War Torn States and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the South

Final year module

Lecturer: Dr Danielle Beswick / Dr Christalla Yakinthou

This module critically investigates interventionary policies for post-conflict reconstruction in war-torn states in the South. We will examine the liberal paradigms of peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction, espoused by international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, their explanations as to the causes of war, and their prescriptions for promoting different conceptions of peace in war-torn states.

We will consider critiques of these from neo-Marxist and constructivist positions. We will then go onto investigate the practical implications of these paradigms for politics in post-conflict countries, focusing on the policy areas of security, development, democracy, justice and reconciliation and drawing upon a wide range of case studies, drawn from Africa, Asia and Central America.

A particular analytical concern is to address the implications of the 'internationalisation' of local institutions and policy processes for the emergence of a locally responsive politics, capable of maintaining sovereignty, fostering meaningful local participation, and promoting political accommodations to underpin peace.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • Demonstrate familiarity with key theoretical debates on post-conflict reconstruction. 
  • Articulate a theoretically-informed opinion on the cogency of various policy positions, with reference to contemporary examples. 
  • Critically evaluate primary sources relating to international policy. 
  • Research and write up a case study using electronic and library-based primary and secondary sources.


  • Term One: 1 x 3,000 assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 1 x 3,000 assessed work (50%)