Semester Offering: January

The main objective of the course is to focus on nature and causes of human conflicts. It aims at searching possible solutions to the problems arising out of the conflicts: both short and long-term with particular emphasis on the roles of the development workers and policy makers.


Human conflicts, Interventions, War on terror, Political emergencies, International humanitarian system and assistance, Future of humanitarian actions.




I.        Human Conflicts and Interventions 
          1. Conflicts: A historical perspective 
          2. Conflicts today: Their nature and characteristics (ethnic, religious, political, etc.)
          3. Humanitarian interventions: Politics and legality 

II.     The war on Terror
        1. The World of Fear: Its nature and consequences
        2. The political background and geopolitical issues
        3. The response to the threat 
4. Preventing terrorism: Challenges and opportunities
5. Managing post-terrorist attack situation: lessons from case studies.

III.   Complex Political Emergencies
        1. Definition and nature
        2. Response to CPEs: The UN, states, NGOs and aid agencies
IV.  International Humanitarian System and Assistance
        1. The growth of Humanitarian evaluation
        2. Case studies: Somalia, Rwanda, Kosovo, South-east Asia after tsunami, etc.
        3. Lessons from the case studies

V.     Future of Humanitarian Action
       1. Building capacity: State, NGOs and media
       2. Preventing emergencies: Local to national efforts




  1. Holzgrefe, J. L. and Keohane, R. O. (2003). Humanitarian Intervention - Ethical, Legal and political Dilemmas. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Wood, A. Apthorpe, R. and Borton, J. (2001). Evaluating International Humanitarian Action - Reflections from Practitioners. London: Zed Books.


  1. Bjorgo, T. (2005). Root Causes of Terrorism - Myths, Reality and Ways Forward. London: Routledge.
  2. Osmany, M. R. and Afroze, S (edt.). (2006). Religious Militancy and Security in South Asia. Dhaka: APPL.


  1. World Development
  2. Development and Change
  3. Third World Quarterly
  4. Development in Practice
  5. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism


The final grade will be computed according to the following weight distribution:

  • Mid-sem exam 30%,
  • Assignments and presentation 30%
  • and Final examination 40%.

Both examinations will be open-book.