Summary module description:
Building peace in fragile and conflict-affected states is one of the major challenge of contemporary security and development policy. Donor states, UN peacekeepers, and multilateral institutions such as the World Bank are not only engaged in a growing number of fragile states, but their involvement also extends deeper into the domestic politics of these states than in the past.
In this module, we will evaluate different approaches to building peace in fragile and conflict-affected states, and examine the record of so-called peace and statebuilding operations. We will look both at different approaches, such as negotiating peace agreements or advancing security sector reforms, and at particular cases of peace- and statebuilding, such as Kosovo, the DRC, or Afghanistan.

Aims:
The module aims to give students a comprehensive understanding of the most recent evidence on responses to conflict and state fragility, and on the efficacy of and challenges to these efforts. It aims to enable them to critically engage with and evaluate this evidence, and explore its implications for policy and practice.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Knowledge of conflict resolution and peace- and statebuilding policies and practices. Knowledge of case studies of peace- and statebuilding. Ability to critically engage with the material, and to relate theoretical insights to specific cases.

Additional outcomes:
Ability to consider the wider social, political and economic implications of contemporary state- and peacebuilding efforts.

Outline content:
Syllabus plan:

1. Business Meeting
2. Brokering Peace Agreements
3. The Role of Political Settlements
4. Peacekeeping
5. Building States to Build Peace?
6. Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration
7. Post-conflict democratisation
8. Mediation and local-level conflict resolution
9. Community-driven reconstruction and development
10. Regulating Conflict Commodities

Note that these topics are indicative only and are subject to change.

Personal and key skills:

Analytical, organisational, writing and presentation skills: Ability to select and assess quality materials on assigned topics, often using the internet; ability to organise and distil the essence of large amounts of information on contested issues, and prepare it for presentation orally and in writing; ability to understand the different sides of an argument, develop an independent view on debated issues, and support it effectively.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The class is taught in seminars. The seminars consist of student presentations as well as group discussion.

Students are expected to develop their knowledge of the subject through a high level of independent study combined with group work, which will inform the class discussions. Presentations, essays and exams are designed not only to test students' knowledge and ability to think critically and analytically in a variety of environments, but also to reinforce independent study and to ensure a careful and judicious consideration to it. Presentations are also designed to enhance transferable skills. They should aim to communicate concise, critical analyses effectively and raise topics for the subsequent discussion. Students are encourages to explore different presentation techniques and present freely from brief notes.

The seminar discussions provide important opportunities for students to test their views and receive tutor and peer feedback. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the module convenor’s office hours to request further one-to-one feedback on their presentations, seminar contributions, and essay plans

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 100 80
       
Total hours by term 120.00 80.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
1 Summative essay of 2,500 words (including footnotes and references but excluding bibliography)
1 in-class presentation of 20-30 minutes including presentation slides (assessment will be based 5% on presentation slides and 5% on delivery and presentation, for a total of 10% of the overall module grade)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
2 Hours

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall module mark

Reassessment arrangements:
Reassessment is in the same form as the original assessment (resit exam and resubmitting coursework).

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding: Students may incur photocopying costs for seminar reading or essay research at 5p per sheet.
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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