ASTK18101U CANCELLED - Ethnic Conflict, Peace Building and Democratization

Volume 2018/2019

Bachelor student: 10 ECTS

Master student: 7.5 ECTS


This course deals with democratization processes, ethnic conflicts, and peace-building processes in multi-cultural societies. Democratizing countries are much more diverse than established democracies. This has important implications for the democratization process. We focus on some of these implications and look, for example, at the destabilizing effects of democratization on political relations, which might lead to ethnic conflict; at the role of international actors in democratization and peace-building processes; at ethnic relations in autocracies; at power-sharing and power-dividing approaches as institutional remedies for divided societies; and at political inclusion in multi-cultural societies. In the course of the seminar, we focus on a selected number of important cases.

Learning Outcome


  • Get insights into a research field at the intersection of domestic institutions (comparative politics), conflict studies and international relations (peace-building).



  • Write an analytical paper in the field.



  • Learn and discuss multiple perspectives on ethnic politics.


The readings are primarily based on journal articles and book chapters. This list offers an insight into the perspectives on ethnic conflict and political peacebuilding, which will be discussed throughout the course.


  • Roeder, P. G. (2007). Where nation-states come from: Institutional change in the age of nationalism. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press
  • Snyder, J. (2000). From Voting to Violence. Democratization and Nationalist Con­flict. New York, London: W.W Norton & Company.
  • Cederman, Lars-Erik, Nils B. Weidmann, and Kristian S. Gleditsch. 2011. "Horizontal Inequalities and Ethnonationalist Civil War: A Global Comparison." American Political Science Review 105 (3):478-95.
  • Collier, P., & Hoeffler, A. (2004). Greed and grievance in civil war. Oxford Economic Papers, 56(4), 563–595.
  • Fortna, V. P. (2008). Peacekeeping and democratization. In A. K. Jarstad & T. D. Sisk (Eds.), From War to Democracy (pp. 39-79). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Grofman, B. and Stockwell, R., 2003. Institutional design in plural societies: mitigating ethnic conflict and fostering stable democracy. In: R. Mudambi, P. Navarra and G. Sobbrio, eds., Economic Welfare, International Business and Global Institutional Change. Cheltenham, Northampton: Edward Elgar, pp.102–137.
  • Jackson Preece, J. (2011). Diversity And Co-Existence In International Society: The Bolzano/Bozen Recommendations In Historical Perspective. In F. Palermo & N. Sabanadze (Eds.), National Minorities in Inter-State Relations (pp. 29-44). Leiden: Brill.
  • Lijphart, A. (1969). Consociational democracy. World Politics, 21(2), 207–225.
  • Rabushka, Alvin R., and Kenneth A. Shepsle. 1972. Politics in Plural Societies. A Theory of Democratic Instability. Columbus (OH): Charles E. Merrill.
  • Snyder, J., & Vinjamuri, L. (2003). Trials and Errors. Principle and Pragmatism in Strategies of International Justice. International Security, 28(3), 5-44.



Mandatory readings: approximately 1000 pages

Class discussion, academic writing exercises, group work, and a writing workshop
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Free assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner