Nation-Building – Summer 2013

au logoGovt 396:  Politics of Nation-Building
Summer 2013


UPDATE:  This course is now closed.  Its assignments, quizzes, etc. have been hidden for possible future use in other courses.  Thanks!




What is nation-building? 

– An omnipotent general helps a vanquished military empire rebuild into a powerful, peaceful democracy

– One diplomat’s “shuttle diplomacy” across snowy, mined mountain roads to end the Balkans wars

– Another on the ground in Afghanistan in the first weeks and months after 9/11

– And a guy with cab fare from Jordan becomes an amateur governor to deal with tribes, sheikhs, and Green Zone bureaucracy – one local crisis at a time

All of these tell the story of nation-building – the post-conflict reconstruction of an entire society by an outside force.  Any of them would make a great movie.

We’ll read these (in whole or in part), and we’ll hear from the authors themselves.  We’ll also put these personal accounts into the larger context of the nation-building literature.

This course meets asynchronously online.  Assignments and discussions will take place primarily on facebook and on this web site.  You read, write and engage on your own schedule from anywhere in the world that has reliable Internet.

dobbinsafterhtetaliban dowerembracingdefeat stewartprinceofthemarshes holbrooketoendawar

This course meets American University’s Green Teaching Certification.
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