Post-War Transitions


What happens when war ends? How do countries emerging from war grapple with pressing economic, political, and security dilemmas while trying to remain or become stable? The end of war may well be described as the ‘dangerous hour’ as a weak state needs to address the underlying causes of the conflict such as systemic economic inequities, highly fragmented political, social and cultural networks, porous borders and the presence of different types of criminal networks. Simultaneously, it has to respond to its obligations to international agreements and the pressing demands of new interest groups that emerge in the aftermath of war. Experience from the field has underscored that the signing of peace agreements is not sufficient to bring peace and prosperity to conflict-affected societies. According to a World Bank study, almost half of countries emerging from conflict slide back into war as a consequence of national and/or international policy failure. This course will critically examine some of the many multidimensional challenges and opportunities that confront nation-states emerging from war. It will expose students to debates and tensions in the field and introduce them to some of the techniques and tools used by both international intermediaries (states, IOs, NGOs) and local stakeholders to address top-down and bottom up issues of economic reconstruction, political governance, security and legal reform, as well as human rights, rights of refugees and IDP populations and questions of post-conflict justice. The course will rely on case studies and encourage students to design sustainable solutions to specific challenges of post-war transitions, while developing a realistic empathy for the constraints that confront decision-makers in dynamic environments characterized by uncertainty and limited information.

Required for the following concentrations at MAIR online: