PSC/IR 278 War and Political Violence

Political Science Field: Associated Courses
International Relations Track: Global Security (A)
This course is archived. It will not be offered again.


Fall 2009 ("W" Required) — MWF 11:00-11:50

Course Syllabus

This class addresses several key questions about war and political violence: What is war? How does it relate to other forms of political violence? How do states decide how to fight a war? Why do wars end when they do? How should we think about the nature of war? We will delve into these issues by addressing the theoretical and empirical literature on how wars are fought and how they are ended. Then we will address non-traditional forms of political violence like guerilla warfare and insurgency, civil wars, terrorism, and rioting. The domestic politics of war-fighting, particularly those involving public opinion and civil-military relations will also be examined, as will some of the challenges of conflict resolution. Readings will include both classics of military theory by the likes of Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, and Mao, and work on ethnic conflict, rioting, genocide, and the nature of war and war termination by modern political scientists.