States, State Capacity and State Fragility


In module 3.1, we will be covering the concepts of “ethnicity” and “nationalism” and asking how these two concepts impact political and economic outcomes

In module 3.2 we will focus on institutional solutions to conflict in divided societies. First, we’ll expand upon our discussion in the last lecture about how ethnicity and exclusion give rise to civil conflict. Then, we will talk about constitutional design and how the right set of political institutions might help to alleviate conflict. We will introduce two contrasting theories of constitutional design for divided societies–consociationalism and centripetalism. You will complete a Most Similar Systems Design to analyze these concepts in regards to analyzing if political institutions can be used to manage ethnic diversity.

In both modules, you will be reading relevant articles and textbook chapters, as well as watching lectures and supporting videos that relay important information about the concepts listed above. You will then take a quiz to ensure you have understood what you read. These quizzes will help prepare you for the final exam.


By the end of unit, you should be able to:

  • Define the concept of “ethnicity”. (Course objectives 1 & 3)
  • Define the concept of “nationalism”. (Course objectives 1 & 3)
  • Identify the root causes of ethnic conflict in developing countries. (Course objectives 1, 3, & 4)
  • Discuss potential policy solutions to reduce tensions between ethnic groups. (Course objectives 1, 3, 4, & 6)
  • Explain the link between ethnic diversity and public goods provisioning. (Course objectives 1, 3, & 4)

Lecture Slides

Module 3.1 Slides

Module 3.2 Slides