Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
International Statebuilding: Reconstructing War-Torn States
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 4 x 2 Hour Seminars
Lecture 16 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 30 minute group policy report presentation  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay (in lieu of report presentation)  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Critically analyse and evaluate the current aims of international statebuilding policies and how they relate to other policy agendas.
2. Critically assess the various activities of a multiplicity of international statebuilding actors – the US, the EU, NGOs, private actors, and the IOs.
3. Apply independently a set of theoretical tools to analyze implications of international statebuilding for policies.
4. Critically analyse different aspects of the world political context within which international statebuilding activities are undertaken, including their politico-economic context.
5. Critically analyse the key empirical and conceptual debates that revolve around international statebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction.
6. Form an empirically detailed and critical appreciation of historical and contemporary practices of nationbuilding.
7. Apply independently a set of conceptual tools to a case-study of statebuilding and critically engage with its outcome


The module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, and in terms of content, it will cover the following general areas:

• First, the module will examine the conceptual positioning of statebuilding within peace and conflict theory. Students will examine how statebuilding relates to other key concepts in the field of peace research: conflict resolution peacemaking, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, nationbuilding, post-conflict reconstruction, and related issues of nature of the State, sovereignty, intervention, and emancipation.

• Second, the module will explore the causes for state failure and the dominance, in the field of peace research and in practices of nationbuilding, of Liberal Peace Theory.

• Third, the module will look at important thematic areas: the role of key donors, international organizations and NGOs, relief and reconstruction, justice and reconciliation, civil society development, state infrastructure, economic reconstruction, and security and stability.

• Fourth, the module will discuss the above issues in the context of post-war cases, with an emphasis on Japan, Iraq, and the aftermath of the Arab Uprising of 2010.

Brief description

This module will examine the activities and actors involved in international statebuilding in today’s world order. The module aims to provide students with a clear understanding of the concept of statebuilding and its role in the liberal world order, and to how it plays a pivotal role in a constellation of issues like conflict and war, development, human rights, democracy, terrorism, and environment.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. This module will particularly test aural and oral communication skills as it involves assessed seminar presentation performance. Students will also be required to submit their essays in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to prepare for assessed seminar presentation and to meet coursework deadlines will focus students’ attention on the need to manage their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC). Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on the Blackboard VLE. The assessed presentation will require the use of PowerPoint
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. The assessed presentation requires the development of presentation skills and ability to work in a team. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; preparing for module assessments will require students to develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module • Evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary political problems
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars and the assessed presentation is based on teamwork.


This module is at CQFW Level 6