Change the world

The Department of Political and Conflict Studies

The Department of

Political and Conflict Studies

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University would like to welcome prospective undergraduate and post-graduate students to the Department of Political Studies and Conflict Transformation. Our department offers a host of undergraduate and post-graduate courses with tailored focus in the sub-fields of political science and conflict transformation and resolution. 

The study of political science links ordinary members of society to an otherwise unexplored realm of enlightenment with regards to the study of governance and power relationships. To understand the way politics and the study of political science impacts on the world, is to know that it resonates through almost every sphere of our lives on a daily basis.

Studying in the governmental sciences familiarises one with the power structures that operate within the world. It provides evidence for the modes of interaction between individuals, organizations, institutions and states. Political thinkers throughout the ages have guided us to understand concepts of how the world works (empirical) or should work (normative). To study political science allows you to encounter the justifications for certain liberties people are afforded. It teaches us to understand constitutional processes and structures such as Bill of Rights. We are shown how states interact with each other on a global scale and how businesses relate to governments in a national or transnational capacity. In addition, Political ideologies provide us with workable definitions for modes of governance we live under, such as those found in democracies. Studying political science unlocks the door and allows us to open our minds to understanding the power structures we fit into or will try to influence.

With an understanding of all these themes in mind, you are then enabled with the tools to critique and analyse the norms and standards of society. A scholar of political science understands the methods and practices of the world enough to develop new strategies and effect changes where necessary. They then hold the key to the successful management of spheres such as education, healthcare, security, infrastructure, employment and commerce because without the study of political science there would be no synergy or interaction between these elements.

Conflict transformation and management is a rapidly growing and evolving medium within the social sciences. At NMMU, conflict is studied and researched in an inclusive way as it strives to become an interdisciplinary field. There is the growing recognition that conflict transformation studies should not only focus on the issues of inter-state or intra-state violence and disputation, but that conflict may occur at any level of society including within local communities and organisational spheres. Hence, there is growing sentiment that a broader and all-encompassing approach to the study of conflict will produce a greater efficacy of research and constructive models to resolve conflicts at both socio-political or socio-economic levels.

Department Research Agenda: Democratisation, Conflict and Poverty

  • Democratic practice, evolving global ideologies, constitutionalism and comparative governance
  • Improving socio-economic and political environments; incorporating the study of social justice
  • Conflict resolution and deep-rooted conflict in South Africa and the rest of Africa
  • Community, Organisational and Societal Conflict Management and Transformation