If you think that any of the following questions are important and interesting, then this course is something for you.  

jordglob2
  • Who is right and who is wrong in a war situation, and can there be wars that are legal and justified? 
  • What rules and regulations apply to a conflict situation? 
  • Is it possible to pursue criminal charges against a president for serious violations against its own population? 
  • Read more about the course under "content"

International Peace and Security - Public International Law and International Politics

Summary

The aim of the course is to give students knowledge about public international law and understanding of how law is applied and implemented in international politics, with focus on international peace and security. The focus of the course is on the role of the UN and other international actors in international conflicts.

Admission requirements

General entry requirements + English B.


For Swedish Upper Secondary Grades merit rating will be calculated according to Områdesbehörighet 6/A6

Selection:

final grades 66% national university aptitude test 34%

About

This course is for anyone interested in the UN, international law and the politics of the international community

  UN.logo

The course will give you insight into how international actors make use of international public law in international politics and in their interactions with each other in questions relating to international peace and security.

During the course we will further study and discuss

The main focus of the course is the UN and its legal framework that determines the principles and goals of international peace and security. We will get a deeper understanding of the workings of the UN and the historical and legal development that has taken place in the post-war world in regards to international conflicts.

We will also focus on:

 FN soldater
UN-soldiers

Is there such a thing as a just war? Is conflict always illegal?

We will take a closer look at public international law and questions relating to how international peace and security is dealt with within international politics. The UN-charter is the foundation for peaceful international relations and should be upheld by all states. However, despite the aims of the UN-charter and the world organization we live in a world plagued by war, conflict and gross human rights violations. Today’s wars are fought in a variety of ways and with different means such as for instance the war against terrorism, internal conflicts and interstate conflicts. There are as many different political interests as there are states which means that in the reality of politics conflicts are interpreted and understood differently. Who is wrong and who is right? And can war and conflict be justified legally?

What rules are applicable in war?

Another focus of the course is on humanitarian law, i.e. what rules apply in a conflict situation and how are individuals protected in a time of war in their capacity as either combatants or civilians.

-International_Court_of_Justice
International court in Haag

Can a head of state be tried in a court of law for committing war crimes and crimes against their own population?

Furthermore the course will dwell deeper into international criminal law. International criminal law is based on a set of agreements between states to try perpetrators accused of committing crimes of a serious nature such as for instance war crimes and crimes against humanity. How are these courts constructed and what possibilities exist to try heads of state for committing crimes of this nature?

The course is concluded with a project work, which aims at trying individuals suspected of international crimes in a mock trial.

The course consist of the following modules:  

 

 

The UN Charter and Collective Security (7,5 hp) 

The first module introduces the legal and political context of the UN Charter and its normative base for collective peace and international security. The module contains a historic background of the establishment of the UN and its charter and how collective peace was to be secured after the end of the Second World War. The module also deals with the UN decision-making machinery and how the charter is implemented and interpreted by states in their internal relations.

 

 

 

Humanitarian Law (7,5 hp)

Module 2 deals with how public international law regulates armed conflict and its political consequences. A war is subject to international legal regulations and principles, with regards to the right to go to war (jus ad bellum) and how to conduct and behave in conflict, the so-called laws of war or humanitarian law (jus in bello). The module is focused on humanitarian law and its legal and political implementation and consequences for states and individuals.

The Legal and Political Consequences of War (7,5 hp)

The third module deals with the aftermath of armed conflict for both states and other actors of armed conflicts, such as individuals. The module introduces and gives a historic background to international criminal law as the basis for prosecution and sentencing of individuals responsible for serious international crimes, as well as how international criminal law relates to and is connected to public international law. The module also deals with the legal framework of different tribunals and international judiciary systems established to deal with international crimes. Furthermore the module presents what constitutes and is defined as an international crime and how states interact politically in order to implement the international criminal legal sources in an effective way.

Project work: Settlement of an International Dispute (7,5 hp)

Module 4 consists of a project work where students work together in groups. The assignment of the module is to investigate and analyse an international dispute, both from a legal and political perspective. The groups are beforehand assigned a specific party to the conflict from whose perspective they are to prepare a standpoint, legal argument and case based on the relevant political and historical context. The hypothetical case is to be presented and defended in front of a mediator/judge. The teaching form of this module is supervision.

Teaching

The teaching on this course is conducted primarily through seminars that demand active participation from the students. We work with problem-based learning which means that the students actively practice building their knowledge and asking relevant questions that they need in order to analyse or solve problems that they have been assigned. The teaching also encompasses case studies relevant to the course. The seminars demand preparation in different ways, for example the students may get assignments to complete before the seminar or various problems to present to the other students. In order to get the most out of the course it’s important to always come well prepared and thereby you will also contribute to productive group discussions.

Read an article about a mock trial as the final exam on the course.  

Syllabus

Syllabus for students autumn 2017

Course Code:
GP110L revision 2.1
Level of specialisation
G1N
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Language:
English
Date of ratification:
23 January 2017
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
28 August 2017
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
23 May 2014

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + English B.

