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Theory & Practice of Post-War Recovery - POL00009M

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Rebecca Engel
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

This module provides a broad introduction to the leading theoretical approaches, key concepts and core issues in post-war recovery, statebuilding, peacebuilding and stabilisation. The module presents the principles of political, social, physical and economic reconstruction through identifying and exploring challenges and issues involved in the progression from relief to reconstruction and the complex processes of peacebuilding. Through general overviews and detailed case studies, the module examines the core issues around statebuilding and the governance of reconstruction processes, including transitional administration, state fragility and resilience, security and political settlements. The module explores some of the major sectoral and thematic areas – or ‘pillars’ – of recovery and reconstruction processes, with a specific reference to governance, economics, transitional justice, development and civil society engagement.

The challenges of measuring statebuilding and peacebuilding outcomes are also examined. The module will provide students with the conceptual tools and theoretical understanding to make sense of the complex reality of contemporary post-conflict environments as well as providing an academic foundation for the more practical aspects of the programme.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

By the end of this module, students should:

  • Be able to critically engage with the various theoretical perspectives, paradigms and practitioner experiences pertaining to post-war recovery.
  • Be able to explain the theory, concepts and practice of externally-driven statebuilding interventions, peacebuilding processes and stabilisation operations.
  • Be able to explain the significance of key pillars of post-war recovery, including governance and the rule of law, economic stability, transitional justice, sustainable development and civil society engagement, and the complex interplay between them.
  • Be able to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to post-war recovery.
  • Be familiar with new developments and opportunities in statebuilding.
  • Be able to compare processes of post-war recovery across a number of country cases.


Academic and graduate skills

By the end of the module, students should:

  • Be able to manage their work to meet tight deadlines.
  • Be able to think critically about complex subjects
  • Be able to communicate effectively in both verbal and written forms
  • Be able to present complex concepts and topics confidently
  • Be able to engage in effective secondary research


Task Length % of module mark
4000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
4000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assignment within 6 weeks of submission.

Indicative reading

Paris, Roland and Sisk, Timothy (2009), Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations (New York, Routledge)

Fukuyama, Francis (2004), Statebuilding: governance and world order in the twenty-first century (Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press)

Barakat, Sultan (2010), After the Conflict: Reconstruction and Development in the Aftermath of War (London, I.B. Tauris)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students