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KINT 3305 - Issues in contemporary conflict resolution

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


A basic knowledge and understanding of international rules governing international relations and particularly the use of force, including the UN Charter, is assumed. Students who are aware of and maintain an interest in current events affecting international security, their background and trends will be better placed to benefit from this course.

Course Description

This course is about how the practise of conflict resolution (CR) since the end of the Cold War has changed. CR today deals mostly with conflict within states which -unlike CR between states- often needs profound reform and lengthy international involvement to ensure durability. Advances in international human rights law have increased calls for accountability, propelled by giant strides in communications technology. Centrifugal forces, long dormant or suppressed, threaten the integrity of multiethnic states. Indiscriminate labeling of conflict parties as terrorists since 9/11 complicates the search for inclusive negotiated solutions. R2P has not settled the debate on how to deal with mass atrocities and war crimes absent UN Security Council agreement. Criminal non-state actors defy states. A re-energized populism has injected unpredictability into international relations. Absent rules or guidelines, too many agents can complicate the search for peace. These and other thematic issues will be examined including through discussion of selected recent and ongoing cases.


  • DE SOTO, Alvaro (Diplomate en mission permanente au Pérou)
  • XU, Chong (Ph.D. in History)

Pedagogical format

12 weeks.

Course validation

1. An individual take-home paper consisting of a 2-page policy brief for a government leader/head of an international organization/NGO, with recommendations on how to deal with a situation (early in semester, 40% of grade). 2. An analytical, thematic paper of no more than 10 pages, for submission in mid-April, on one of the issues of conflict resolution mentioned in the course description above, to be elaborated in class 2. Should contain references to no less than 2, no more than 3 specific cases. 3. Each student to be interviewed at semester's end. (2+3 = 60% of grade.)

Required reading

  • DE SOTO, Alvaro, Diplomacy and Mediation, in KALDOR, Mary and RANGELOV, Ivor, eds., Handbook of Global Security Policy, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014
  • CROCKER, Chester, HAMPSON, Fen Osler, and AALL, Pamela, Leashing the Dogs of War, (Part I, Introduction), in Leashing the Dogs of War : Conflict Management in a Divided World, United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D. C., 2007
  • ROBERTS, Ivor, Satow's Diplomatic Practise, Chapter I, 6th Edition, 2009
  • LUTTWAK, Edward N., Give War a Chance, Foreign Affairs, July/August 1999

Additional required reading

  • KENNEDY, Paul, The Parliament of Man, Chapters 2, 3, 6, and 7, Vintage Books, New York, 2006
  • BAN, Ki-moon, Report of the High-Level Independent Panel on UN Peace Operations, A/70/95, United Nations, New York, 2015