Spring 2013 - 62765 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Conflict Management
This course examines the theory and practice of conflict management by international actors in internal conflicts. It focuses on the prospect for mainly peaceful international intervention at three moments in the life-cycle of such conflicts: (1) to prevent the conflict from becoming violent; (2) to mitigate violence after it breaks out; and/or (3) to resolve the conflict durably so as to eliminate violence.  During the first half of the semester, we will critically analyze the theoretical literature to assess what is known (and with what level of confidence) about the above topics. During the second half of the semester, students will write an in-depth research paper (25 pages), employing a rigorous theory-testing methodology, and present their interim findings in class. Each paper will examine a distinct instance of attempted conflict management that succeeded or failed in order to test or illustrate some aspect of the theoretical literature. The topic and research design of each paper must be approved in advance by the professor, typically requiring students to prepare several revisions.     No auditors will be permitted except for military fellows and visiting scholars, because the course is based on student discussion of the assigned readings.  The course will be limited to no more than 15 students.  Grading is based on the following requirements: regular attendance and class participation, including timely preparation of paper proposals (20%); mid-term exam (20%); in-class presentation (10%); and research paper (50%). Readings:  All course readings are available on Blackboard.