x !
Arkistoitu opetusohjelma 2015–2016
Selaat vanhentunutta opetusohjelmaa. Voimassa olevan opetusohjelman löydät täältä.
PEACE040 Transnational dimensions of conflicts 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Master's Programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research
Rauhan- ja konfliktintutkimus
School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to identify and understand the transnational dynamics of contemporary conflicts. They will grasp the theoretical, methodological, but also policy-related challenges generated by these phenomena. The students will actively participate in lectures and seminars, and will apply the acquired knowledge and skills to present and critically discuss a contemporary case study.

General description

Conflict studies, following international relations studies, have almost always used the national frame to analyze uprisings and other instances of collective violence. Many factors can explain this tradition. Conflict analysis has for a long time been dominated by an international relations paradigm that considered states as the main and most relevant actors in instances of violence, and that consequently saw national boundaries as ‘naturally’ relevant for delimiting the analysis of conflicts. Another more practical factor lies in the fact that most researchers have been using national statistics and other national sources of data for building their analyses, and therefore also giving a national frame to their results.

Over the past few years, however, literature in this field has increasingly been taking stock of recent geopolitical developments highlighting the relevance of other units of analysis. In many cases violence cannot be explained if one does not take into account its transnational character and source, like in the case of the tribal regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, for instance. As a result, analyses exploring the transnational and international patterns of conflicts have become increasingly popular. The emergence of concepts such as ‘international terrorism’ or the observation of ‘contagion’ or ‘domino’ effects induced by social networks or migration waves, have also contributed to this methodological shift. This widening of the scope of analysis allows for a more accurate picture, accounting for complexity and for elements that would otherwise be difficult to trace, such as regional factors and transnational actors.

In this perspective, the objective of the course is to describe, analyze and understand the transnational dynamics of current conflicts, starting with conflict diffusion, transnational militancy, refugee flows and forced migration, diasporas, links between transnational criminal networks and insurgent groups. The module is inter-disciplinary in nature, drawing on sociological, anthropological, legal, but also international relations works and debates.

Lecture topics will include:

  1. Introduction: External dimensions of conflicts and new wars theories
  2. Transnational criminal networks and conflicts
  3. Conflict diffusion and domino effect
  4. Transnational militants and insurgencies
  5. Refugees, diasporas and conflict escalation
  6. Diasporas, conflict transportation and conflict autonomization
  7. Refugees, IDPs, diasporas and peace building
  8. Case studies
  9. Case studies
  10. Case studies

Modes of study

Seven one-hour lectures, seven one-hour seminars, and three two-hour sessions of case study presentations.

All students are expected to keep up with the readings for each lecture, and to contribute to class discussions, particularly in seminars.

Students are asked to give a seminar presentation in which they critically present and assess one of the readings for that week. Each seminar presentation lasts for approx 10 minutes and students are encouraged to speak from notes rather than reading a written text.  

Towards the end of the course collective presentations and discussions of contemporary case studies will be organized.

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


Élise Féron, Teacher responsible


29-Sep-2015 – 1-Dec-2015
Lectures 20 hours
Tue 29-Sep-2015 - 1-Dec-2015 weekly at 12-14, Linna 6017


Numeric 1-5.

Study materials

Key readings

- Checkel Jeffrey (ed.) (2013), Transnational Dynamics of Civil Wars, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

- Saleyan Idean (2009), Rebels without Borders, Transnational Insurgencies in World Politics, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press.

-  Smith Hazel, Paul Stares (eds.) (2007), Diasporas in Conflict: Peace Makers or Peace Wreckers?, Tokyo, United Nations University Press.


Additional readings (further seminar readings will be circulated at the beginning of the course)

- Adamson Fiona (2005), “Globalization, Transnational Political Mobilization, and Networks of Violence”, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 18(1): 35-53.

- Buhaug Halvard, Gleditsch Kristian Skrede (2008), “Contagion or Confusion? Why Conflicts Cluster in Space”, International Studies Quarterly, 52: 214-233.

- Carment David, Patrick James, Zeynep Taydas (2009), “The Internationalization of Ethnic Conflict: State, Society, and Synthesis”, International Studies Review, 11(1): 63–86.

- Cochrane Feargal, Bahar Baser & Ashok Swain (2009), “Home Thoughts from Abroad: Diasporas and Peace-Building in Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka”, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 32(8): 681-704.

- Cornell Svante E. (2007), “Narcotics and Armed Conflict: Interaction and Implications”, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 30: 207–227.

- Gleditsch Kristian Skrede (2007), “Transnational Dimensions of Civil War”, Journal of Peace Research, 44(3): 293-309.

- Gleditsch Kristian Skrede, Idean Salehyan (2006), “Refugees and the Spread of Civil War”, International Organization, 60(2): 355-366.

- Koinova Maria (2011), “Diasporas and secessionist conflicts: the mobilization of the Armenian, Albanian and Chechen diasporas”, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34(2): 333-356.

- Saab Bilal Y. (2009), “Criminality and Armed Groups: A Comparative Study of FARC and Paramilitary Groups in Colombia”, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 32: 455–475.

- Salehyan Idean (2008), “The Externalities of Civil Strife: Refugees as a Source of International Conflict”, American Journal of Political Science, 52(4): 787–801.

Further information

Students will be accepted to the course in the following order:

1. degree students of the MDP in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research

2. degree students of the other Global Society programmes (MDP in Global and Transnational Studies, MDP in Quantitative Social Research, MDP in Comparative Social Policy and Welfare)

3. other degree students of UTA

4. exchange students