The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen a continuation of the challenges facing many developing countries in terms of addressing violent conflict. Neoliberal globalisation has increased inequality within and between nations, aggravating tensions and causing new outbreaks of violence and armed conflict. Countries such as Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Nigeria are examples of places where multiple political and economic interests clash, with devastating consequences for millions of people. In the past two decades, foreign interventions have increased significantly on the grounds of protecting civilians. This raises new questions about notions of humanitarianism, human rights, peace-building and their implications for democracy, poverty reduction and development. This course looks at trends in violent conflict in the late 20th and early 21st centuries and asks whether there have been significant changes in the type of violent conflicts. It also explores ways in which development processes and policies themselves impact upon, and often generate violent conflicts.