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KINT 5135 - Crisis Management : A Global Perspective

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies


• A basic knowledge of international relationships in recent history is required; • A good understanding of the potential causes of tension between countries (history, culture, strategic posture, economy, access to natural resources, demography,…) would help; • An interest for the general context across the globe (5 continents) would also be beneficial.

Course Description

After the League of Nations failed to prevent World War II, political leaders and diplomats involved in the San Francisco Conference process and eventually the birth of the United Nations system aimed at building a system that would allow avoiding crisis or at least provide a framework to deescalate international tensions. Anyway, since 1945 numerous crisis actually occurred across the world, fortunately not of the scale of a worldwide conflict but often causing significant damages, both in terms of human losses and material/physical destruction. In order to illustrate the diversity of these situations, the course is designed to present a global view on: prevention of crisis and crisis management; civil and military crisis; regional, national, international levels of commitment; all periods of recent history; all continents; other potential conflict areas, such as space; a particular focus on Europe and a specific development on missile defense since it somewhat embodies all aspects related to crisis management. Students are encouraged to prepare for this program by (re)exploring reference publications like those mentioned underneath. In addition to general principles and generic mechanisms, this program aims at offering the opportunity to consider a series of concrete test cases for which students will be asked to play the part of strategic analysts, pol-mil advisors and/or decision makers.


CAITUCOLI, Bruno (Directeur bureau enquêtes accidents défense-air)

Pedagogical format

12 weeks

Course validation

Evaluation will be divided in three components: - Ability to understand national decision making mechanisms. Individual work: a decision paper to be submitted to the French President articulating the elements to be taken into account before possibly opting for the commitment of national forces in the context of a given past crisis. This document will also expose the international relationship dimension of the matter - 40% of grade. - Forward looking ability. Co-developed paper: from a series of documents providing various information related to a potential crisis area, students are expected to draft a 6 to 8 page document identifying the most relevant elements for a Political-Military analysis, offering options for dealing with the crisis with a view to avoid military confrontation, presenting options in case of an uncontrolled escalation and an inevitable use of force, and concluding by recommendations in terms of both national approach and position at IOs level - 50% of grade. - Personal involvement - 10% of grade

Required reading

  • UN Charter, focus on chapters VI and VII
  • NATO Strategic Concept and Washington Treaty, focus on Art IV and V
  • « États-Unis, les nouvelles modalités d'engagement militaire : ‘Light footprint' et ‘leading from behind' », Questions Internationales n°64 (« Les États-Unis : vers une hégémonie discrète »), novembre-décembre 2013 par Maya Kandel
  • Lisbon 2009 Treaty on European Union (TUE) and Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE). Relevant sections to crisis management.
  • Permanent Court of Arbitration: The South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of Philippines v. The People's Republic of China) - PCA Case Nº 2013-19 – 12 July 2016

Plans de cours et bibliographies

  • Session 1 : Post-World War II international order – how the crisis management tools were established step by step
  • Session 2 : The areas of crisis across the world
  • Session 3 : Civil crisis management mechanisms in France – Focus on the response to the Ebola virus
  • Session 4 : The bipolar world – how the two big powers created, experienced and strengthened over time their own crisis management tools and de-escalation processes
  • Session 5: The unipolar world: the time of regional crisis – UN mandate, Ad-hoc coalition format, NATO Alliance, first EU-led operations: which model for which purpose? The growing role of sub-regional organizations
  • Session 6: The zero-polar world (if existing) – Resurgence of the use of force as a strategic tool – understanding Russian current foreign policy?
  • Session 7: The South China Sea, a forward looking exercise. Likelihood of destabilization?
  • Session 8: Signing treaties and other international agreements to avoid a potential crisis: has such a process ever proved to be effective? – Focus on the space competition
  • Session 9: International trade growth: does interdependency tend to prevent crisis?
  • Session 10: The European Union: prototype of a construct intended to prevent crisis – Does it make war between member states impossible and does it export stability?
  • Session 11: Missile Defense – when international relationships become intrinsically linked to advanced military equipment – focus on the North Korean case
  • Session 12 : Intervention of a foreign witness (specific topic to be confirmed)