This course is designed to explore the literature on the causes of war and the conditions under which the international community establishes peace among the nations. There will be discussions and analysis of the literature, which explores major theoretical on war either peace, interactions between the major actors in the international system, causal paths that lead to either one of the above and the empirical support that the discipline offers to understanding the phenomenon. Main political, social, cultural, military, and economic aspects of war will during the course reveal the nature of war, characteristics of interstate war, civil war, terrorism and other forms of violence or conflict between the states, which mainly dominate the International Relations domain. Thus, the course requires students to be familiar with the basic tenets of international relations theory, since there will be a lot of analysis that put theory and practice together in the discussions of a variety of case studies.
The course will examine trends in warfare, the Clausewitzian and Contemporary Paradigms, Typologies of War, Military Doctrine, Crisis Escalation and much else that we shall discuss on different levels of analysis, i.e. individual, state, interstate and international system levels. Eventually students will learn how to make some comparisons that identify commonalities or differences between schools of thought in IR.
Upon completion of this course, students should have a critical and informed understanding and ability related to the following:
Comprehension and analysis of the important facts and theoretical constructs required to make sense of historical events and empirical studies in mainstream scholarship;
Ability to apply the acquired knowledge in order to learn about the past, understand the present, and forecast short- and long-term consequences of current actions and policies;
Acquisition of important background knowledge required for a better understanding of political science and international relations;
Ability to apply critical analysis to current events;
Continued development of excellent/good written and oral communication skills appropriate to advanced-level work;
Demonstrable analytical and critical-thinking skills necessary to make sense of the psychological and cultural dimensions of human nature and the structure of the international system; and
Develop Self-awareness, openness and sensitivity to a variety of matters in the field.
Students will be engaged in the following learning activities: monitoring news sources, preparing a research paper and its presentation, class discussions, case presentations, as well as readings in textbooks and articles assigned for the class.
In addition, I shall assign a few articles on the subject, which are available at the www.jstor.org.
Methods: The methods of evaluation rely on class presence and participation on a daily basis. The criteria are as follows:
The formative assessment depends on class presence, participation, case presentations, analysis of case studies, the midterm examination and the final research paper. The mid-term exam, consists on either written essays on the material covered in class and case studies examined thereof, or presentations of case studies that are chosen by the students upon the approval of the professor. Whichever method will take place is to be discussed with the students at the beginning of the semester. The exams will assess the student’s comprehension of the materials, concepts and theories of the course. It will serve as the basis for the summative assessment on the class, and shall be recorded as a letter grade.
The Beginnings of Modern Warfare –
Ziegler, David W. (2000). Read Chapters 1 & 2, pgs. 5-34.
Some Theories of War and Peace –
Brown, Michael E., et al. (1998).
Read Mearsheimer, John “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe after the Cold War”: pg. 3.
Glaser, Charles “Realists as Optimists: Cooperation as Self-Help”: pg. 94.
Owen, John “How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace”: pg. 137.
Brown, Michael E., et al. (1998).
Mansfield, E and Jack Snyder “Democratization and the Danger of War”: pg. 221.
Van Evera, Stephen “Hypothesis on Nationalism and War”: pg. 257.
11/24 Mid-Term Exam
12/8 National Holiday – Youth Day: No Classes
Feb. 2/ 2016 Final Paper Due