Module Information

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

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 4 x 2 Hour Seminars


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  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (1 x 2 hour exam)  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.


Introduction – Historical context
1. Introduction - The Paradigm of Statebuilding – Issues: State, Sovereignty, Intervention, Emancipation
2. International Statebuilding : A Short History
3. When states fail: causes and consequences
Liberalism and International Statebuilding
4. How Wars End: Liberal Interventionism
5. The Liberal Peace: The World according to Nationbuilders
Actors, Processes and Issues of International Statebuilding
6. Donors: International Organisations, the US, the EU
7. NGOs and Private Actors
8. Building the State: Democracy and rule of law
9. Security and Stability
10. Economic reconstruction
11. Civil Society
12. Contrasting the reconstruction of Japan and the reconstruction of Iraq
13. The Aftermath of the Arab Uprising
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: Skype meeting NGO worker based in Iraq or a UN worker based in Palestine (depending on availability). Short presentation and Q&A. Alternatively, discussion on a policy paper prepared by a NGO on Iraq reconstruction.
16. Conclusions
Both sessions 14 and 15 aim at offering the 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. If circumstances prevent this interaction then alternative lecture formats working through first-hand experiences and accounts would be provided.

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, as well to how it plays a pivotal role in a constellation of issues like conflict and war, development, human rights, democracy, terrorism, environment and global health issues.

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