GOVT-589 Development responses to political violence
Spring for 2017-2018
Dan Weggeland
Policymakers and practitioners generally accept that a lack of development contributes to political instability and violence, particularly internal conflict. This core belief in the relationship between development and conflict—both as problem and solution—informed U.S. and international actions in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and remains salient today with the renewed concern over violent extremism.

This course will leverage the recent large-scale U.S. interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq to explore the theory, practice, and evidence associated with development responses to political violence. Significant development resources have been invested in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and it is true that economic and social development indicators have shown positive trends (albeit often starting from very low baselines). Despite these investments and the demonstrable social and economic development improvements that resulted, both conflicts still show high levels of violence and conflict intensity. Why?

The theme of the course is to seek, with a critical eye, answers to two fundamental questions: (1) what were they [primarily U.S. government agencies and their agents] trying to do with the application of development resources for political outcomes and (2) how does one know if it is working?
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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