CDSn4002 Political Violence

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2024
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 8 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Miriam Matejova, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. Marek Rybář, M.A., Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Deretha Bester, BA (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
doc. Marek Rybář, M.A., Ph.D.
Department of Political Science – Faculty of Social Studies
Supplier department: Department of Political Science – Faculty of Social Studies
Mon 14:00–15:40 U35
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
This course examines the concept of political violence as well as its various types, from state repression, civil war, and genocide to different forms of structural, invisible violence. The central questions throughout this course are: Who are the perpetrators and victims of political violence? Why does political violence occur? What are its political impacts? The course is divided into three main parts. Part I explores the core concepts in the study of political violence, including different types of such violence along with perpetrators and victims. Part II focuses on select types of direct political violence, while Part III examines select types of structural political violence.
Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to: • Identify and critically evaluate major theories, hypotheses, and debates on causes, types, and impacts of violence used for political goals. • Critically assess theoretical approaches and research methods linked to the study of political violence. • Evaluate different justifications for the use of political violence.
  • Understanding political violence: concepts and definitions
  • What enables (political) violence? Human nature, violence, and political order
  • Who participates in (political) violence?
  • Bottom-up political violence: protest, rebellion, revolution
  • Top-down political violence: state repression
  • Civil war and violence against civilians
  • Gender dynamics in civil war and sexual violence
  • Extraordinary structural violence
  • Everyday structural violence: race, gender, poverty, and marginalization
  • Environmental violence
    required literature
  • • Johan Galtung, “Violence, Peace and Peace Research,” Journal of Peace Research 6, no. 3 (1969): 167–191.
  • • James Waller, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).
  • • S. Kalyvas, The Logic of Violence in Civil War (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006).
  • • Charles Tilly, The Politics of Collective Violence (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
  • • Ted R. Gurr, Why Men Rebel (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1971).
Teaching methods
lectures, classroom discussions, independent written assignments
Assessment methods
group work, critical reflection, final exam
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2025.
  • Enrolment Statistics (recent)
  • Permalink: