Subject details

  • Topics
    • A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this subject will be provided in your study materials.
  • Study resources
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

Upon fulfilling the requirements of this subject, students will have the skills and knowledge to:

  1. Evaluate the contributing theoretical and practical approaches to understanding the strategies of political violence, including the relationship to their history and context.
  2. Explain key concepts and debates that are an integral part of the legitimacy and the monopolies of the political use of force by state and non-state actors.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to apply theory and concepts to case studies, as well as independently collect one’s own empirical evidence and data.
  4. Model academic research skills, particularly the ability to select sources appropriately, to integrate knowledge from diverse sources, to critically evaluate significance and relevance, synthesise materials, and present findings logically, rationally and lucidly
  5. Demonstrate critical communication skills, including the ability to present sustained, persuasive and original verbal and written arguments cogently and coherently, and mediate in-class debate and discussion.
  6.  Engage consistently with the subject through proactive communication with peers and the convener, and demonstrate professional conduct in all class activities and in the submission of assessments.
  • Assignment 1 - Assessment 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 2 - Assessment 2 (30%)
  • Assignment 3 - Assessment 3 (50%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

No eligibility requirements

Special requirements

No special requirements

One of the most pervasive contemporary security challenges is the threats to the state and its population from political violence emerging from within state borders. Internal sources of armed conflict—such as communal violence, subversion and insurgency—have significant implications for national, regional and global security, and are increasingly acknowledged to be the most important foreign policy challenges and threats in the world today. This subject examines the strategies which underpin the use of political violence by state and non-state actors, including coercion, co-optation, undercutting and concession. It will use a range of international case studies to examine the causal factors behind the campaigns of political violence perpetrated by states and non-state actors and the responses of targets. The subject complements PICX110 which looks at the dynamics of coercion, PICX111 that addresses non-traditional security challenges, and PICX113 understanding terrorism in the twenty-first century.

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