04. – 13. Oktober 2021

Peacebuilding & Institutional Reform

Virtual course, 6 half-days

Explore approaches to institutional reform in (post-)conflict contexts and conditions under which they can contribute to sustainable peace.

Can institutional reform contribute to sustainable peace in countries emerging from violent conflict?

Institutional reforms that (re-)define the “rules of the game,” including constitutional reviews, decentralization reforms or changes of the electoral system, are common to most peace processes. Often with a rationale of “all good things go together,” the international community mobilizes bundles of reforms in an effort to strengthen legitimate state institutions and good governance in conflict-affected contexts. However, experiences show that these processes face many hurdles and do not necessarily produce satisfactory outcomes.

This course explores the interconnectedness of the different reform processes as well as the opportunities and risks they may pose in highly politicized and contested contexts. Going beyond a purely technical understanding, the course views institutional reform as a deeply political intervention aimed at transforming the socio-economic and political setup of a country. From conceptual trends to policy and practice, the course tackles questions surrounding legitimacy, timeframes and sequencing, inclusivity and representation, amongst others.