Accueil > Fragile states in a globalized world: the case of Libya


Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies



Course Description

Fragile states are characterized by a fundamental failure to perform certain functions necessary to meet citizens' basic needs and expectations. Most are lower income countries, but some are also middle income countries. Institutions, economic conditions or the environment are amongst the roots of fragility. Why do fragile states persist in a globalized world in which finance, trade, information, knowledge and skills can generally flow with no barriers? What solutions can be found? The course aims to provide a framework to understand fragility based on country-specific contexts. It will address the following: I) the roots of fragility and the role and limits of international assistance; II) security challenges and types of intervention in conflict-prone areas; III) emerging solutions to fragility. Countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Libya, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Ukraine and Syria will be used as a test cases. Additional requested information: (eg mainly theoretical or mainly practical or a mixture of the two): Mixture of the two


SERRE, Julien Y. (Senior Officer at the United Nations, MINUSMA)

Pedagogical format

The course is practical and based on three working methods: a) It is case-based: students will look at real technical assistance operations; b) It builds on senior knowledge sharing: senior practitioners (World Bank/IMF, UN, Private Sector, NGOs, Embassies) can be invited to interact with students; c) It is collaborative: students work in teams and individual assignments benefit from collaborative approaches. The Seminar is organized as a series of 6 classes of 4 hours (8:00am-12:15pm, 27, rue Saint-Guillaume - Salle 13) as per the following schedule: 30 Jan 2017 – Class I and II 20 Feb 2017 – Class III and IV 6 Mar 2017 – Class V and VI 20 Mar 2017 – Class VII and VIII 3 Apr 2017 – Class IX and X 24 Apr 2017 – Class XI and XII

Course validation

Participation: 20% Individual Assignments: 50% (1 Policy Brief, 1 class presentation) Take-home exam : 30%


Students are encouraged to read before each class the papers listed. Students are also encouraged to read the 5 recommended books. Papers marked with ✍ are required and students should be ready to discuss them. All papers are available online on the dedicated course drive. Please come ready for classes I and II !

Required reading

  • Acemoglu, Daron and Robinson, James (2013). Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.
  • Collier, Paul (2010). Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places.
  • Fukuyama, Francis (2014). Political Order and Political Decay. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (September 30, 2014)
  • Landes, David (1998). The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor”
  • Serre, Julien (2016). Les Etats Fragiles. Studyrama (Students can contact the professor to obtain the book at retail price)

Additional required reading

  • World Bank (2011). World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security, and Development. Washington, D.C.:WB.
  • Andrews, M (2013). The Limits of Institutional Reform in Development: Changing Rules for Realistic Solutions. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Collier, Paul (2007), The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, Oxford University Press
  • Del Castillo Graciana, (2008). Rebuilding War-Torn States: The Challenge of Post-Conflict Economic Reconstruction. Oxford University Press.
  • Easterly, William, (2014). The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor.
  • Fukuyama, Francis, 2004. State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century. Cornell University Press.
  • Ghani, A., and C. Lockhart (2009). Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World. New York: Oxford University Press
  • Jones, Bruce, O'Brien Emily, Steven David (2014). The New Politics of Strategic Resources Energy and Food Security Challenges in the 21st Century. Brookings Institution Press.
  • Moyo, D. (2009). Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa.
  • O'Connell, Robert L., 1989. Of Arms and Men: a History of War, Weapons, and Aggression. New York:
  • Patrick Stewart (2011). Weak Links: Fragile States, Global Threats, and International Security, Oxford University Press.
  • Rodrik, Dani (2007). “One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth”. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (available in pdf in the class folder).
  • Sattouf, Riad (2014). L'Arabe du futur, une jeunesse au Moyen-Orient (1978-1984), Allary éditions.
  • Steven David, O'Brien Emily, Jones Bruce D., (2014). The New Politics of Strategic Resources: Energy and Food Security Challenges in the 21st Century. Brookings Institution Press.

Plans de cours et bibliographies