Social Psychological Foundations of Intergroup Conflict

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 2FK048

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, 27 October 2022
Responsible department
Department of Peace and Conflict Research

Entry requirements

Fulfilment of the requirements for a Bachelor's degree, from an internationally recognised university. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

After the course, students should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate contending approaches concerning the social psychological foundations of intergroup conflict
  • Trace these various approaches back to their historical and intellectual origins
  • Gain a clear understanding of the cognitive, motivational and affective aspects of intergroup conflict
  • Identify the conditions under which in-group bias is transformed into intergroup prejudice
  • Identify the conditions under which intergroup contact reduces or increases prejudice
  • Independently write an assignment within a given time frame


This course aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the social-psychological processes involved in intergroup conflict. The course will contribute to a deeper understanding of the cognitive, motivational and affective aspects of intergroup conflict and bias, as well as the conditions under which in-group bias may be transformed into intergroup prejudice, discrimination and violence. Contending approaches on how to structure intergroup contact in order to reduce intergroup prejudice will be examined. To achieve this, the course familiarises students with key literature that, over the past 100 years or so, has shaped our understanding of intergroup relations. In the process, we will trace the research tradition from the current day research frontier back to its historical roots, and place this pivotal research in context. Apart from a few lectures, the course consists of seminars prepared through the writing of short memos. The course builds on active participation and engagement in discussions based on the course literature, documentary films and simulations.


Seminar-based with active participation based on students' written memos




  • Several short written assignments in which students are asked to reflect upon and raise questions in response to the readings.
  • Participation in seminars and simulations.
  • Grades: Pass with distinction (VG), Pass (G), Fail (U).
  • Two retake opportunities 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.

No reading list found.