Course code EDS378A

EDS378A State building and conflict in fragile states. Case Afghanistan.

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2017 - 2018 .

Course responsible: Gry Synnevåg
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in January block. This course has teaching/evaluation in January block, .
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2016-2017
Last time: 2018V
Preferential right:
Course contents:

Course contents:

Characteristics of fragile and conflict-affected states (3h); Historical, cultural background and social status of Afghanistan (1h) Social context, gender and development challenges for Afghanistan (1h); State building/ Development of a Constitution (1h); Seminar (2h); Governance ¿ the structure, role and functions of the State (1h): Sub-national governance (2h); Seminar (1h); Economic development ¿ the informal  economy and ¿narco-economy¿(2h); Economic development ¿ the formal economy (1h); Seminar (2h); Security and Development (2h); Stabilisation (2h), Conflict mitigation and peacebuilding (2h); Seminar (2h); Regional geopolitics I- Afghanistan-Pakistan relations from1977 (2h); Regional geopolitics II- India, China and Iran (2h);  Regional geopolitics III- neighbouring countries (1h); seminar 4 (2h); Afghanistan 2015-2024 The Development Decade (2h)

Course contents

A growing number of Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCASs) are already affecting regional stability of neighbouring nations through the encroachment of conflict, increased displacement of populations and predicted increases in extreme poverty. This course will examine the main characteristics of FCASs and link them to current IR theory (e.g. realist and complexity) and providing students with a hands-on understanding of how these  complex issues play out through a review of the actual development of the Afghan state as a detailed case study. Once attended, the student will then be able to take on EDS378B which involves applying the knowledge gained in the form of a Term Paper.

Core topics covered

Definitions of core concepts; statebuilding and Characteristics of fragile and conflict-affected states; Good governance; Security and Development; Economic development in terms of informal and formal sectors; regional geopolitics related to realist and complexity theory; conflict mitigation and peacebuilding models; detailed case study of Afghanistan including governance, current economic development initiatives, security and the role of non-state actors therein, foreign policy and the delivery of its ¿Development Decade¿ 10 year reform plan. 

Learning outcome:

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be familiar with the core concepts of statebuilding and the signature characteristics of fragile and conflict affected states to a level at which students can knowledgeably engage with practitioners, researchers, advisors and those interested in FCASs, Afghanistan and the geo-political affairs of neighbouring countries.

An understanding of the complex drivers that create a fragile state and the role conflict plays as part of a broader security and development axis therein. Using this to link the more practical issues facing conflict/post-conflict and fragile states, with the involvement of external actors and western policies, realist and complexity theories in IR, from which general lessons can be drawn and applied elsewhere within IR and Development streams.

To be able to be able to identify patterns and draw from the failures and successes in Afghanistan and apply them as generalisable lessons to international relations, economic, security and geo-political theory and further case studies.

Learning activities:
Lectures, seminars and groupworks
Teaching support:
Office hours and procedures are established at the first class meeting.
Selected books and articles. Will be posted in Canvas.
General knowledge of international relations, undergraduate courses in relevant social sciences
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Seminar attendance - 4 out of 5 seminars
Exam in ENGLISH ONLY. Final written examination (3h) counts 100% of the grade.
Nominal workload:
150 hours
Entrance requirements:
A relevant Bachelor degree or equivalent.
Type of course:
13 lectures and 5 seminars
Internal and external examiners will be part of the evaluation.
Examination details: :