Summer School: South Sudan - Lessons for Peace & Conflict Studies?

This year’s Summer School unpacks the dynamics of peace and conflict in the world’s youngest state of South Sudan.

Course topic

How can peace and conflict studies contribute to understanding the conflict dynamics in South Sudan, and how can insights from South Sudan advance academic research? swisspeace’s 5-day summer school provides an overview of current academic and policy debates on conflict resolution, peacebuilding and state building and critically reflects on their relevance for the South Sudan context. Following an introduction to peace and conflict theories and the architecture of international peacebuilding, participants will analyze the South Sudan context and reflect on scenarios for future developments.
What are the main developments in South Sudan since independence in 2011? Who are the key actors and what are the main drivers of conflict today? How does the ongoing armed conflict relate to previous civil wars and what are lessons learned from peace and state building engagement taking place prior to independence? What role has the recent IGAD-led mediation process played? How can the root causes of the conflict be addressed and what is the role of external actors in this process? Participants will focus on specific topics relevant to the South Sudan context including state formation, local governance, peace mediation, civil society, and responsibility to protect.

Country focus of previous summer schools: Syria 2015, Myanmar 2016

Program overview 2017
Program overview 2016
Program overview 2015

Target audience

The summer school is designed for practitioners with an academic background, PhD-students and recent graduates.

A university degree (minimum BA) or an equivalent educational background is required, professional experience is an asset.

The course will be held with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25 participants.


Experienced practitioners and scholars working on South Sudan will facilitate this course.

Course coordinator:
Franziska Sigrist, swisspeace


Prof. Jok Madut Jok, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Juba and Sudd Institute, Juba, South Sudan
Prof. Dan Large, School of Public Policy, Central European University
David Lanz, swisspeace
Martina Santschi, swisspeace

Faculty list 2017
Faculty list 2016
Faculty list 2015

Structure & methodology

The course consists of online assignments and a 5-day on-site training. Course methodologies include expert inputs, peer exchange, case studies, exercises, skills training and self-study. Experienced practitioners and scholars working on South Sudan will facilitate this course.


This 5-day course can be taken as one module of the Certificate, Diploma and Master of Advanced Studies in Civilian Peacebuilding programs offered by swisspeace and the University of Basel.
Successful participants are awarded a Confirmation of Participation.

Any questions about this course?

Please take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If you cannot find the information you are looking for, our staff will happily answer your questions (contact us).