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War and Conflict in The Modern World MA

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  • Objectives
    The MA in War and Conflict in the Modern World combines the disciplines of History and International Relations to provide students with multi-disciplinary, advanced study from both humanities and social science perspectives. The degree covers the period from the French Revolution to the present. It examines the impact of the French and Industrial revolutions on warfare, before focusing on the development of 'total war' - that reached its apogee in the First and Second World Wars- and the interaction between democracies and conflict in the twentieth century. To understand war in this period, students will study the development of international relations as well as the actual wars fought. The programme looks at the 'face of battle' as seen by soldiers, generals and politicians; developments in the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war; the interaction between war and society; and the thinking that drove on these changes in warfare. The programme also draws upon Brunel's expertise in intelligence studies, offering the students the chance to take optional modules in this area from the University's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements A first degree (2.1 or above) or equivalent. It is expected that students for this programme will have a degree in a relevant subject although in exceptional circumsatances students with qualifications in non-related subjects can be considered. If English is not your first language then applicants must have IELTS 6.5 (with no section less than 5.0) or TOEFL 237/585 (with a minimum TWE of 4.5 or above).
  • Academic Title
    War and Conflict in The Modern World MA
  • Course description
    Course Summary

    This MA combines the disciplines of History and International Relations to provide students with multi-disciplinary, advanced study from both humanities and social science perspectives. The degree covers the period from the French Revolution to the present. It examines the impact of the French and Industrial revolutions on warfare, before focusing on the development of 'total war' and the interaction between democracies and conflict in the 20th century. The programme looks at the 'face of battle' as seen by soldiers, generals and politicians; developments in the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war; and the interaction between war and society.

    Course Details

    The programme is offered on a full-time basis and is taught over two terms. Modules are taught either over both terms or over one term. Students complete six modules - three core (compulsory) and three optional modules - plus a 15,000 word dissertation. The programme can also be completed on a part-time basis.

    Core Modules

        * War in the Modern World

        * Democracy, War and Intervention
          Main topics of study: introduction; contemporary theories of war I; contemporary theories of war II; contemporary theories of war III; liberal interventionism: debates and paradoxes; Gladstone: the reluctant interventionist?; Woodrow Wilson: archetypal crusader?; Korea and Vietnam; covert operations; the Balkans; Iraq 2003; review.

        * Evolution of International Relations
          Main topics of study: introduction: the evolving domain of international relations; idealism vs realism; realism - neorealism; liberalism - neoliberalism; explaining peace in Europe; the 'English School' (International Society); Marxism and dependency; critical theories; historical sociology; normative theory I; normative theory II; the future of international relations.

        * Dissertation

    Elective

        * Arab-Israeli Conflict
          Main topics of study: the birth of three nationalisms: Turkish, Arab and Jewish; the Middle East and the First World War; Britain's 'moment' in the Middle East; the historiography on the Arab-Israeli conflict and problems with methodology; the formation of Israel (1): The Palestinian Refugee Crisis; the formation of Israel (2): Collusion across the Jordan?; the formation of Israel (3): The first Arab-Israeli War: David versus Goliath?; War (1): Nasser or Ben-Gurion? Who started the 1956 war?; War (2): Israel triumphant – the 1967 war; War (3): Israel defeated – the 1973 war; exporting the Arab-Israeli conflict: Lebanon; Israeli-Egyptian peace; Israeli-Palestinian peace?

        * First World War
          Main topics of study: military planning and the origins of the war; the Fritz Fischer debate; the July Crisis; 1914: The war of movement; 1915: Deadlock; 1916: Verdun and the Somme; 1917: Passchendale; British war strategy; home fronts: entente powers; home fronts: Central alliance; other theatres of War (1): Africa and Asia; other theatres of War (2): Italian and Russian fronts; America and the war; the War at sea; soldiers' experience of war; German war strategy: the Ludendorff offensives; how was the war won: the hundred days' offensive, new technologies, new thinking; consequences of the war: political; consequences of the war: cultural.

        * The Rise of the National Security State Intelligence: Key Concepts and Approaches 
          Main topics of study: the breakdown of the Grand Alliance and the Yalta system; threat evaluations in the early cold war; bureaucratic politics and the rise of the national security state; the debate in the us on 'the garrison state'; the British defence dilemma and the genesis of NATO; the Soviet defence dilemma and the creation of the Warsaw Pact; the United States National Security Act 1947 and the creation of the national security bureaucracy; the military-industrial complex.

        * Soviet Foreign Policy
          Main topics of study: Marxism and international relations; the Comintern, 1919-1924; Lenin and the West; Lenin and the East; foreign policy during the inner-party struggle, 1924-1929; the Comintern, 1929-1933; the Soviet Union and Hitler's challenge, 1924-1929; Soviet diplomacy and World War II; cold war Europe, 1945-1953; Khrushchev's foreign policy: West; Khrushchev's foreign policy: Eastern Europe; Khrushchev's foreign policy: China; Brezhnev's foreign policy: d étente; Brezhnev's foreign policy: Eastern Europe; Brezhnev's foreign policy: China; Foreign Policy in the late Brezhnev era: Afghanistan and Poland; Gorbachev's foreign policy: West; Gorbachev's foreign policy: Eastern Europe;
          Gorbachev's foreign policy: Asia; Soviet foreign policy: an assessment.

        * Women and War
          Main topics of study: contact with Native Americans: women's place in the battles; the American Revolution and its aftermath; women and the Civil War (abolitionist; women on the battlefield and as nurses, women as fundraisers and on the home front; emancipation and Reconstruction; the long term impact in the north; in the south; Jingoism; WWI in the UK; WWI in the US; the demographic and social consequences of WWI; WWII - UK labour mobilisation vs. US volunteerism; women in uniform; women as spies - SOE; women on the home front US and UK; the Cold War - domestic warrior; women Strike for Peace; women and the anti-war movement; Vietnam; the modern military.

        * Research Methods
          Main topics of study: approaches to the sudy of politics; research design; normative enquiry; institutionalism; behaviouralism; comparative politics; rational choice; qualitative methods;
          quantitative methods 1; quantitative methods 2 – advanced techniques; ethical questions in research.

        * Empire, Imperialism and Hedgemony
          Main topics of study: empire and hegemony: conceptual introduction and historical overview; early-modern imperial and hegemonic powers: case studies; European imperialism; theories of imperialism; US foreign policy: historical overview; the USA in the world economy; theorising US hegemony/empire.

        * War in Theory
          Main topics of study: war and the natural law tradition; war and the liberal conscience; war as politics, politics as war; Marxism and war; Soviet military doctrine; guerrilla warfare; war, modernity and the rationalization of slaughter; fascism and war; just war theory; virtual war in the postmodern era; new wars and the 'war on terror'.

        * Second World War

        * China and the World

        * Intelligence and International Security since 1945

        * Intelligence Agency and Community Management

    Assessment

    Two modes of assessment operate on this programme. Some modules are assessed by coursework and an advance notice examination. Other modules are assessed 100% by coursework.

    A Master's degree is awarded if you reach the necessary standard on the taught part of the course and submit a dissertation of the required standard. The 15,000 word dissertation can be written on any agreed topic on war and conflict in the Modern Age. The pass grade for all modules and the dissertation is 50%. Students are normally required to pass all the required taught modules before being permitted to proceed to the dissertation. If you do not achieve the standard required, you may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate if eligible.

    Careers

    Focusing on the study of key aspects of war in the contemporary period, the MA in War in the Modern World equips students for a variety of careers in government, the armed forces, the media and business. The degree also prepares students wishing to go on to study for research degrees and those interested in military history seeking to expand their knowledge of the subject.

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