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Online course

Causes of War

What causes armed conflict in the world today? Examine current thinking on this critical question with this free online course.

Causes of War

Why join the course?

This free online course will introduce you to current thinking on the causes of armed conflict in the world today. It looks at a range of modern and historical conflicts and draws on a variety of theories and approaches. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in world affairs.

Over six weeks you will:

  • Define what war is and what it is not
  • Familiarise yourself with both Liberal and Realist theories of international relations
  • Explore arguments about the causes of inter-state and non-state wars (such as insurgencies and revolutions), both historical and current
  • Use evidence to evaluate different theories of war

The course will help you develop your capacity for independent learning and increase your understanding of conflict and international affairs.

You will learn with Dr David Easter, academic lead for War Studies Online, Department of War Studies, King’s College London.

The course features lecturers from the Department including Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, official historian of the Falklands War, and foreign policy advisor to former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Download video: standard or HD

Who is the course for?

No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required: the course is pitched at undergraduate level.

Who will you learn with?

David Easter

Dr David Easter is Lecturer in War Studies Online at King’s College London and Academic Director of the online MA programme War in the Modern World.

Who developed the course?

King’s College London is ranked in the world’s top 20 universities. Based in the heart of London, it is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and understanding in the service of society.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised certificate in both digital and printed formats, to celebrate taking part.