In recent years, civil wars have been five times more frequent, and more than five times deadlier, than international wars. How can we understand violence in civil wars? Why do nearly half of the countries that emerge from war lapse back into violence after five years? Why do most international interventions fail to bring peace to affected populations? This seminar focuses on recent conflict and post-conflict situations as background against which to understand the distinct dynamics of violence and peace settlements in civil wars.