State Fragility, State Building and Conflict
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 07 October 2021
Friday 01 July 2022
31 March 2021
Requisites for this module
This module examines the interplay between state fragility, political and economic development, state building, and conflict. The first part of the module explores how state capacity and processes of state formation influence the risk of conflict. The second part examines how conflict, violence, and third-party intervention influence post-conflict state-building, development, and broader peace-building processes.
The topics covered in this module include (but are not limited to): the relationship between state capacity and conflict, the political dimensions of state fragility and their effect on civil war and terrorism, the causes and consequences of the "resource curse", the effects of refugee flows and the migration-security nexus, United Nations peacekeeping, post-conflict elections and election monitoring, constitution building, democratization, and human rights.
The aims of this module are to study the interplay between state fragility, political and economic development, state building, and conflict.
In this module students will learn to: i) apply theoretical frameworks to understand the dynamics of some of the most conflict prone and unstable areas of the world ii) identify the challenges to post-conflict state building and assess relevant policy responses, iii) engage in a role-playing exercise by participating in a simulation involving the drafting of the constitution of a post-conflict state.
By the end of the course you should be able to:
1. Understand and assess the multiple dimensions of (in)stability and state fragility.
2. Identify and understand the interplay of economic and political drivers of conflict
3. Understand the obstacles to political development and state building in post-conflict societies.
4. Understand the significance of key concepts in conflict resolution studies and their relevance for the analysis of state building.
5. Link theory and evidence in the study of peacekeeping and peacebuilding
6. Apply theoretical frameworks to understand the dynamics of specific conflict and post-conflict states
7. Identify, describe, and critically evaluate solutions to prevent, mitigate and manage civil wars.
No additional information available.
The module will be taught on the basis of one two-hour seminar, sometimes divided into a lecture followed by a class, sometimes combined as a two-hour discussion with a break in the middle.
Students must prepare for each class by reading the materials assigned for the week (under required readings). Attendance is mandatory. Failure to read and/or to attend will make it hard to follow the course and even harder to do well on the essays and tests.
- (no date) Links between Terrorism and Migration: An Exploration.
- Timothy D. Sisk. (2009) 'Pathways of the political: Electoral processes after civil war', in The dilemmas of statebuilding: confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations, Abingdon: Routledge., pp.196-224
- Huang, Reyko. (2016) The Wartime Origins of Democratization, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Polo, Sara M. T. (2020-11) 'How Terrorism Spreads: Emulation and the Diffusion of Ethnic and Ethnoreligious Terrorism', in Journal of Conflict Resolution. vol. 64 (10) , pp.1916-1942
- Polo, Sara; Wucherpfennig, Julian. (2021-04-20) 'Trojan Horse, Copycat, or Scapegoat? Unpacking the Refugees-Terrorism Nexus', in The Journal of Politics.
- Howard, Lise Morjé; Stark, Alexandra. (2018-01) 'How Civil Wars End: The International System, Norms, and the Role of External Actors', in International Security. vol. 42 (3) , pp.127-171
- Matthew C. Wilson; James A. Piazza. (2013) 'Autocracies and Terrorism: Conditioning Effects of Authoritarian Regime Type on Terrorist Attacks', in American Journal of Political Science. vol. 57 (4) , pp.941-955
- Roland Paris; Timothy D. Sisk. (2009) The dilemmas of statebuilding: confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations, Abingdon: Routledge.
- Ross, Michael L. (2004-05) 'What Do We Know about Natural Resources and Civil War?', in Journal of Peace Research. vol. 41 (3) , pp.337-356
- Aksoy, Deniz; Carter, David B.; Wright, Joseph. (2012-07) 'Terrorism In Dictatorships', in The Journal of Politics. vol. 74 (3) , pp.810-826
- The Four Things We Know About How Civil Wars End (and What This Tells Us About Syria) – Political Violence at a Glance, http://politicalviolenceataglance.org/2013/10/18/the-four-things-we-know-about-how-civil-wars-end-and-what-this-tells-us-about-syria/
- Reilly, Benjamin. (2002-06) 'Elections in Post-Conflict Scenarios: Constraints and Dangers', in International Peacekeeping. vol. 9 (2) , pp.118-139
- Idean Salehyan; Kristian Skrede Gleditsch. (2006) 'Refugees and the Spread of Civil War', in International Organization: Cambridge University Press. vol. 60 (2) , pp.335-366
- Paul F. Diehl. (©2016) 'Breaking the Conflict Trap: The Impact of Peacekeeping on Violence and Democratization in the Post-Conflict Context', in What do we know about civil wars?, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield., pp.113-125
- Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham. (©2014) Inside the politics of self-determination, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Burcu Savun; Christian Gineste. (2019) 'From protection to persecution: Threat environment and refugee scapegoating', in Journal of Peace Research. vol. 56 (1) , pp.88-102
- Benjamin Smith. (©2016) 'Exploring the Resource-Civil War Nexus', in What do we know about civil wars?, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield., pp.166-176
- Fragile States Index | The Fund for Peace, https://fragilestatesindex.org/
- Enterline, Andrew J.; Michael Greig, J. (2008-10) 'The History of Imposed Democracy and the Future of Iraq and Afghanistan', in Foreign Policy Analysis. vol. 4 (4) , pp.321-347
- (©2016) What do we know about civil wars?, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Olsson, Louise; Gizelis, Theodora-Ismene. (2013-09) 'An Introduction to UNSCR 1325', in International Interactions. vol. 39 (4) , pp.425-434
- James D. Fearon; David D. Laitin. (2003) 'Ethnicity, Insurgency and Civil War', in American Political Science Review. vol. 97 (1) , pp.75-90
- Lars-Erik Cederman; Kristian Skrede Gleditsch; Halvard Buhaug. (2013) Inequality, grievances, and civil war, New York: Cambridge University Press.
