Conflict and Peacebuilding

Course Material 2020/21

This paper explores issues of violent conflict and peacebuilding in contemporary international politics, with a particular focus on conflict in developing countries and transnational connections. It considers competing theories and claims about the causes of conflict and the relationship between conflict, development, and other international processes. It analyses the range of responses to conflict and how they are justified, and also focuses on contests over the meanings and practices of peacebuilding. The possibilities and limitations of international institutions, including the United Nations, in ending conflict and maintaining peace are highlighted throughout the paper. The paper will include three detailed case studies. One of these will be conflict and peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo within the Great Lakes region of Africa, one will be the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, and one will be Latin America: war by other means. Students are expected to become highly familiar with one of these regions.

Selected readings:

  • Christine Sylvester, War as Experience. London: Routledge, 2013.
  • Séverine Autesserre, Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of Intervention, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  • David Chandler, Peacebuilding: The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1997-2017, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.