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War and the Non-Human Sphere (Module)

Module description

*Please note that although all module information is correct for the 2017/18 academic year, it is subject to change for future academic years.


  • Defining the ‘non-human sphere’ of war.
  • Understanding conflict and climate change.
  • Interpreting ‘resource wars’/ ‘water wars’
  • Understanding the environmental impact of war.
  • Connecting ender, natural resources and conflict.
  • Understanding ‘green’ transnational crime and state security.
  • Understanding the ecological impact of nuclear warfare.
  • Interpreting patterns of war and conflict in the animal world - is this a starting-point to understand human conflict?
  • Linking ‘green’ issues and social protest; ‘eco-terrorism’.

Learning Outcomes

  • An appreciation of the interconnections between war as a human activity and its effects on the non-human world.
  • Analysing ‘what is war’ through an examination of primate behaviour.
  • What does the combination of ‘artificial intelligence’ and ‘conflict’ imply?
  • A consideration of the moral, ethical and political problems connected to human responsibilities towards the environment in conditions of war.
  • Critiquing ‘resource wars’.
  • Analysis of the responsibilities of the ‘state’ towards the protection of natural resources and how failure creates conflict.
  • An interpretation of climate change as a ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ driver of conflict.
  • An examination of the role of post-conflict policies for conservation.

Staff information

Professor Michael Rainsborough*

Teaching pattern

Typically, 1 credit equates to 10 hours of work. For a Full Year 40-credit module, this will equate to 40 hours of teaching time (2 hours per week) with 360 hours of self study.

Module assessment - more information

Coursework only*

Key information

Module code 7SSWM092

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework

Credit value 40

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module No