How can violent conflicts be analyzed and addressed? This is a recurring question, particularly given the ongoing violence in countries like DR Congo and Afghanistan, and the outbursts of civil war in Iraq and Ukraine more recently. In this Master’s you will study national and international conflict, and the territorial boundaries and borders in the minds of the people involved. You will also become familiar with the theory and practice of those organisations, such as NGOs and the UN, who intervene in violent conflict and its aftermath, as well as the efforts by local actors to transform and resolve conflict.
The foundation of this specialisation is socio-geographical, addressing issues such as the influence of territorial belonging, geopolitical framing and social construction of others, threats, and conflicts, including violent symbolism. Both the political and social construction of conflicts, territories, and identities, as well as the theory and practice of conflict transformations will be addressed. The specialisation focuses on conflict in the broad sense of the word: ranging from the violent conflicts taking place in countries like Ukraine, DR Congo, Colombia, Syria and Iraq to extreme regional tension between communities like the resistance to the arrival of refugees in EU countries, or drug-related violence in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. We look beyond the violent conflict itself by also paying attention to practices of post-conflict reconstruction and the long-lasting consequences of conflicts for a region and the people involved.