Federalism and Peacebuilding (POL4103.01)

Rotimi Suberu

As a constitutional structure for combining self-rule and shared rule, federalism often crops up in negotiations designed to rebuild or reconcile societies torn or threatened by civil wars in contexts as diverse as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Ukraine in Europe, Myanmar and the Philippines in Asia, Iraq and Syria in the Middle East, and South Sudan and Somalia in Africa. But are federal arrangements and related territorial autonomy mechanisms prudent and sustainable paths to peace in ethno-politically troubled countries? This course explores the lively scholarly and policy debates surrounding this question. Topics include: theoretical perspectives on federalism, institutional options for designing federalism, conditions associated with federal successes and failures, potential alternatives to federalism in deeply divided societies, and illustrative country case studies.


Learning Outcomes:
Students will learn to:
1. Evaluate diverse theoretical perspectives on federalism as a method of self-rule and shared rule;
2. Distinguish between federalisms and related institutional designs including confederacy, decentralized unitary states, and associated statehood;
3. Identify various institutional designs of federalism;
4. Assess the relevance of the federal solution in diverse contexts.




Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Previous work in SCT and/or CAPA. Preference will be given to students who email on a first come first serve basis. Email rsuberu@bennington.edu for more information.
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: 4000 , Advancement of Public Action , All courses , First Seven Week , Fully In-Person , Politics , Two Credit
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