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Bilkent University

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Undergraduate and Graduate Programs 2020-2021


IR 359 Civil Societies in Peace and Conflict

The course explores the role of civil society as an actor in the international arena and examines the significance of its involvement in conflict transformation. The theoretical part of the course will introduce students to ‘Civil Society' as a concept in political theory, and will help them understand the competing approaches to it. The major IR theories will be reviewed in order to distill the role and agency they attribute to both local and international civil society as actors in the international relations. The empirical part of the course will provide a mapping of the different type of civil society institutions that can potentially be part of a conflict transformation process, from the local civil society groups to international NGOs. The course will then focus on case studies of successful, on-going or failed conflict transformation in the Balkans, the Middle East and the Caucasus. The role of civil society as both a peace-broker but also a source of tension will be explored. Credit units: 3 ECTS Credit units: 5.

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