Thematic course: Development and Armed Conflicts in Africa (15 ECTS)

Course content

Development and Armed Conflict in Africa


Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen


Institute for Strategy, Royal Danish Defence College



The proliferation of armed conflicts alongside increasingly militarized foreign interventions in Africa offers an interesting backdrop for exploring the dynamic relationship between development and security. This course explores the local and global dynamics of war economy, regional security architecture, military interventions and state building. In that way, we engage with the increasingly fused and complex military and civil environment on the continent.


To fully comprehend how security and military power is perceived and utilized in contemporary Africa one has to understand the basic political and sociological contexts from which armies and other armed actors have emerged over space and time. In this compact course, students will be introduced to contemporary research relevant for comprehending political and security-related dynamics in Africa. We will shed light on the cultural and institutional context in which national and transnational security actors navigate, including African armies, foreign military assistance, but also mercenaries and other organized armed groups (OAGs).


As part of the course, the RDDC will arrange a study trip to Ghana during week 39 where all course participants will be invited to join at their own cost. The study trip is optional but students are encouraged to participate. Please note that this course has a particularly heavy workload during week 37 (and week 39 if you join the study trip). However, there is also a heavy work load leading up to the teaching week as students are expected to be familiar with the literature prior to the start of the course.


All sessions will be taught at the RDDC and the syllabus amounts to approximately 900-1200 (7.5 ECTS) and 1600-1800 (15 ECTS) pages. The exam will consist of a written paper on a topic of the student’s own choosing comprising 24,000-28,800 characters (7.5 ETCS) or 36,000-43,200 characters (15 ECTS).


This compact course is a unique collaboration between the Centre of African Studies (CAS) and The Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC) and the course will to a large extent draw on guest lectures from renowned scholars in the field. The study trip is arranged by the RDDC and only students who have participated in the course will be able to obtain an invitation.


The course will be in Building 118 at the Royal Danish Defence College (Ryvangs Allé 1, 2100 Copenhagen Ø).


Monday: 10:00 – 15:00

Tuesday: 09:15 – 18:00

Wednesday: 09:15 – 17:00

Thursday: 10:00 – 14:00

Friday: 10:00 – 14:00


MA programme in African Studies

Learning outcome
  • Stimulate the students’ abilities to critically engage in in-depth analysis of a chosen sub-topic and situate it within the broader context of armed conflicts, foreign interventions and military strategies.
  • Strengthen the students’ abilities to independently and critically engage with relevant literature on topics related to the overall theme.
  • Drawing on key experts in the field, the students will obtain detailed understanding of complexities of specific local conflicts and obtain ability to see their global effects.

This is an intensive course where all lectures are held during week 37 (12-16 September). The course draws on a significant amount of guest lecturers who are all experts in the field, and mainly consist of class-room based instructions combined with debates and exercises in teams of RDDC and CAS students. In addition to the teachings, the Royal Danish Defence Academy invites all participants of the course to participate in a self-financed study-trip to Ghana in week 39 (September 26 – September 30).

The syllabus amounts to approximately 586 pages of literature for RDDC students and for CAS students the pages amount to 900-1200 (7.5 ECTS) and 1600-1800 (15 ECTS) pages.

Passed a minimum of 120 ECTS on BA-level

Type of assessment
Written examination
Type of assessment details
A written paper on a topic of the student’s own choosing comprising 36,000-43,200 characters.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 122
  • Exam Preparation
  • 150
  • Exam
  • 120
  • English
  • 420


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master choice
Part Time Master

1 semester

15 lectures are held during week 37 and the 5-day study-trip is in week 39
15 lectures are held during week 37 and the 5-day study-trip is in week 39
Study board of African Studies
Contracting department
  • African Studies
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Theology
Course Coordinator
  • Toke Andreas Møldrup Wolff   (3-766379427667716e306d7730666d)

Thomas Mandrup (RDDC)
Toke Møldrup Wolff (CAS)
and guest speakers

Saved on the 27-06-2022

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