EDS378 Statebuilding and Conflict in Fragile and Conflict Affected States: The Case of Afghanistan

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Ingrid Louise Peck Nyborg

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:30

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:125 hours.

Teaching and exam period:January block

About this course

Course contents

International Development and Assistance policies are gradually embracing the relatively recent categorisation of Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCASs) as a core characteristic in structuring further development and assistance frameworks and policies.

There is a broad acknowledgement that FCASs are already affecting the 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, and provide 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.

Core topics covered

Exploring how the process of States and Statebuilding has developed; key pillars and characteristics of fragile and conflict-affected states; evolution of security and development and good governance; 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, peace initiatives and the role of non-state actors therein.

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 violence and conflict plays as part of a broader security and development axis within. 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.

  • Lectures, seminars and groupwork. Students will be informed before the start of the January block if the course will be held online rather than in-person.
  • Office hours and procedures are established at the first class meeting.
  • General knowledge of international relations, undergraduate courses in relevant social sciences.
  • Exam in ENGLISH ONLY. Take home exam counts 100% of the grade. A - F.

  • Internal and external examiners will be part of the evaluation.
  • Attendence mandatory
  • 13 lectures and 3 seminars.
  • M-IR.
  • A relevant Bachelor degree or equivalent.