What is intra-state conflict? How should we investigate and measure political violence? What causes national and ethnic conflict and other forms of political violence and why does it take particular forms? What are the most effective means of conflict resolution? This course will introduce students to the core theoretical debates on intra-state conflict and political violence by analysing the major research in the field, both quantitative and qualitative. The course is structured around three categories of analysis and explanation: causation, dynamics and outcomes. Central themes include: the role of violence in state formation, development and collapse; theories of legitimacy, contentious politics and control regimes; the causes, dynamics and consequences of civil war; the interaction of group identities, interests and political violence; macro- and micro-analyses of conflict; and top-down and bottom-up methods for ending violent conflict, including intervention, the role of civil society, and institutional designs. The course offers students the opportunity to engage with the main methodological approaches to the study of conflict, including critical case studies, process tracing, small n and large n research, which will enhance their skills for the dissertation. In the weekly lectures and seminars the themes will be explored through a mix of theory-based readings and works which provide in-depth case studies.