Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development

School: School of Government
International Development Department

Modular value: 20 credits

Module Convenor: Professor Paul Jackson

This module builds on analytical approaches introduced in Conflict in Developing Countries. It can be taken as a stand alone module, but the theoretical background may be more familiar to those who have taken the previous module.

The module will analyse the particular challenges of post conflict reconstruction and development and the motivations of international and local actors involved in post-conflict environments. We will consider different approaches to post conflict reconstruction and analyse the complex relationships between local people, private security companies, international donors, service providers and NGOs. In discussing these actors, we highlight their sometimes-competing priorities and consider their impact on and approaches to post-conflict development and security. The module also comprises sessions on specific processes related to post-conflict reconstruction, including the politics of reconstruction and statebuilding, transitional justice, strategies for delivering services to populations in fragile states and security sector reform.

You will build on your skills learnt in earlier modules in analysing contemporary international interventions and be able to critically assess the documentation and core assumptions surrounding post-conflict reconstruction as an activity. We will not only look at theories of intervention but also at the practical programming dilemmas faced by international actors in rebuilding states that have collapsed or been subject to wars.

Leaning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  • Describe and explain motivations for international intervention in post-conflict
  • Compare and contrast competing approaches to reconstruction
  • Critically assess the programming dilemmas in areas such as disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, security sector reform and the employment of private security
  • Examine / explain the linkages between conflict, security and development
  • Analyse and explain the importance of justice in the aftermath of conflict
  • Evaluate a range of theoretical frameworks relating international relations, security and development

Teaching and learning approach

The module will be delivered in 3 hour sessions using a range of teaching and learning methods, including interactive lectures, group discussions, case studies, videos and guest speakers.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to peacebuilding, state building and post-conflict interventions
  • The context of international intervention and the ‘Liberal Peace’
  • Post-Conflict Reconstruction as programming
  • Understanding the post-conflict environment
  • Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration
  • Security Sector Reform
  • Other actors: NGOs and Businesses
  • The importance of justice in PCR
  • Local Ownership and peacebuilding from below
  • Constructing hybrid states or creating new conflicts?


The assessment for the module will consist of

  • A 1,500 word briefing report critically analysing an international policy document, worth 40%
  • A 3,000 word essay on a thematic subject, worth 60% of the marks.

The first assignment involves reading, criticising and evaluating a live policy document. Full instructions for this assignment will be distributed during the module. The second assignment will require you to apply one of the approaches to post-conflict reconstruction or one part (e.g. DDR)  from the module to a case study of your choosing, and you will receive a list of possible essay questions to choose from, or may construct your own in consultation with the module convenor.

Related modules:

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.