Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 20 Hours (10 x 2 hours)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word book review  25%
Semester Assessment 1 x 4,000 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word case study report  25%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,000 word book review if book review element failed  25%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 4,000 word essay, if essay eleement failed  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,00o word cast study report, if report element failed  25%

Learning Outcomes

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

1) critically discuss the literature on intervention and postwar reconstruction,
2) critically evaluate a range of theories relating to international relations, development and security, in the context of postwar reconstruction – explain links between conflict, security and development,
3) analyse the role of a range of actors involved in postwar reconstruction
4) analyse the dilemmas in areas related to the four dimensions of postwar reconstruction: state, security, economy, and civil society
5) contrast differences in outcome of postwar reconstruction cases,
6) demonstrate grounded empirical knowledge of a range of specific case studies
7) develop appropriate research methods to study postwar reconstruction

Brief description

The module will explore various conceptual and practical dimensions of the politics of postwar reconstruction. This module will examine the activities and actors involved in postwar reconstruction in today’s world order. More precisely, the module considers different approaches to post- conflict reconstruction and the motivations of actors involved in post-conflict environments. The module will consider the role of actors as international donors and their service providers on the one hand, and the local people on the other. The module also deals with processes in postwar reconstruction situations, as security issues (security sector reform – SSR), transitional justice, institutional statebuilding, reconciliation, the role of civil society, and economic reconstruction. The core aim of the module is to develop a detailed understanding of actors, dynamics and outcome of postwar reconstruction projects. Students will thus examine postconflict reconstruction in the context of global politico-economic and structural power relations and various debates – conceptual and practical – about the role and practices of donors and recipients of postconflict reconstruction policies. Students are introduced to key theoretical frameworks for understanding the role of postconflict reconstruction, including realist, liberal, constructivist and critical theoretical tools in study of postconflict reconstruction from a critical theory perspective. The module makes use of numerous historical and contemporary case-studies to illustrate the key concepts outlined: Post-WWII Japan and Germany, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, South Sudan etc…


1. Introduction – Concepts: Conflict resolution, peacebuilding, post-conflict intervention, statebuilding, and IR
2. The post-conflict environment: Actors and processes
3. Liberal and post-liberal peace approaches to postwar reconstruction
4. Alternatives: Power and postwar reconstruction
5. Reconstructing the state
6. Security and stability
7. Reconstructing the economy
8. Reconstructing civil society
9. Debate: Postwar reconstruction of Iraq
10. Conclusions


This module adds to the existing departmental provision of modules on international politics by examining the origins, development, and contemporary experiences of post-conflict politics. The module complements existing modules on international relations theory, strategic studies, and security studies by applying key concepts of international relations to a field that is on top of the current affairs agenda, and in permanent motion.

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 assert themselves to advantage. They will understand 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 the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and 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. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. Fellow students will be encouraged to question the paper-giver to critique their approach or to suggest areas for the development of the chosen topic; in turn each will discuss the contributions and ideas of the other.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convenor and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and case study report. The need to prepare for seminars and to meet an essay deadline will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and resources well.
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 BIDS and OCLC).
Personal Development and Career planning The seminar discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a case study report, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of an essay will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar contributions will also enable the student to develop independent project 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; engage with theory; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of a book review, an essay and a case study report will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The report will require some (directed) independent research on a case study of the student's choice. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for seminars will also enable the student to develop independent project skills.
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 • Ability to critically evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex strategic problems
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module.


This module is at CQFW Level 7