Civil Wars and Peace Settlements
In recent years, civil wars have been five times more frequent and more than five times deadlier than international wars. How can we understand violence in civil wars? Why do so many countries that emerge from war lapse back into violence after five years? Why do most international interventions fail to bring peace to affected populations? This seminar focuses on recent conflict and post-conflict situations and uses studies of these conflicts as a lens for understanding the distinct dynamics of violence and peace settlements in civil wars.
The course has three goals. First, to provide participants with the intellectual tools to understand and analyze civil wars and peace settlements. Throughout the course, participants will acquire a broad knowledge of the concepts, theoretical traditions, and debates in the study of civil war and peace settlements. The course will also introduce participants to new issues in the field, such as the micro-foundations of peace implementation. Second, the course will provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the most salient civil conflicts and peace processes in recent history. Third, the course will develop students’ research, analytical, and writing skills through assignments and papers.
Readings for this course are drawn from a variety of disciplines (political science, anthropology, and others), approaches (rational choice, constructivist), and methodologies (qualitative and quantitative). They include both theoretical works and case studies of recent conflicts. Classes will consist of lectures, discussions, and small-group exercises.