Conflict Studies

The minor Conflict Studies examines intrastate conflicts from all around the world. In case you want to follow the minor, you must register for both the minor program as a whole, and also for each individual course. 


Number of EC

30 EC

Number of courses

4 compulsory courses


Block 1


Dr. Fabio Cristiano

Course overview

Conflict Studies

Minor code


Entry requirements

At least 45 EC for category 1 (Bachelor Introduction)

Associated MA-programmes
Register between 3 June and 10 June 2024 13.00

Make sure to register for the minor as well as all its courses

Content of the minor

Why are people prepared to die for the notion of a ‘mother country’, a nation or a religious group?  How do terrorist organisations mobilize people towards violent action? Why do states outsource their violence to paramilitaries? Why have advanced militaries turned to emerging technology to intervene against perceived security threats?  What impact does this have on civilian harm? How do societies torn apart by extreme violence rebuild relationships and infrastructure?

If you are interested in these types of questions, the interdisciplinary minor conflict studies is the right programme for you. This minor examines internationalized intrastate conflict and post-violence reconstruction processes. From a conflict studies perspective, but also drawing from the field of war studies and peace studies, the minor teaches you to analyze the local dynamics of violent conflict, their international dimensions, and the processes and challenges of (re)building peaceful coexistence in the wake of violent conflict.

Drawing on theories of violent conflict, you are taught to understand and explain the complex dynamics of actors, issues and technologies involved in cases both ‘further away’, including Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Ethiopia as well those ‘closer to home’, such as the war in Ukraine, terrorist attacks across Europe, and the experimentation with autonomous weapons by the Dutch military. Drawing on peacebuilding debates, you will study the ‘politicized’ post-violence reconstruction and transitional-justice processes in the aftermath of civil wars in Mali, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Peru.

The course modules include lectures, readings, documentary screenings, individual and group assignments and debate. It is envisaged that you will follow the news on ongoing conflicts so as to be able to apply the course knowledge to current affairs. You will be asked to transform this knowledge into conflict maps, podcasts, peace proposals and policy recommendations. The courses will be of an interactive nature and you are encouraged to raise questions, promote debate, offer criticisms and contribute to the course contents.

Aims of the minor 

Every course module is meant to:

  • provide you with knowledge and understanding of the academic debates and the analytical vocabulary on a variety of theories that are relevant to understanding conflict dynamics and international interventions in conflicts
  • apply this knowledge (particularly the specialized terminology of concepts, and theoretical approaches) when analyzing and accounting for intricate and complex processes found in individual cases of conflict and intervention from around the world.

After completing this minor, you will be equipped with the critical analytical skills and knowledge to be able to answer questions like these: Why does violent conflict emerge? How are these conflicts organized, how do they transform, and why and how do conflicts become protracted? What are differences and similarities between violent conflicts? How does the changing character of warfare influence the changing nature of war? How are war torn societies rebuilt?


    The minor consists of four compulsory course modules (30 EC) and starts in term 1. For more information, see the detailed descriptions of each of the courses below. 

    Entry requirements

    To take the minor Conflict Studies you need least 45 EC at Bachelor level. If you have questions about the minor and its courses, please contact minor coordinator Dr. Fabio Cristiano ( For all questions regarding registration and enrollment, please contact the Student Information Desk of the Faculty of Humanities. 


    • All courses have selected entry, with a limited registration period 
    • Students that choose to take the whole minor (and that have registered) get priority access

    Application and registration

    How to register for this minor and its course modules, depends on whether you are a student of Utrecht University or not.

    More information

    If you wish to know more, or have questions about this minor, please contact the Student Desk Humanities.