Since the end of the Cold War, rebuilding states in the wake of conflict and state failure has been touted as one of the foremost challenges facing the international community. It stems from the increasingly contested notion that weak states—where the rule of law is absent and centralized authority limited or fractured—can represent as great a threat to international security and stability as strong ones. Transnational criminal syndicates, terrorist organizations and guerrilla groups find sanctuary in such environments, which also offer ideal conditions for poverty, human rights abuses, and population displacement to flourish. This course will critically examine these ideas as well as contemporary strategies and approaches employed by international actors to build peace and rebuild weak and shattered states. This transition from war to peace and state failure to stability can be conceptualized as encompassing three separate but interrelated transitions, in the economic, political and security spheres. The course will deconstruct and analyze this “triple transition”, examining both its theoretical roots and practical application with reference to a number of recent case studies. It will reflect on the contradictions of Western state building and emerging trends in the policy and academia discourse.
- Teacher: Jefferson Ndimande