2018-2019 Catalog

DWA 344 Junior Seminar: Nation-Building

A course in the politics and economics of nation-building and the responsibility of the international community towards failing states. What are the lessons to be learned from past attempts to reconstruct war-damaged or failed states - e.g. the defeated axis powers Japan and Germany, war-torn Bosnia, or post-war Iraq? Can the United Nations provide the needed expertise or is it up to the U.S. to do the job? Is nation-building a necessary part of a Freedom Agenda (as President Bush termed it) or a U.S. strategy of democratic enlargement (President Clinton's term)? If so, how can it be done effectively without acting in a neo-colonial manner? On a related topic, when is so-called Humanitarian Intervention appropriate and who decides to do it - the U.N., the U.S., the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or other powers? Are new U.S. government agencies or new international organizations needed for these tasks if they are to be undertaken? Students will examine these critical and difficult questions through readings such as: Samantha Power's A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, James Traub's The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did), Ghani and Lockhart's Fixing Failed States, and the RAND Corporation's studies: America's Role in Nation-Building from Germany to Iraq and The Beginner's Guide to Nation-Building. In addition to understanding and analyzing the key issues, students will also work in teams to devise new U.S. and international policy approaches to nation-building. Open only to DWA and Politics majors with junior or senior standing.


4 units


DWA 101 or equivalent