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Curriculum /1

BHIS2001 International Peace - the History of a Movement

Name of study programme

International Peace - the History of a Movement

ECTS credits


Learning outcomes

Knowledge (upon completion of the course, the student will):

  • Central concepts within the study of international peace
  • The main developments in liberal internationalism, from the League of Nations to the United Nations
  • Leading peace actors, how they worked, their accomplishments and the challenges they faced
  • Peace negotiations as a new craft

Skills (upon completion of the course the student will be able to):

  • Analysing and presenting complex political issues in light of historical developments, utilizing theoretical insights from the course literature.
  • Collecting relevant information and presenting findings in a format, op-ed, which is relevant on the job market.
  • Develop source critical techniques
  • Oral presentation in a group
  • Development of a project proposal

Teaching and working methods

The course demands that the students work on their own with the curriculum, participate in seminars where the literature is discussed and students hold presentations in groups, and attend lectures where the central themes are raised and discussed. The students are required to deliver two mandatory written pieces of coursework. They will receive feedback from a co-student on one of the pieces of coursework, while the lecturer will give them detailed feedback on the second piece. The students are also required to participate in a mandatory group presentation. Mandatory requirements in order to take the exam

Assessment, examination and grading

The course contains three separate course works, all three of which have to be completed in order to take the exam.

  • Each student will participate in a group presentation of a specific theme from the course.
  • Each student will write an op-ed on a theme from the course, which relates to contemporary events. Each student will receive detailed feedback on the op-ed.
  • Each student will develop a project proposal on a given theme from the course. Each student will receive feedback from one other student on this project proposal.

The course ends with an oral exam. The students will first present one of their course works, then central themes from the course will be discussed with the examiners. The length of the exam is 20-25 minutes.Det avholdes muntlig eksamen. Her gir du først en kort, forberedt presentasjon av ett av dine skriftlige arbeidskrav for en ekstern sensor som ikke har lest dette. Deretter gjennomføres samtale rundt temaer og problemstillinger som er behandlet i pensum og/eller undervisning. Eksaminasjonen gjennomføres innenfor en total ramme på 20-25 minutter.

Programme structure and content

International Peace will not focus on a specific doctrine, but rather on the political process through which such an international society was developed. This process involved both a wide variety of actors and a plethora of concepts for what peace is. The process involved cooperation between states, but also transnational non-state organizations and global networks of individuals. While "western" actors have dominated this development, they have not had a monopoly, and western policy was highly contradictory, both supporting global peace and colonizing the world.

The peace movement developed its ideas and institutions in very specific historic circumstances, such as the French revolution, the two world wars and the period of decolonization in the decades after 1945. In the 1990s many analysts and politicians thought that the western liberal order had «won» and that we had reached «the end of history». Two decades later, it is clear that this was an illusion. While the number of wars is on a steady decline, the international institutions, which should have maintained peace and stopped crimes against humanity, often fail.

This course will focus on the complexity involved in the development of an international peaceful order. While the course is primarily historical, it will focus on central International Relations theoretical perspectives. Through the course work, the students will have to analyse and present arguments on a variety of perspectives on the development of global peace. The course will address three sub-themes – ideological, humanitarian, and judicial – all of which will be used to analyse:

  1. Geopolitical interests in international conflicts
  2. The development of humanitarian ideals and dilemmas
  3. The ideal of a universal judicial order – from state sovereignty to human rights – and the inherent dilemmas within this order