Fall 2022 - 60890 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy


P A 388K: Conflict Management: Preventing and Ending Civil Wars


Prof. Alan J. Kuperman


Violent conflicts rage in Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, the Philippines and dozens of other countries, killing tens of thousands of innocents every year.  What causes such horrible violence?  What can be done to stop it – or, even better, prevent it – short of military intervention?


This course examines the theory and practice of peaceful conflict management in internal conflicts.  During the first half of the semester, we assess what is known and with what level of confidence, based on scholarly literature.  In the second half, each student writes an in-depth research paper on a distinct attempt at conflict management that succeeded or failed, thereby testing or illustrating an aspect of the literature.  Several past papers from the course have been published in academic journals.


No auditors are permitted except for military fellows and visiting scholars.  Grading is based on class participation, a mid-term exam, an in-class presentation, and the research paper.  All readings are available on Canvas.

Instruction Mode