SOC40720 Organised Violence and Society

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module aims to explore the key issues and analytical approaches in the study of organised violence. The focus is on the macro historical and the micro sociological contributions to the study of violent action. The module will examine the key theoretical and empirical studies on violence and provide a thematic and critical survey of up-to-date sociological research on warfare, revolutions, terrorisms, insurgencies, paramilitarism, colonial violence, genocide, and other violent phenomena. Furthermore, this module will seek to analyse the complex and contradictory relationships between organised violence and broader social cleavages including the links between nationalism, religion, social stratification, gender, ethnicity and the violent social action.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module the students are expected to be able to demonstrate a detailed understanding of the main sociological approaches in the study of organised violence. The students will be well versed in the theoretical debates and empirical research in different forms of organised violence including wars, revolutions, genocides, colonial violence, paramilitarism, terrorism and insurgencies.

Indicative Module Content:

What is organised violence?
The Origins of Violence
What motivates violence? The Role of Emotions and Interests
The Experience of Close-Range-Violence: Killing, Injuring and Dying
Terrorism and Insurgencies
Paramilitarism and the State Violence
Organised Violence and Gender
Colonial Violence

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This is a two hour seminar based module that involves group based discussion and debate. The module coordinator introduces the topic and then the students with the help of the coordinator discuss the assigned key readings. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: The students are required to submit 200 words long weekly summaries of the core class readings. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: The students are assessed for their active participation in seminars including their contribution to discussion and debate in the seminars. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: The 3000 words final essay. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided on assessed coursework as individual comments during office hours.