Civil Wars and Insurgencies - 2017

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 1
  • Availability for 2017: Sem1
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Assessment 1 (20%) , Assignment 2 - Assessment 2 (45%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 3,214.00
International 3,464.00

This unit examines why civil wars and insurgencies begin, how they are fought, and how they end. Since 1945, internal wars have been far more common than interstate wars. Indeed, while some contend that interstate wars are becoming obsolete, no such proposition could be contemplated for civil wars and insurgencies. In addition to being frequent, internal wars also cause the overwhelming majority of the world’s violence related deaths, famines, refugee moments as well as drug production and transnational crime. This unit is divided into three sections. First, the unit explores why civil wars and insurgencies begin. Next, it discusses their course, nature, and how they are fought. In this section, several classic texts are surveyed, including Mao Tse-Tung and Che Guevara. Finally, how civil wars end will be discussed. By the conclusion of this unit, students will have an advanced understanding of the overall dynamics of civil wars.

This unit is accepted in both 800 Series and 900 Series unit categories.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. critically analyse selected insurgencies and evaluate their causes and characteristics
  2. evaluate selected counter insurgency campaigns in order to review their nature and the outcomes they achieve
  3. analyse the impact of non-state actors and influence drivers on modern insurgencies
  4. critique contemporary literature relating to the concepts of insurgency and counter insurgency
  5. formulate sustained and persuasive written arguments through research and analysis of critical texts, concepts and theories related to insurgencies, non-state security challenges, influence drivers and counter insurgency.
  • Assignment 1 — Assessment 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Assessment 2 (45%)
  • Assignment 3 — Assessment 3 (35%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • PIC883 — Insurgency and Non-State Security Challenges
  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient

A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this unit will be provided in your study materials.

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit is an approved elective in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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