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War, Peace and Statebuilding



Since the end of the Cold War (1990) the international community has increasingly become involved in what is often referred to as state building or nation building. In territories such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, extensive programs of state building have been launched. In this course, the value of state building as an instrument of foreign policy is explored. This is done by studying some concrete cases of state building (the ones mentioned above) from different perspectives. Among others, the legitimacy and effectiveness of these missions will be discussed. Also, the role of great powers, regional powers, international non-governmental organisations, the United Nations, NATO and other international governmental organisations is addressed. Specific strategies like the (Dutch) comprehensive approach in Afghanistan or the use of electoral engineering in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be scrutinized. Due attention will also be given to international relation theories as they might explain the existence of state building as an important phenomenon in contemporary international politics.

Methods of Instruction

Lectures, group discussion, and presentations.


A selection of articles (to be announced on blackboard two weeks prior to the start of the course).


Written exam, papers and presentations.


Tuesday 7 September till 26 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs. in SA29 and
Friday 10 September till 29 October, 9.00-11.00 hrs. in 1A03.