Conflict Assessment and Prevention


International conflicts and crises have sometimes been seen as essential events whose outcome determines subsequent geopolitical arrangements. On the other hand, 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, methods of assessing its likelihood, causes, and dynamics have been developed. The course therefore explores the methods and challenges of preventing the outbreak of armed conflict. Contemporary approaches to the assessment of conflict are surveyed: 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 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.

Required for the following concentrations at International Relations Online: