Scope of the course
The Great Lakes Course covers the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi, providing a deep historical and social context to the current political and humanitarian dynamics in the region. In the DRC, the Course will look into the debates around the electoral process and the ongoing violence in the Kivus. For Burundi, the ongoing political crisis and its impact on domestic and regional stability will be examined, while for Rwanda, the course will focus on the role of Rwanda in the region, justice and reconciliation, and political dynamics ahead of the 2017 elections. The course is in English and French with simultaneous translation.
Highlights of the syllabus
DAY 1 A history of land, violence and statebuilding in the region.
DAY 2 The DRC: Violence in the Kivus; the Congo Wars; armed groups in the east; mining and corruption.
DAY 3 Burundi: Post-independence Burundi; the CNDD-FDD since 1993; external engagement in the ongoing crisis.
DAY 4 Rwanda: The genocide; memory and justice, development and governance under the RPF.
DAY 5 Elections and term limits: Burundi 2015, Uganda 2016, DRC 2016, Rwanda 2017.
DAY 6 International interventions: Security, governance and peacekeeping in the region.
Core teaching staff
Jason Stearns Co-Director of Studies
Director, Congo Research Group, New York University
Yolande Bouka PhD Co-Director of Studies
Researcher, Institute for Security Studies
Independent Political Analyst, Bujumbura
Aidan Russell PhD
Assistant Professor, International History, Graduate Institute, Geneva
Emmanuel de Merode PhD
Director, Virunga National Park
Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka
PhD candidate, Université Catholic Leuven, Belgium
Senior Researcher, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala
Director, Centre IRIBA, Kigali
Jean Omasombo Tshonda
Researcher, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren