EU4A2      Half Unit
Globalisation, Conflict and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Vesna Popovski


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, 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 Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Science (Conflict Studies and Comparative Politics) and MSc in Political Science (Global Politics). 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 a limited number of places (it is controlled access). In previous years we have been able to provide places for all students that apply but that may not continue to be the case.

Course content

The course offers a theoretically informed account of the challenges faced by post authoritarian and totalitarian transition countries in the era of globalisation, and examines them empirically in reference to the Balkans (Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Croatia), South Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan), Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. These case studies were chosen because they have a legacy of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes and have experienced specific difficulties in an attempt to transition to democracy, market economy and integrate into a multilateral system. The course is structured around three areas of analysis: political ideologies, conflict analysis and post-conflict reconstruction. The course starts with an introduction to theories of globalisation and the reasons why the legacy of totalitarianism is different from the legacy of authoritarian rule, and why and how these legacies impede the development of democratic states and societies. Further the course progresses with employing conflict analysis to understand contemporary conflicts in relation to international peace building efforts concentrating on issues relating to the process of democratisation. Therefore, the course proceeds by examining a context of transition, from the perspective of: civil society, global diasporas and fundamentalist networks, informal economy (including the overview of illegal economic networks and organised crime) and transitional justice. The course concludes by examining external state-building policies in relation to post-conflict reconstruction of our chosen states and societies. All the topics are analysed bearing in mind regions and countries mentioned above to grasp unique aspects of simultaneous transitions on a long and bumpy road from war to peace and from totalitarianism to democracy. Two methodological principles underpin this course: 1) the course challenges the state-centric hegemony in the study and teaching of conflict, and instead focuses on the question how wider transnational context, factors and dynamics shape post-conflict transition; and 2) the course provides an alternative to top-down, i.e. formal and institutional study of conflict and post-conflict reconstruction, and instead provides a bottom-up perspective that includes the examination of civil societies (both liberal and illiberal) and well as informal actors and institutions.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars totalling a minimum of 25 hours across Winter Term. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Winter Term.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

This list should give you an idea of the range of material covered in the course. It is also provided in case you have a chance to engage with some of these authors whom you will find on the course reading list as co-/authors of articles and books. These reading are not required to be read before the enrolment on the course.


  • Mary Kaldor, New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era, Polity Press, third edition 2012.
  • 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, 2006;
  • Vera Mironova, From Freedom Fighters 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, 2013;
  • Stanley Cohen, States of Denial: Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering, Polity Press; 2013
  • Roger McGinty, Everyday Peace: How So-Called Ordinary People Can Disrupt Violent Conflict, Oxford University Press 2021;
  • Maria Koinova, Diaspora Entrepreneurs and Contested States, Oxford University Press, 2021.
  • David Chandler, International State-building: 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.
  • Oliver Richmond, The Grand Design: the evolution of the international peace architecture. Oxford University Press, 2022.
  • Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Penguin, 1951.
  • Charles Tilly, Democracy, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Guillermo O’Donnell, Democracy, Agency, and the State: Theory with Comparative Intent, Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • Dustin N. Sharp, Rethinking Transitional Justice for the Twenty First Century, Cambridge University Press, 2018.


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

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2022/23: 50

Average class size 2022/23: 17

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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