Purpose

The purpose of the course is to provide basic knowledge and understanding of public international law and its function in international politics from the perspective of peace and security and its implementation in armed conflict.

Contents

The course contains the following modules:

The UN Charter and Collective Security (7,5 hp)

The first module introduces the legal and political context of the UN Charter and its normative base for collective peace and international security. The module contains a historic background of the establishment of the UN and its charter and how collective peace was to be secured after the end of the Second World War. The module also deals with the UN decision-making machinery and how the charter is implemented and interpreted by states in their internal relations.

Humanitarian Law (7,5 hp)

Module 2 deals with how public international law regulates armed conflict and its political consequences. A war is subject to international legal regulations and principles, with regards to the right to go to war (jus ad bellum) and how to conduct and behave in conflict, the so-called laws of war or humanitarian law (jus in bello). The module is focusing on humanitarian law and its the legal and political implementation and consequences on states and individuals.

The Legal and Political Consequences of War (7,5 hp)

The third module deals with the aftermath of armed conflict on both states and other actors of armed conflicts such as individuals. The module introduces and gives an historic background to international criminal law as the basis for prosecution and sentencing of individuals responsible for serious international crimes, as well as how international criminal law relates to and is connected to public international law. The module also deals with the legal framework of different tribunals and international judiciary systems established to deal with international crimes. Furthermore the module presents what constitutes and is defined as an international crime and how states interact politically in order to implement the international criminal legal sources in an effective way.

Project work: Settlement of an International Dispute (7,5 hp)

Module 4 consists of a project work where students work together in groups. The assignment of the module is to investigate and analyse an international dispute, both from a legal and political perspective. The groups are beforehand assigned a specific party to the conflict from which perspective they are to prepare a standpoint, legal argument and case based on the relevant political and historical context. The hypothetical case is to be presented and defended in front of a mediator/judge. The teaching form of this module is supervision.

Learning outcomes

The course consists of four modules (7,5 credits each) with the following learning outcomes:

1. The UN Charter and Collective Security

After completing the module, the student should be able to:

  • Explain and demonstrate knowledge of the functions and contents of public international law and the implementation of the UN Charter in international politics in issues relating to international peace and security.
  • Explain the contents of the UN Charter and demonstrate knowledge of the workings of the UN machinery with regards to its work and relevance for the maintenance of international peace and security.

2. Humanitarian Law

After completing the module, the student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of humanitarian law.
  • Demonstrate an ability to understand the relationship between the implementation of public international law and international politics with regards to different armed conflicts.

3. The Legal and Political Consequences of War

After completing the module, the student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding for basic international criminal law and international regulations regarding law enforcement and judicial decisions.
  • Demonstrate an ability to analyse and critically assess a case or court ruling from a legal and political perspective.

4. Project Work: Settlement of an International Dispute

After completing the module, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to, individually or in a group, investigate and analyse an international dispute from a legal and political perspective, and to present this analysis orally and in written form, in a logical and coherent manner.
  • Demonstrate an ability to take a party’s position in an international dispute and to argue this position and party’s views in front of a fictitious mediator or judicial authority or tribunal.
  • Demonstrate an ability to assess and to suggest a solution to the international dispute from a legal and political perspective, and to be able to identify consequences of the dispute settlement.

Learning activities

Teaching in Modules 1-3 is principally in the form of lectures and seminars. A major part of the work consists of independent studies. Students are responsible for reading in conjunction with the teaching and to come well prepared to lectures and seminars. The students are presumed to pursue their own reading and discussion groups and to actively participate in discussions, which require preparations. During the fourth module, separate project meetings are held, wherein students receive individual supervision of their project work. In addition, to the mandatory project meetings the students are assumed to meet regularly in the working groups on the students' own initiative. The group is collectively responsible for the group assignment and that all group members participate and contribute to the project.

Assessments

Module 1 is examined by a class room exam.

Module 2 is examined by a take-home exam.

Module 3 is examined by an oral exam.

Module 4 is examined by an oral presentation and a written report.

The examinations test the achievements of the learning outcomes of the different modules. Written assignments shall be correct in terms of language and shall satisfy the ordinary requirements regarding reference handling. Detailed information and instructions regarding the examinations as well as grade requirements will be presented at the course introduction.

