Conflict, Peace and Security

This specialisation is one of seven included in our Master in International and Development Studies. These specialisations are interconnected curricula that provide the possibility for you to tailor your individual path.

The specialisation in Conflict, Peace and Security focuses on the issues of conflict, peace and security, and the interactions amongst them. It examines the drivers and manifestations of conflict, the nature and conditions of peace and the determinants of security. Within an interdisciplinary approach – informed by the five disciplines taught at the Graduate Institute; anthropology and sociology, international economics, international history and politics, international law, and international relations and political science – we survey the various historical and contemporary manifestations of these processes. 

 How to apply  

What you get from this training is the ability to be able to function, to navigate in today’s world and the elaboration of these questions, but equally, an understanding theoretically and conceptually, of the new challenges that you are facing.
Mohamed Mahmoud Mohamedou
Head of the Conflict, Peace and Security Specialisation

Programme details and objectives 

Specifically, the specialisation provides you with the ability to understand critically these issues and map practically their evolution, interdependency and transformation in the twenty-first century. You are introduced to conflict dynamics and actors, peace processes and settings, and the layered security architectures. 

Also examined are the nature and evolution of war, the role of the state and non-state actors, real and symbolic power structures, the role of business, the multifaceted drivers of violence, humanitarian intervention challenges and the politics of responses to them – at individual, community, local, national, regional and international level.

The interrelated nature of these questions is explored with respect to the background of their crosscutting relations to contemporary international governance and their impact on socioeconomic and human development. The range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses offered allows you to develop their capacity to become fully acquainted with the articulation of conflict, peace and security analytically but equally in relation to concrete situations and policy contexts.


The track offers a portfolio of courses such as:

  • State and War in the 21st Century

  • The Evolution of Global Security

  • Contemporary Security Politics

  • Regional Integration and Regional Conflict

  • Understanding Terrorism

  • Security, Secrecy and Surveillance

  • Political Transition and Democratisation

  • Transformation of Armed Groups

  • Critical Security Studies

  • Peace Mediation in a Changing World

  • Institutions and Political Violence

  • A History of the Post-9/11 World

  • Image and Violence

  • Humanitarian Adventures

  • Cybersecurity and Virtual Insecurity

  • Conflict and Development

  • Identity and Conflictuality

  • War

Opportunities and Career Options 

Built as an integral part of the track, an Applied Research Project (or Capstone Project) offers you the possibility to lead on a research project in partnership with key actors and institutions active in conflict management, peacebuilding and the complex linkages between security and development.

The overall aim of the track is to forge a mix of theoretical and practical skills that are necessary for in-depth thinking and effective participation for future scholars and professionals faced with conflict, peace and security challenges. In particular, the track will prepare you to serve successfully and competitively in domestic or international policy-making, diplomacy and civil service, multilateral and international organisations and international development, media and marketing, banking and corporate industries, as well as research or intelligence analysis.