PECOS4010 – Conflict and state building

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course provides an introduction to central theories of conflict, war and peace. Moreover, the course provides an introduction to the relationship between conflict, war and peace and certain phenomena such as a country’s system of government and nationalism.

Both the theoretical premises and the mechanisms that link the explanatory factors to decisions on war and peace will be discussed. To some extent, the empirical support for various theories and hypothesis will be discussed. The course will mainly be taught by political scientists.

Learning outcome


Students will

  • Be familiar with main concepts and definitions associated with studies of conflict, war and peace;
  • Acquire knowledge of main theoretical perspectives and key issues of intra- and international conflict, war and peace;
  • Be introduced to the relationship between conflict, war and peace and key factors such as systems of governance, trade, economic development and nationalism;
  • Be familiar with the empirical support of main theories and hypotheses of conflict, war and peace.


Students will

  • Acquire understanding of how theories and explanatory factors at different levels can be combined in analyses of conflict and peace
  • Be able to formulate researchable questions and analyse them according to scientific methods of research
  • Develop skills in commenting other students’ work in a constructive manner.


Students will

  • Acquire general understanding of key factors and mechanisms causing conflict and enabling peace and be able to critically analyse historic and comparative cases of intra- and international conflict, war and peace.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

For incoming students

All Master's courses in Political Science must be registered manually by the Department, they will not appear in Studentweb. Contact your international coordinator at UiO.


Recommended previous knowledge

Knowledge of research methods.




3 hour school exam and term paper.

The term paper must:

The school exam counts more than the term paper. You receive one overall grade. You must pass the term paper and your written examination in the same semester.

Previous exams and guidelines

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Examination support material

Students may use dictionaries at this exam. Dictionaries must be handed in before the examination. Please read regulations for dictionaries permitted at the examination.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Answer key exam 2018

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language