- (no date) UNHCR Global Trends - Forced Displacement in 2017.
- Hinkkainen Elliott, Kaisa; Polo, Sara M T; Reyes, Liana Eustacia. (2020-11-13) 'Making Peace or Preventing It? UN Peacekeeping, Terrorism, and Civil War Negotiations', in International Studies Quarterly.
- Walter, Barbara F.; Howard, Lise Morje; Fortna, V. Page. (2020-11-24) 'The Extraordinary Relationship between Peacekeeping and Peace', in British Journal of Political Science., pp.1-18
- Kirsti Samuels. (2009) 'Postwar constitution building: Opportunities and challenges', in The dilemmas of statebuilding: confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations, Abingdon: Routledge., pp.173-195
- Bridget L. Coggins. (2015) 'Does State Failure Cause Terrorism? An Empirical Analysis (1999–2008)', in Journal of Conflict Resolution. vol. 59 (3) , pp.455-483
- Jeannette Money, Sarah P. Lockhart. (2021) Introduction to International Migration: Population Movements in the 21st Century: Routledge.
- James A. Piazza. (2008) 'Incubators of Terror: Do Failed and Failing States Promote Transnational Terrorism?', in International Studies Quarterly: Wiley. vol. 52 (3) , pp.469-488
- Cullen S. Hendrix. (2010) 'Measuring state capacity: Theoretical and empirical implications for the study of civil conflict', in Journal of Peace Research. vol. 47 (3) , pp.273-285
- Jacob D. Kathman. (©2016) 'Ripe for Resolution: Third Party Mediation and Negotiating Peace Agreements', in What do we know about civil wars?, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield., pp.92-100
- Caroline A. Hartzell. (©2016) 'Negotiated Peace: Power Sharing in Peace Agreements', in What do we know about civil wars?, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield., pp.101-112
- Paul Collier; Anke Hoeffler. (2004) 'Greed and Grievance in Civil War', in Oxford Economic Papers. vol. 56 (4) , pp.563-595
- Hendrix, Cullen S.; Young, Joseph K. (2014-04-03) 'State Capacity and Terrorism: A Two-Dimensional Approach', in Security Studies. vol. 23 (2) , pp.329-363
- Gaibulloev, Khusrav; Piazza, James A.; Sandler, Todd. (2017) 'Regime Types and Terrorism', in International Organization. vol. 71 (3) , pp.491-522
- Will H. Moore; Stephen M. Shellman. (2004) 'Fear of Persecution: Forced Migration, 1952-1995', in Journal of Conflict Resolution. vol. 48 (5) , pp.723-745
- Miles Kahler. (2009) 'Statebuilding after Afghanistan and Iraq', in The dilemmas of statebuilding: confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations, Abingdon: Routledge., pp.287-303
- Shair-Rosenfield, Sarah; Wood, Reed M. (2017-07) 'Governing Well after War: How Improving Female Representation Prolongs Post-conflict Peace', in The Journal of Politics. vol. 79 (3) , pp.995-1009
- Di Salvatore, Jessica; Ruggeri, Andrea. (2020-01-01) 'The Withdrawal of UN Peace Operations and State Capacity: Descriptive Trends and Research Challenges', in International Peacekeeping. vol. 27 (1) , pp.12-21
- Clayton L. Thyne. (©2016) 'The Legacies of Civil War: Health, Education, and Economic Development', in What do we know about civil wars?, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield., pp.128-140
- States of Fragility Reports - OECD, http://www.oecd.org/dac/conflict-fragility-resilience/listofstateoffragilityreports.htm
- Susan D. Hyde. (2011) 'Catch Us If You Can: Election Monitoring and International Norm Diffusion', in American Journal of Political Science: Midwest Political Science Association. vol. 55 (2) , pp.356-369
- Christopher Blattman. (2009) 'From Violence to Voting: War and Political Participation in Uganda', in American Political Science Review. vol. 103 (2) , pp.231-247
- Costalli, Stefano; Ruggeri, Andrea. (2015-01) 'Forging political entrepreneurs: Civil war effects on post-conflict politics in Italy', in Political Geography. vol. 44, pp.40-49
- Ross, Michael L. (2015-05-11) 'What Have We Learned about the Resource Curse?', in Annual Review of Political Science. vol. 18 (1) , pp.239-259
- Rüegger, Seraina. (2019-01) 'Refugees, ethnic power relations, and civil conflict in the country of asylum', in Journal of Peace Research. vol. 56 (1) , pp.42-57
- Virginia Page Fortna. (2004) 'Does Peacekeeping Keep Peace? International Intervention and the Duration of Peace after Civil War', in International Studies Quarterly: Wiley. vol. 48 (2) , pp.269-292
- Kao, Kristen; Redlich Revkin, Mara. (2019) 'Retribution or Reconciliation? Attitudes Toward Rebel Collaborators in Iraq', in SSRN Electronic Journal.
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Online Test 1
||Online Test 2
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Sara Polo, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Sara Polo
Dr Sara Polo email email@example.com
Module Administrator: Sallyann West, firstname.lastname@example.org
No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 769 hours, 20 (2.6%) hours available to students:
749 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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