Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
International Statebuilding: Reconstructing War-Torn States
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 16 Hours (16 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 8 Hours (8 x 1 hours)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay, if essay element failed  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay in lieu of exam, if exam element failed  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an appreciation of the historical context for international statebuilding and its origins as a foreign policy agenda.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of and analyze the current aims and nature of international statebuilding policies and practices, and how they relate to other associated policy agendas of major actors statebuilding.
3. Critically assess the various activities of a multiplicity of international statebuilding actors – the US, the EU, NGOs, private actors, and the IOs.
4. Deploy a set of theoretical tools to analyze the motivations and implications of international statebuilding for power relations in international politics.
5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the world political context within which international statebuilding activities are undertaken, including their politico-economic context.
6. Demonstrate an awareness of and analyze the key empirical and conceptual debates that revolve around international statebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction.
7. Demonstrate the ability to form an empirically detailed and analytically critical appreciation of historical and contemporary practices of nationbuilding.


This module adds to Departmental provision in the area of international politics by examining the liberal paradigm of statebuilding/post-conflict reconstruction as a coherent set of motivations, processes and practices that question existing conceptions of individual autonomy, sovereignty, development, security, democracy, and civil society in post-conflict societies. The module complements existing provision in the department on a wide range of degree schemes and links particularly well with modules IP37120 International Peacekeeping and Ethnic Warfare and IP36620 Democracy Promotion in World Politics.

Brief description

The module starts with an examination of 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. The module then explores the causes for state failure and the dominance, in the field of peace research and in practices of nationbuilding, of Liberal Peace Theory. We will then 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. These issues are discussed in the context of post-war cases, with an emphasis on Japan, Iraq, and the aftermath of the Arab Uprising of 2010. The module concludes with two sessions offering students a chance to interact with a governmental official and professionals involved in or working in post-conflict environments, which will contribute to their personal development and give them an opportunity to observe and understand the work of professionals involved in statebuilding


Introduction – Historical context
1. Introduction – What is International Statebuilding
2. When States Fail…
3. How Wars End: Liberal Interventionism
4. The Liberal Peace: The World according to Nationbuilders
5. Key actors: International Organisations, the US, the EU, NGOs (non and for-profit)
6. Building State Institutions
Liberalism and International Statebuilding
Actors, Processes and Issues of International Statebuilding
7. Security and Stability
8. Economic reconstruction and Development
9. Building Legitimacy: Civil Society and Nationbuilding
10. The Mother of all Statebuilding Operations: Postwar Reconstruction in Japan
11. The Nemesis of International Statebuilding?: Reconstructing Iraq
Critique of Liberal International Statebuilding
12. Governance, not Government: Statebuilding at an age of Post-liberal Governance
13. The Post-liberal Peace: Hybridity and the Importance of the Local
14. International Statebuilding – a governmental perspective: visit by ex-British Foreign and Commonwealth Office civil servant who served in Iraq as an advisor on governance issues with the Coalition Provisional Authority in 2003-2004. Presentation and Q&A. (Official is a co-author of the module convenor).
15. International Statebuilding – perspective from the field: visit by Mr Erwin Van t'Land, International Communication Coordinator, Medecins Sans Frontieres HQ, Geneva
16. International Statebuilding…Now What?

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 seminar 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 seminar participation 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.
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. 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; the submission of an essay and preparation for seminar discussions will require that students 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; construct theoretical models; 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. Blackboard facilities will also be used and students will be encouraged to contribute their comments to the entries.


This module is at CQFW Level 6