Conflict Assessment and Prevention
Some see international conflicts and crises as essential events, the outcomes of which determine subsequent geopolitical arrangements. However, the humanitarian and other costs of such conflicts have helped give rise to the concepts and operations of conflict prevention. In order to better prevent conflict, experts have developed methods of assessing its likelihood, causes, and dynamics.
This course explores the methods and challenges of preventing the outbreak of armed conflict. Students survey contemporary approaches to the assessment of conflict: Conflict assessment frameworks used by different organizations incorporate a variety of theoretical assumptions and empirical tools in order to gain a better understanding of the causes of violent conflict. The course also explores challenges of predicting the outbreak of conflict through the exploration of the early warning concepts and instruments, and it examines the challenge of moving from early warning to preventive action. Students also consider cases of successful and unsuccessful prevention as practiced by national governments, NGOs, civil society organizations, the United Nations, and regional political organizations.