Students who do not pass the regular course exams have the minimum of two retakes. Retakes follow the same form as the original exams, apart from retakes of group work, which take the form of individual written and oral assignments.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials


Module 1: The UN Charter and collective security

  • Armstrong, David, Farrell, Theo och Lambert, Hélène (2012), International law and international relations (Cambridge university press) (e-bok)
  • Fasulo, Linda (2009) An Insider’s Guide to the UN (Yale:Yale University Press)
  • Frowe, Helen (2015), The Ethics of War and Peace; An Introduction, 2015, 2nd ed., (Taylor and Francis Ltd).
  • Lee, Steven P., (2012), Ethics and war – an introduction (Cambridge UP)
  • Neff, Stephen (2005), War and the Law of Nations, a General History (Cambridge UP).
  • Rochester, J Martin, (2016) The New Warfare; Rethinking Rules for an Unruly World, (Routledge).
  • Shaw Malcolm N. (2008), International Law (Cambridge university press)
  • Strong, S.I. (2010), How to write law essays and exams (Oxord UP)
  • Thakur, Ramesh (2006), The United Nations, peace and security – From collective security to responsibility to protect (Cambridge UP)



Articles and treaty texts may be added – see information on It’s Learning.

Module 2: Humanitarian law

  • Neff, Stephen (2005), War and theLaw of Nations, a General History (Cambridge UP).
  • Fleck, Dieter (2009), The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law (Oxford UP)
  • Frowe, Helen (2015), The Ethics of War and Peace; An Introduction, 2015, 2nd ed., (Taylor and Francis Ltd).
  • Thakur Ramesh (2006), The United Nations, Peace and Security - From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge UP)
  • Lee, Steven P., (2012), Ethics and war – an introduction (Cambridge UP)
  • Rochester, J Martin, (2016) The New Warfare; Rethinking Rules for an Unruly World, (Routledge).
  • Shaw Malcolm N. (2008), International Law (Cambridge university press)
  • Strong, S.I. (2010), How to write law essays and exams (Oxord UP)
  • Blum, Gabriella och Heymann Philip B. (2013) Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists, Lessons from the War on Terrorism (MIT press)
  • Armstrong, David, Farrell, Theo och Lambert, Hélène (2012), International law and international relations (Cambridge university press) (e-bok)

Articles and treaty texts may be added – see information on It’s Learning.

Module 3: The legal and political consequences of war

  • Aksar, Yusuf (2004), Implementing international humanitarian law, from the Ad hoc tribunals to a permanent international criminal court (Routledge)
  • Fleck, Dieter (2009), The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law (Oxford UP)
  • Cryer Robert, Friman Hakan, Robinson Darryl (2010), An introduction to International criminal law and procedure (Cambridge UP)
  • Simpson, Gerry (2007), Law, war and crime (Polity Press)
  • Shaw Malcolm N. (2008), International Law (Cambridge university press)
  • Strong, S.I. (2010), How to write law essays and exams (Oxord UP)
  • Blum, Gabriella och Heymann Philip B. (2013) Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists, Lessons from the War on Terrorism (MIT press)
  • Kinsella, David och Carr Craig L. (2007), The morality of war – A Reader (Lynne Rienner Publisher Inc)
  • Armstrong, David, Farrell, Theo och Lambert, Hélène (2012), International law and international relations (Cambridge university press) (e-bok)

Articles and treaty texts may be added – see information on It’s Learning.

Project work: Settlement of an international dispute

  • Fasulo, Linda (2009) An Insider’s Guide to the UN (Yale:Yale University Press)
  • Neff, Stephen (2005), War and the Law of Nations, a General History (Cambridge UP).
  • Thakur Ramesh (2006), The United Nations, peace and security – From collective security to responsibility to protect (Cambridge UP)
  • Lee, Steven P., (2012), Ethics and war – an introduction (Cambridge UP)
  • Byers, Michael (2005), War law – understanding international law and armed conflict (Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly Press)
  • Fleck, Dieter (2009), The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law (Oxford UP)
  • Aksar, Yusuf (2004), Implementing international humanitarian law, from the Ad hoc tribunals to a permament international criminal court (Routledge)
  • Cryer Robert, Friman Hakan, Robinson Darryl (2010), An introduction to International criminal law and procedure (Cambridge UP)
  • Simpson, Gerry (2007), Law, war and crime (Polity Press)
  • Shaw Malcolm N. (2008), International Law (Cambridge university press)
  • Strong, S.I. (2010), How to write law essays and exams (Oxord UP)
  • Blum, Gabriella och Heymann Philip B. (2013) Laws, Outlaws, and Terrorists, Lessons from the War on Terrorism (MIT press)
  • Kinsella, David och Carr Craig L. (2007), The morality of war – A Reader (Lynne Rienner Publisher Inc)
  • Armstrong, David, Farrell, Theo och Lambert, Hélène (2012), International law and international relations (Cambridge university press) (e-bok)

Articles and treaty texts may be added

Course evaluation

All students are offered an opportunity to give written feedback at the end of the course. A summary of the results will be made available. The students are also given a possibility to offer feedback through course council.

Contact

The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department Department of Global Political Studies.

Further information

Ingrid Alexandersson, Student Services Assistant
Phone: 040-6657331
Lena Karlbrink, Course Responsible
Phone: 040-6657310
Malin Isaksson, Course Responsible
Phone: 040-6657282

Application

28 August 2017 - 14 January 2018 Day-time 100% Malmö Schedule

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 41000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 41000 SEK