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TR4502: DECONSTRUCTING PEACE AND CONFLICT: THE END OF UTOPIA (2019-2020)

Last modified: 10 Jan 2020 14:25


Course Overview

This module encourages students to explore and engage with the concepts of political and social progress and our contemporary anxieties with utopian thinking and peacebuilding. It will enable students to identify the intellectual, cultural, social and political roots of historical progress and the main critiques from a number of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. The course will afford students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to apply theoretical concepts acquired in previous courses to debates about neoliberalism, democratization, Political Islam, Marxism and the apocalyptic in contemporary culture.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Luisa Gandolfo

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of International Relations (IR) or Politics (PI) or Sociology (SO) or MA European Studies
  • Any Undergraduate Programme
  • Programme Level 4

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

This course explores the idea that history has a linear and logical dynamic moving forward to an inevitable historical endpoint or peaceful utopia. We examine this through various historical movements and political philosophies that advance different utopian goals - including the concept of free-market democracy, revolutionary Marxism, political Islam, feminism and even peacebuilding, and which have inspired significant social and political turmoil. Yet, the idea of progress to a peaceful utopia is fundamentally questioned by the current global reversal of democracy, new forms of identity politics, the economic collapse of 2008, global warming, and a number of ethnic conflicts since the end of the Cold War. Such anxieties also pervade the social sciences, where its historical roots in ideas of social and theoretical progress have been critiqued and even dispensed with. Themes to explore: Progress and Utopia, Utopian Beliefs in peacebuilding and development Utopian beliefs in politics: free-market democracy, communism, political Islam Utopian beliefs in US foreign policy, Historical Utopian movements: Muslim Brotherhood, the Bolsheviks, Christian Evangelicalism, nationalist movements, the social sciences as contributing to social progress Challenges to Utopia The global reversal of democracy Critical peacebuilding, Lack of faith in scientific progress, Identity politics, Postmodernism in the social sciences.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 26 - 35
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 26 - 35

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback Word Count 2500
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Exam

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 50
Assessment Weeks Feedback Weeks

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Feedback
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
Sorry, we don't have this information available just now. Please check the course guide on MyAberdeen or with the Course Coordinator

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