention is given to the challenges that the parties face in each stage of this process, from the initiation of negotiations, the reaching of a settlement and the cessation of hostilities to how peace is implemented. Specific focus is given both to actors who facilitate the crafting of peace and those who seek to spoil its successful implementation. The importance of regional conditions and the international community is highlighted.

The course covers basic concepts in conflict resolution: e.g. conflict, war, conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peace process, peace agreement, reconciliation, and peacebuilding. Key issues concern peacemaking during armed conflicts, mediation, ceasefires, the crafting of peace accords, the role of third parties and international organisations. The course furthermore addresses areas such as the role of peacekeepers and civil society, security guarantees, economic development, and war crimes.


The course is taught through lectures, seminars and exercises. The course is taught in English.


Examination and final course marks are based on performance in fulfiling the following four requirements:

  • An independently written essay
  • One shorter case study
  • Short assignments during the course
  • Active participation in lectures and seminars

Participation in all teaching is expected. Two examination opportunities are offered every semester the course is given.

The following grades are used: Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G), Fail (U). Examination criteria are handed out during the course.

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.