Fall 2015 - 59870 - PA188G - Topics in Global Policy Studies
Security & Development in Fragile States
This five-week course explores the challenges of advancing security and development in fragile states. Over the last decade, ‘fragile states’—and their implications for national and international security—have driven tectonic shifts in U.S. policy and military thinking. This new national security focus on fragile states has changed considerably the mandate of several areas of U.S. international engagement—from U.S. development aid and security assistance to peacekeeping operations and diplomatic relations. It has also led to arguably the most comprehensive reorganization of U.S. civilian and military agencies in recent decades: the White House outlined plans to reorganize civilian and interagency processes to better anticipate and respond to state failure; the U.S. military placed stability operations for the first time on the same level as combat operations, reorienting military planning and training accordingly; and U.S. development efforts likewise defined an explicit strategy to address the challenges of fragile states. And yet, the complexity of ‘state fragility’ does not lend itself to easy analysis or response.
This course provides a solid grounding in academic and policy literature that considers the causes and consequences of ‘state fragility’ broadly speaking, specific types of state fragility, and varied strategies to respond. The course then examines current and recent interventions in fragile states in several regions, using cases to highlight key considerations in designing interventions for each type of state fragility. The cases also illustrate a variety of security, political, and socioeconomic challenges that complicate efforts to promote security and development in fragile states.
Class meets October 30 through December 4.