This course provides a theoretically informed assessment and critique of the debates on the relationship between democratization, violent conflict and state-building. It seeks to explain the relationship between state collapse/state-building, multinationality and multiethnicity, and violent conflict, and analyses why state-building projects, whether democratic or authoritarian, have succeeded, failed, or are failing. Case studies will be drawn from post-communist Europe and Eurasia, principally focusing on the period after 1991 in the Western Balkans, North and South Caucasus, and Central Asia, including Afghanistan. The current war between Russia and Ukraine is explored as part of this context and process. Themes considered include: state collapse of the USSR and Yugoslavia, theories and forms of state-building, democratization, nationalism and nation-state building, the problem of borders and self-determination, internal armed conflicts and civil wars; conceptualising 'failed state'; nationalist mobilisation and the 'nationalising' state; 'ethnic democracies'; authoritarian state-building; secession and national and ethnic conflict management; "coloured revolutions"; democracy promotion, international conditionality and intervention, in particular by the EU, U.S. and Russia; the politics and security challenges posed by 'frozen conflicts' and wars in the region. As an LSE Moodle course, most of the weekly essential readings are available online.