Document Type

Graduate Syllabus


Spring 2010



Course Number

DIPL 6197

Course Description

This course will deal with the new developments in US policy for dealing with failing or fragile states. Earlier references to "nation-building" have been replaced by the term "stabilization and reconstruction" and both the military and civilian sides of government have developed doctrine for dealing with these situations. These doctrines claim to recognize that efforts to remake societies in our image are doomed due to lack of resources and resistance to change in developing nations, though the steps proposed may be quite far-reaching. While lessons learned in conflict situations such as Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan will be considered, primary emphasis will be on states now hovering on the brink of collapse. Attention will be paid to innovative tools such as anthropology, as well as to "rule of law," sustainable development and democracy building. The newly released State Department "Quadrennial Review of Diplomacy and Development" will be closely studied as a possible guideline to future policies. The course will include lectures, class discussions, and case studies. There will be input from practitioners, and information will be provided on opportunities in the field as more civilians are sent abroad as direct hires to carry out programs on the ground. A central issue throughout the semester will be the inherent contradiction between stability and changes which come about as a result of reconstruction and development.