Education for the higher educated

Geography, Planning and Environment - Conflicts, Territories, and Identities

Nijmegen School of Management

  • Description
  • Overview

In recent years the world has seen many violent conflicts, ranging from the former Yugoslavia, Congo, Afghanistan to Iraq. Many of the violent conflicts are nowadays fought over issues as identity, territory or resources (e.g. diamonds and oil). War between states has become rare; most of the violent conflicts take place within the borders of a state. In addition, ‘terrorist' organizations with goals that exceed national agendas have claimed more attention than before. The international community - governments, non-governmental organizations and international organizations like the UN - has a significant interest in the management and resolution of violent conflicts.


What you will study

If you choose the master specialisation Conflicts, Territories and Identities you will study (inter)national conflict, war and the physical and mental borders that come along with these. We will focus on the backgrounds, contexts and sources - imperialism, geopolitics, failing states, religions, (national) identities, discrimination, resources, borders - and the management and resolution - good governance, border management, humanitarian aid, development aid, diplomacy, peace operations. You will become familiar with the political and social construction of conflicts, territories and identities, as well as with the theory and practice of (inter)national conflict management.


Studying Conflicts, Territories and Identities at the Radboud University Nijmegen

The master programme Conflicts, Territories and Identities is a joint project of the Centre for International Conflict Analysis & Management (CICAM) and the Department of Human Geography of the Radboud University Nijmegen . Together they offer the state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in the field of conflict analysis and management, that you will need in your future career as a scholar, a (inter)national policy or decision maker, a conflict manager, or as a journalist. You will be able to apply scholarly ideas and concepts to complex conflict situations in practice. The central question in this programme is: ‘how can violent conflicts be analysed, understood or explained and how can they be managed?' You will be taught by professors who study these issues and publish their findings in international academic journals and contribute to the public debate in the Netherlands. You will study theories, methods and instruments, but above all you will develop a critical attitude. You will learn that there are always multiple approaches to any problem. The master programme Conflicts, Territories and Identities includes a variety of cases, individual and group assignments, lectures and seminars, small national excursions, and an international excursion to a (former) conflict zone. The programme gives you the opportunity to share experiences with other students and to link theory with practice. You can also specialise by selecting a specific elective course and by choosing a topic for your final masters thesis. Furthermore there are good opportunities for interesting and challenging research-internships.


The requirements for admission include:

  • a bachelor degree in Human Geography received from the Radboud University Nijmegen or another relevant bachelor degree with at least 24 EC in conflict studies and/or political geography
  • Having successfully completed a course in social scientific research methods is highly recommended and will increase your chance of getting selected for this specialisation
  • excellent proficiency in English
  • a letter of motivation
  • two letters of recommendation
  • list of your grades obtained during previous training

Note that the final formal admission requirements are regulated by the Teaching and Examination Regulations which at this moment are pending to be finalised.
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Career prospects

Graduates in the master track Conflicts, Territories and Identities have a range of career opportunities open to them. One can think of jobs in journalism, research, civil service - such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs -, the security sector - such as Defence -, international organisations - like the United Nations -, and non-governmental organisations - ranging from Oxfam-Novib to Pax Christi. Of course as a graduate of this master specialisation you can also pursue a career as academic researcher and lecturer at University. If after graduation you go on to a career in one of these areas, you will find that the knowledge and skills you gained with you Master education will make a very positive difference. Potential employers in these fields will also recognize the importance of specialised education in the field of conflicts, territories and identities, what in turn improves your chances on the job market. In many job vacancies employers do not search a specific degree or field of specialisation, but rather intellectual, academic as well as social skills. In the courses of the master track Conflicts, Territories and Identities and at the university in general you will gain and further develop a lot of these skills.



Geopolitics of Borders    
Elective course

Research Internship

Your Master thesis research takes place in the context of a compulsory research internship at an organisation active in a field related to peace and conflict. The internship can take place in the Netherlands or abroad. This way, students gain practical working experience which can be of high value when looking for jobs later on. Another advantage is that your Master research is relevant for policy and practice as findings may be used by your internship organisation. The internship often also provides unique opportunities for data access and field research.


Another highlight of the Conflicts, Territories and Identities specialisation is the group excursion to a (post)conflict region, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Ireland or Cyprus. This excursion is an opportunity to see conflict management in real life and to apply the theories learned in the Master to an actual case. The excursion is embedded in a course in which literature about the conflict is studied and related to frameworks and theories discussed elsewhere in the Master.


Elective course

The Conflicts, Territories and Identities Master programme includes one elective course of at least 6 ECTS. It should be a relevant course for the central theme of this master specialisation. Ideally, the elective course forms a close relationship with your master thesis. There are four options for filling this elective space. In consultation with your supervisor, choose the course that will be most helpful for you in the development of your Master thesis research. The options are:

  • The CICAM course Conflict, Aid and Development (Quarter 3)
  • The human geography course Cross-Border Governance (Quarter 3-4)
  • The human geography course Qualitative Methods (Quarter 2 (in 2012-2013 only) and Quarter 3), strongly recommended in case you lack prior methods training
  • Finally, you may opt for a 'free' elective; another Master course that you select yourself. It may be a course offered by our own department, offered by other disciplines within our faculty, offered by other faculties of the Radboud University, but also courses offered by other universities in the Netherlands or abroad, which could fit your personal research interests.

For this latter option, you can explore and make suggestions yourself. The leaflet ‘preparing your master programme' explains which criteria elective courses have to fulfil. Here are just a few examples:

  • Cross Border Governance (Geography, RU)
  • Multi-Cultural Society (Geography, RU)
  • Foreign and Security Policies of the EU and Other European Organisations (European Law)
  • Global Shift: International Political Economy (American Studies)
  • Globalisation and Development (Geography)
  • Politieke en culturele geografie (Geography)
  • Protection of Human Rights in International Law (European Law)
  • Protection of Indigenous Peoples and National Minorities in International Law (International & European Law)
  • Representations of Otherness (American Studies)

[bw] Assessment

Throughout the master you will be assessed by a mixture of written exams, essays, papers, projects, oral presentations and your masters thesis.

Level University
Incompany No
Open enrolment Yes
Lead time 12 months
Costs (indication) Between € 1,350 and € 2,700
Titles No title
Required language skills English
State / Province Gelderland
Country Netherlands
Completion Diploma