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MSc Global Urban Development and Planning

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Reconstruction and Development

Unit code MGDI60402
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course focuses on the following issues:

  • Conflict, Reconstruction and Humanitarianism 
  • Violence After Peace Accords
  • Conflict Terminations
  • The Post-war Reconstruction Process
  • Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration of Former Combatants
  • International Financial Institutions and Reconstruction
  • Post-War Reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq


This course aims to highlight a range of issues pertinent to the disaster-affected context with a particular focus on societies subject to large-scale violent conflict. The course looks at reconstruction from a number of differing perspectives and through a variety of disciplinary approaches and empirical case studies. Topics relevant to both domestic actors and third parties will be covered. In particular, the course focuses on debates surrounding response, rehabilitation and mitigation as well as conflict settlement and resolution. As such, it offers a chance to reflect upon reconstruction dynamics as a whole and to engage critically with current practice and policy.

Learning outcomes

Students should be able to:


Teaching and learning methods

9 x 2-hour lectures, 3 x 2-hour tutorials

Knowledge and understanding

  • Analyse issues related to the reconstruction of conflict and disaster affected societies
  • Assess the impact of wars and disasters and their demands upon local, national and international actors

Intellectual skills

  • Understand the recovery process through an exploration of the dynamics of rebuilding of disaster-affected societies

Practical skills

  • See a spectrum of approaches to the ethics of conflict resolution, peace-building and the prevention and mitigation of future disasters

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Examine and evaluate the professional's role in relation to reconstruction and development, intervention programmes and project monitoring

Assessment methods

One 3,000 word essay (100%)

Feedback methods

As well as in-class interactions, students will have the opportunity to receive written feedback on their submitted essay plan; written feedback on the final assessment will be available via Blackboard.

Recommended reading

The list of readings below is a small selection of the sources available. It is highly recommended that you consult sources outside of this list.

Barakat, Sultan. 2010. After the conflict: reconstruction and development in the aftermath of war. London : I. B. Tauris.
Boyce, James K. 2002. 'Aid Conditionality as a Tool for Peacebuilding: Opportunities and Constraints', Development and Change, Vol. 33, No. 5, p. 1042.
Cheng, Christine & Dominik Zaum. 2012. Corruption and post-conflict peacebuilding: selling the peace? London: Routledge (available as an ebook via John Rylands Library).
Caplan, R. 2002. A New Trusteeship? The International Administration of War Torn Territories. Oxford University Press: Oxford, England.
Commins, S. (ed) 1996. Development in States of War, London: Oxfam.
Commission on Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Play to Win. (Washington, 2003)
D Damrosch, Lori F. 1993. Enforcing Restraint: Collective Intervention in Internal
Conflicts. New York: Council on Foreign Relations
Darby, John (ed). 2006. Violence and Reconstruction. Notre dame, Ind.: University Notre Dame Press.
Date-Bah, Eugenia. 2003. Jobs After War : A Critical Challenge in the Peace and Reconstruction Puzzle. Geneva: ILO.
Debiel & Klein (eds). 2003. Fragile Peace - State Failure, Violence and Development in Crisis Regions, London, Zed.
Vesna Bojicic Dzelilovic. 2000. 'From Humanitarianism to Reconstruction: Towards an Alternative Approach to Economic and Social Recovery form War', in Mary Kaldor (ed.), Global Insecurity. London: Pinter.
Ferguson, Neil. 2010. Post-Conflict Reconstruction. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars.
Forman S & Patrick S (eds). 2000. Good Intentions: Pledges of Aid for Post-Con?ict Recovery, Lynne Rienner Publishers: Boulder, CO.
Francis, David. 2012. When war ends: building peace in divided communities. Farnham: Ashgate (Available as an ebook from John Rylands Library).
Gates, S., Håvard Hegre, H. & Strand, H. 2012. Development Consequences of Armed Conflict, World Development 40(9): 1713-1722.
Heiberg, Marianne. 1994. Subduing Sovereignty: Sovereignty and the Right to Intervene.
London: Printer Publishers.
Hoffmann, Stanley. 1996. The Ethics and Politics of Humanitarian Intervention. Indiana:
University of Notre Dame Press.
Jeong, Ho-Won. 2005. Peacebuilding in postconflict societies : strategy and process. Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner.
Kumar, K. (ed). 1997. Rebuilding Societies After Civil War: Critical Roles for International Assistance, Boulder: Lynne Rienner.
Lake, D., & Rothchild, D. (eds.). 1998. The International Spread Of Ethnic Conflict: Fear, Diffusion, And Escalation, Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press
Mc Ginty, R & Richmond, O. 2009. The Liberal Peace and Post-War Reconstruction: Myth or Reality? London : Routledge.
Menocal and Eade. 2005. 'Annotated resources on peace building and reconstruction', Development in Practice, Vol.15, No. 6.
Muggah, R. 2009. Security and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Dealing with Fighters in the Aftermath of War. New York : Routledge.
Moore, D. 2000. 'Levelling the Playing Fields and Embedding Illusions: 'Post-Conflict' Discourse and Neo-Liberal 'Development' in War-Torn Africa', Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 27, No. 83.
Newman, E & Richmond, P. 2006. Challenges to Peacebuilding : Managing Spoilers During Conflict Resolution. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.
Paris, Roland. 2002. 'International Peacebuilding and the 'mission civilisatrice'', Review of International Studies, Vol. 28, No.4.
Pugh, M. 1998. Post-conflict rehabilitation: The humanitarian dimension, Plymouth
Pugh, M. (ed). 2000. Regeneration Of War-Torn Societies, London, MacMillan
Pugh, M & Turner, M. (eds). (2008). Whose peace?: Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding. Basingsto

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
External visits 4
Lectures 18
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 122

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Tim Jacoby Unit coordinator

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