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PEAC504 Development and Peacebuilding

An introduction to the theoretical, ethical and political underpinnings of the development-peacebuilding-security nexus, and the challenges of post-colonial, post-conflict reconstruction, development and reconciliation.

Development and Peacebuilding is an interdisciplinary paper aimed at analysing and understanding the root causes of violence and the optimal social, economic and political conditions for the prevention of violence and/or its nonviolent management and transformation. It is a paper with a very practical focus and will be of value to practitioners as well as theorists. It is a paper that aid, development and other agencies will recognise, and it should equip students for careers in the development and peacebuilding sectors.

Paper title Development and Peacebuilding
Paper code PEAC504
Subject Peace and Conflict Studies
EFTS 0.2500
Points 30 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,929.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,500.00

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PEAC 404
Limited to
Development and Peacebuilding is suitable for graduates and professionals of all disciplines interested in working in the Global South on aid, development and peacebuilding projects. It will also provide a solid theoretical grounding to the field for students who are more interested in theory and research.
Teaching staff
Professor Kevin P Clements
Paper Structure
This paper is based on 3-hour weekly seminars, which will introduce students to development and peacebuilding in theory and in practice. The seminars will utilise a variety of teaching methods: lectures, films, debates, simulations, discussions and case studies.

Topics will include:
  • Week 1: What is development? What is peace? How do they connect? What is development and peacebuilding?
  • Week 2: The fata impact - Imperialism and Colonialism, the development of underdevelopment
  • Week 3: The ethical underpinnings of the development, peacebuilding and security nexus. Moving from doing no harm to doing some good
  • Week 4: The roles of state, market and civil society in development and peacebuilding
  • Week 5: What is the liberal peace? Questioning state building as peacebuilding
  • Week 6: Capacity, effectiveness and legitimacy: the quest for grounded legitimacy and political hybridity
  • Week 7: The roles of bilateral, regional and multilateral agencies in development and peacebuilding
  • Week 8: Closing the early warning-early response gap and the transition from humanitarian assistance to long-term structural development
  • Week 9: Peace, conflict and development impact assessment - introduction to methodology
  • Week 10: Case study analysis: Burundi, Liberia, Solomon Islands
  • Week 11: Building non-oppressive, respectful partnerships
  • Week 12: Sustainable development - sustainable peace - human rights
  • Week 13: Evaluation of course, lessons learned
Teaching Arrangements
A three-hour seminar once per week
A good general text to this field is:

Danielle Beswick and Paul Jackson, 2011 Conflict Security and Development London, Routledge Publishers.

A range of other readings will be set and made available prior to each class.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will have knowledge of and insight into
  • The contested understandings of development and peace and the confusion that exists between state building and peacebuilding
  • The short-, medium- and long-term socio-cultural consequences of colonial/neo-colonial rule
  • The different roles of the state, market and civil society in development and peacebuilding
  • The contemporary debate on "The Liberal Peace" and its alternatives
  • Top-down and bottom-up globalisation - analysing negative globalisation in order to promote its positive alternative
  • A deep understanding of the sources of poverty and the achievements of poverty reduction strategies
  • The quest for "Grounded Legitmacy" and "Political Hybridity"
  • The theoretical, ethical and political underpinnings of the development-peacebuilding-security nexus
  • The roles of regional and multilateral organisations in development and peacebuilding
  • "Conflict-Sensitive Development Strategies"
  • Peace, conflict and development impact assessment methodologies
  • Evaluating development and peace processes: "Peace Writ Small" and "Peace Writ Large"

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41