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Credited Courses

UNU Intensive Core Courses

International Peace and Security (IPS)

2 credits

Course Description

This course will introduce core theories and concepts of international peace and security. It will investigate how threats to international peace have been understood, addressed and responded to in international relations, and will critically examine existing international mechanisms and approaches for dealing with issues of international peace and security.

The course will start by introducing peace studies and international law — two disciplines that are essential to understanding issues of international peace and security. It will then explore the changing nature of conflicts, the evolution of human security and explore related issues and problems, such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, peacekeeping and peace-building.

The course aims to provide students with knowledge and skills to critically understand and analyse complex contemporary issues in international peace and security. It will help students to understand both the theoretical and historical background of international politics, as well as the way the contemporary international order functions.

Week 1: Peace Studies

  • What is peace?  What is Security?
  • International Society
  • Case of Afghanistan

Week 2: International Law, Peace and Security

  • Sovereignty and Intervention. Law of Armed Conflict  
  • International Rule of Law and Ethics
  • Global Governance

Week 3: Changing Nature of Conflicts and Security

  • Conflicts, Threats to the Peace
  • Humanitarian Intervention
  • Causes of Conflicts

Week 4: Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
  • Terrorism and Human Rights
  • Disarmament and Non-proliferation

Week 5: UN and Peace Operations

  • Peacekeeping and Its Four Generations 
  • Timor Leste Experience
  • Peacebuilding and Its Challenges

Week 6: Presentations and Wrap-up

  • Student Presentations
  • Students Presentations
  • Course Wrap-up

*Please note that the topics listed below may be subject to change.


The course will be taught by the staff of UNU and prominent external experts in the field.