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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Conflict, Security, and Development (PGSP11590)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the role of foreign aid in responses to conflict and post-conflict reconstruction. It will critically interrogates the common notion that development cannot take place without security and security cannot be achieved without development. The course will explore the historic context of the 'security-development nexus' and the various ways it has shaped international interventions in conflict settings.

Course description The idea that security and development are mutually reinforcing has significantly shaped the way the international community responds to conflict, particularly in the Global South. This course critically interrogates the common notion that development cannot take place without security and security cannot be achieved without development. It will focus on the historic context of the 'security-development nexus' and the types of interventions this concept has led to. In doing so, the course seeks to address a broad range of questions including: Does poverty make a country more prone to conflict? What is the role of foreign aid in responding to conflict and assisting in post-conflict reconstruction? How has it changed in recent decades? Whose security is the focus in international interventions? Has the development sector been 'securitized' and if so, what effects does this have?

Course Content
Indicative themes and topics:
Linking security and development: Whose security?
Historicizing the 'security-development' nexus
Conflict dynamics and the 'conflict trap'
Securitized development or developmentized security?
Development actors in conflict settings
Aid and the war economy
Peacekeeping and peacebuilding
(Re)building state security forces
Privatized security
Justice after conflict
Alternative approaches

Learning Experience
This course will involve a combination of lectures and tutorials, the latter of which will include group activities, debates and discussions. The tutorial sessions will focus on case studies and encourage students to view the weekly topics through the perspective of a wide range of actors including states, non-state armed actors, non-governmental organisations, international organisations and private corporations. It will pay particular attention to various ways local communities are effected by and respond to these international engagements.

The assessment will consist of two written assignments: a 1,000 word essay and a final 3,000 word essay. Formative feedback will be provided for the first assignment before the due date of the final essay. The course readings and approach will be interdisciplinary, drawing from development studies, politics, international relations, anthropology, and history.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The components of assessment will be a 1,000 word essay weighted at 30% and a 3,000 word final essay weighted at 70%.
Feedback Assessments will be returned with feedback within 15 working days of submission.

Sessions providing detailed guidance on assignments and tips on writing them will be incorporated into the lecture hour in week 3 (for assignment due in week 6) and week 6 (for final essay due in week 11). One tutorial session will be devoted to students presenting essay outlines and receiving feedback from the group.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Express an advanced, critical understanding of the core concepts that are central to the interdependent relationship between security and development and the ability to deploy these concepts clearly, both verbally and in written form
  2. Demonstrate mastery of the diverse forms of empirical evidence used to link security and development issues and the ways they shape policy towards and within the Global South
  3. Indicate an independent analytic perspective that is grounded in an engagement with contemporary expert debates in the field of security and development
  4. Apply theoretic debates around security and development to complex current affairs across the globe
Reading List
Ansorg, Nadine (2017) 'Security sector reform in Africa: Donor approaches versus local needs,' Contemporary Security Policy 38, 1: 129-144

Bagayoko, Niagale, Eboe Hutchful, and Robin Luckham (2016) 'Hybrid security governance in Africa: rethinking the foundations of security, justice and legitimate public authority,' Conflict, Security & Development 16, 1: 1-32.

Chandler, David (2007) 'The security-development nexus and the rise of 'anti-foreign policy'' Journal of International Relations and Development 10: 362-386.

Duffield, Mark (2001) Global Governance and the New Wars: The Merging of Development and Security. London: Zed Books.

Marquette, Heather and Danielle Beswick (2011) 'State Building, Security and Development: state building as a new development paradigm?' Third World Quarterly 32, 10: 1703-1714.

Wilkinson, Cai (2015) 'The securitization of development,' in Handbook of International Security and Development edited by Paul Jackson, Edward Elgar Publishing, Northampton, MA: 32-57
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course students should have developed attributes in
1. Research and enquiry through synthesizing and analysing empirical and theoretical material from a variety of sources
2. Communication through writing clearly about complex ideas using a range of credible sources
3. Personal and intellectual autonomy through the demonstration of informed, independent thought and critical judgement
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Maggie Dwyer
Tel: (0131 6)51 5076
Course secretaryMrs Beth Richardson-Mills
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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