Civil Society in Conflict Resolution (POL4248.01)

Rotimi Suberu

Civil society is the arena of autonomous associational organization and activity. It has been credited with promoting various virtuous outcomes, including democratization, development, and social peace. This course critically surveys civil society’s roles in peacemaking and peace building. We will explore theoretical controversies regarding civil society’s forms, norms, promise and performance, while examining specific examples of conflict interventions by civic associational groups. These examples will draw from case studies and experiences from around the world, including Ashutosh Varshney’s scholarly work on Hindu-Muslim conflict and civic life in India, and the practical work of “The Imam and the Pastor” in Nigeria.


Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this course, you should be able to:
(1) appreciate the idea of civil society as a concept in contemporary social and political thought;
(2) critically evaluate contending theories on the relationship between civil society and conflict resolution;
(3) analyze civil society's roles in specific conflict situations or contexts;
(4) assess and articulate public policy options for actualizing or improving civil society's conflict-mitigating functions.


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Previous coursework in SCT or CAPA.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 2
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (1st seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , CAPA , Politics , Fully In-Person
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