New: Specialist Peace and Conflict stream in the MA Politics and Sociology at NUI Galway 2020-21

We are offering a specialist Peace and Conflict stream in the MA Politics and Sociology at NUI Galway for the first time this year (2020-21). You can take up to 40 credits in modules focused on peace and conflict (from a total of 60 taught credits) and write your minor dissertation (30 credits) on a peace/conflict theme. Details below of the four ten-credit modules in the stream. If you have any questions please get in touch.

Conflict, Power, and Peace (Prof Mark Haugaard, Prof Niall Ó Dochartaigh, and Dr Kevin Ryan, Soc and Pol)

This module examines how the key social science concepts of conflict and power help us to understand the causes of violent conflict and the factors contributing to conflict transformation and peace. It combines a strongly theoretical approach to power, conflict, and peace with empirical analysis of contemporary conflicts and peace processes. It examines the practical challenges to peacemaking and peacebuilding, including contemporary debates on humanitarian engagement with armed groups. The module is innovative in combining theories of power and of conflict transformation, two related areas of theoretical inquiry that have not been as closely linked as they might be. It introduces students to debates on the causes of violent conflict and escalation and on efforts to end violence. It covers key issues in peacemaking and peacebuilding, focusing on international conflict and ethnonational conflict, with a particular emphasis on the experience of peacemaking and conflict resolution in Ireland and Israel/Palestine.

Indicative module content: Theories of Conflict, Power, and Peace (40%) / Peacemaking, Peace Processes, and Conflict Case Studies (30%) / Negotiation, Humanitarian Intervention, and Peacebuilding (30%)

Irish Politics North and South (Prof Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Soc and Pol)

The island of Ireland, divided between two political jurisdictions and shared by two competing national projects, provides a richly distinctive context in which to examine the changing character of political action and the contemporary power of nationalism and the nation-state in a post-crisis, globalised, and culturally diverse Europe. This module examines political structures, ideologies, party politics, and political violence in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as cross-border politics and the changing relationships between Ireland, Britain and the European Union.

Indicative module content: Context, ideologies, and government structures (40%) / Political parties, political violence, conflict and consensus (30%) / Cross-border politics; contemporary issues; Ireland, Britain and Europe (30%)

Gender and Conflict (Dr. Stacey Scriver, Global Women’s Studies/Soc and  Pol)

This module examines the gendered dimensions of armed conflict, peace, and security issues with a focus on the role of the United Nations. It introduces students to literatures on gender and conflict in sociology, international relations and international law. Particular attention is paid to the evolution of the ‘women, peace and security’ (WPS) agenda of the UN Security Council and tensions between its different elements, namely ‘protection of women’ (usually from sexual violence) versus ‘participation of women’ in different aspects of conflict resolution, peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction. Participants consider how the WPS agenda relates to other non-gender specific policy agendas such as ‘human security’ and the ‘protection of civilians’, including the roles of UN peacekeeping and humanitarian actors, as well as timely debates around military intervention in the name of humanitarianism.

NGOs and the making of the Twentieth Century (Dr. Kevin O’Sullivan, History)

In the twentieth century NGOs emerged as one of the key building blocks of the modern world. This module will engage students in a series of discussions and debates on the role of those organisations in re-shaping culture, society and politics. We will examine the role of NGOs in the creation of a transnational civil society, in re-defining citizenship and the state, and in the ‘professionalisation’ of our everyday lives, as well as analysing their impact on issues of governance and the organisation of the twentieth century world. We will do so by examining some of the key issues addressed by NGOs, along with the key questions that they raised. How did NGOs operate? How should we study them? What can they tell us about the growing inter-connectedness of the modern world? In answering those questions this module will also introduce students to the historiography, key concepts and methodologies in the study of transnational action.The module is divided into four parts. In the first section, ‘Ideas’, we will look at some of the core concepts that help us to understand how NGOs shaped society in the twentieth century. The second part, ‘Examples’, examines four case studies of NGOs in action and how they changed how people understood and related to the world around them. In the third section, ‘Consequences’, we will debate the outcomes (good and bad) that the rise of NGOs had on civil society in the twentieth century. The final two seminars will focus on student research and discussing how you have brought the ideas from the module into your own research projects.


Further information and applying:

Full details of the MA, including descriptions of the other modules, is available here:


About niallodoc

Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland Galway
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s