EU4A2      Half Unit
Globalisation, Conflict and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Denisa Kostovicova CBG 7.03


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Conflict Studies, MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe, MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe (LSE & Sciences Po), MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Bocconi), MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Gender, Peace and Security, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy and MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Priority will be given to students on the MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe, MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe (LSE and SciencesPo), MSc in European and International Public Policy, MSc in European and International Public Policy (LSE and SciencesPo), MSc in European and International Public Policy & Politics (LSE and Bocconi) and MSc in Conflict Studies. 

This course has limited availability (is capped), and requires that students (regardless of Department or MSc programme) apply for access via the Graduate Course Choice process.

Course content

The course offers a theoretically informed account of the challenges faced by countries transitioning from conflict to peace in the era of globalisation, and examines them empirically in reference to examples from the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle East. The regions chosen are those which have experienced particular difficulties with a peaceful transition to democracy, market economy and integration in a multilateral system. The course will start with an introduction to theories of globalisation, a comparative analysis of the legacy of totalitarianism and authoritarianism and an overview of conflict analysis. The course is structured around three issue areas: political ideologies and state breakdown; transition economy and organised crime; post-totalitarian society. It looks at nationalism linked to global diasporas and fundamentalist networks, contemporary conflicts in the context of international intervention and externally-led state-building. The discussion of transition economy includes an introduction to transition strategies (privatisation, liberalisation and macro-economic stabilisation) and to perverse effects of illegal economic networks and organised crime stemming from the totalitarian past, the legacy of war economies and the impact of globalisation. The last block of questions investigates post-conflict reconstruction from the perspective of transitional justice, (un)civil societies and new minorities. While analysing these issues accompanied with relevant regional illustrations particular attention is made to grasp unique aspects of simultaneous transitions from war to peace and from totalitarianism to democracy in the context of globalisation. The course concludes by examining the European Union state-building policies in relation to critical approaches to post-conflict reconstruction.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars totalling a minimum of 25 hours across Michaelmas Term. The teaching will be delivered this year through a combination of online and on-campus formats (or if required, online only). This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one written essay and one short presentation on topics assigned to them.

Indicative reading

  • Mary Kaldor, New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era, Polity, 1999;
  • Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic, James Ker-Lindsay and Denisa Kostovicova (eds) Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013;
  • Miles Kahler and Barbara F. Walter (eds) Territoriality and Conflict in an Era of Globalization, Cambridge University Press, 2009;
  • Vera Mironova, From Freedom Fightrs to Jihadists: Human Resources of Non-State Armed Groups, Oxford University Press, 2019;
  • Anthony Giddens, Runaway World: How Globalisation is Reshaping our Lives, Profile, 2002;
  • Ruti Teitel, Humanity's Law, Oxford University Press, 2011; 
  • Cohen Stanley, States of Denial: Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering, Polity, Malden, MA, Blackwell Publishers, 2001;
  • Richard Caplan, International Governance of War-Torn Territories: Rule and Reconstruction, Oxford University Press, 2005;
  • Petr Wallensteen, Kopecky & Cas Mudde (eds), Uncivil Society?: Contentious Politics in Post-Communist Europe, Routledge, 2002;
  • David Chandler, International Statebuilding: The Rise of Post-Liberal Governance, Routledge, 2010;
  • Susan L. Woodward, The Ideology of Failed States: Why Intervention Fails, Cambridge University Press, 2017;
  • Sarah Chayes, Thieves of States: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, W.W. Norton & Company, 2015.


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in the LT.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2020/21: 44

Average class size 2020/21: 15

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills