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King's College London

Causes of War

King's College London via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


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.

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

Taught by

David Easter


4.4 rating, based on 5 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Causes of War

  • I recommend this course because it deals with tremendously important topics and gives an important overview of the state-of-art regarding the studies on war. Staff's feedback has been very considerable and they give you continuously lot of additional resources and further readings.
  • Nancy Edwards
    The course was interesting, informative and well presented; however, I found myself enrolled in more MOOCs than I could reasonably handle and had to withdraw from a few.
    Hopefully this course will be offered again, and if so, I will consider signing up again.
  • Peri Ost

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