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Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding: Policy, Practice and Pragmatism


Admission requirements

MSc International Relations and Diplomacy students.


This course is an advanced introduction to peacekeeping with a balance of practical and theoretical knowledge. It examines what is success and failure in peace operations using different theoretical and methodological approaches. Students are introduced to the challenges of the practice of peacekeeping which include: implementing an unclear mandate, demonstrating impartiality, dealing with different national military cultures, the role of local culture, protection of civilians (PoC), gender, and the psychology of peacekeeping.

Course objectives

By the end of this course, students will know/understand:

  • What is success and failure in peacekeeping?

  • The history of peace research and peace operations.

  • The different theoretical and methodological approaches used to explain peacekeeping in IR.

  • The practice of peacekeeping and the challenges faced in the field.

  • How to conduct research on peacekeeping operations


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the E-Prospectus you will find a link to the online timetables.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, class discussion, self-study (including assignments).

Course Load

5 EC

Assessment method

Final grades are calculated based on three components:

  • Policy blog (20%)

  • Case Study (40%)

  • Essay (40%)

Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.
You can find more information about assessments and the timetable exams on the website.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.

Failed partial grades or components should be compensated by passed partial grades or components. The calculated grade must be at least 5,5 to pass the course. It is not possible to re-sit a partial grade or component once you have passed the course.


To be announced.

Optional Reading list

Bellamy, Alex J., and Paul D. Williams. Understanding Peacekeeping. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010.

MacQueen, Norrie. Peacekeeping and the International System. Abingdon: Routledge, 2006.

Autesserre, Severine. Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Autesserre, Severine. The Trouble with the Congo: Local Violence and the Failure of International Peacebuilding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Boulding, Elise. Cultures of Peace. NY: Syracuse University Press, 2000.

Cain, Kenneth, Postlewait, Heidi and Andrew Thomson. Emergency Sex (and other desperate measures): True Stories From a War Zone. London: Ebury Press, 2006.

Enloe, Cynthia. Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making feminist sense of international politics. Oakland: California University Press, 1990.

Galtung, Johan. Peace by Peaceful Means: Peace and Conflict, Development and Civilization. London: Sage, 1996.

Howard, Lise Morje. Peacekeeping in Civil Wars. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Koops, Joachim Alexander, Norrie Macqueen, Thierry Tardy, and Paul D. Williams. The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Mac Ginty, Roger. International Peacebuilding and Local Resistance: Hybrid Forms of Peace. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Moore, Adam. Peacebuilding in Practice. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013.

Newby, Vanessa. Peacekeeping in South Lebanon: Credibility and local cooperation. NY: Syracuse University Press, 2018.

Paffenholz, Thania. Civil Society and Peacebuilding: A Critical Assessment. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2010.

Paris, Roland. At War’s End: Building Peace and Conflict. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Polman, Linda. We did nothing. Why the truth doesn’t always come out when the UN goes in. London: Penguin, 2013.

Pouligny, Beatrice. Peace Operations Seen from Below: UN Missions and Local People. London: Hurst, 2005.

Richmond, Oliver P. A Post Liberal Peace. London: Routledge, 2011.

Richmond, Oliver P. The Transformation of Peace. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Academic articles announced before the lectures.


Use Blackboard to register for every course. The program will register the students in Usis based on the group division.


Dr V. Newby


This course is an elective course designed for second year MIRD students.
This elective is conditional on at least 5 students registering for this course.