People, States and Transnational Networks

Course Objective:

Conflict and war have existed have existed throughout human history.  We will look at the different dynamics and different forms of conflict.  We will also look at the ways by which states try to limit or prevent war either unilaterally or multilaterally, i.e. through deterrence, collective security, peacekeeping, peace enforcement and peace-building. We will assess whether these measures have been effective and their (intended and unintended) consequences.

We will examine conflicts from multiple perspectives – theoretical, practical, national and cultural.  The objective is not only to help students better understand the complexities of international conflict but also to foster critical thinking skills and open-mindedness.   While the United States is the major player in international security, it is by no means the only one or the most important one.  It is certainly not the only one affected by problems in international security.  Thus we will try to transcend national perspectives in this course.

By the end of the quarter, students will be able to: (a) discuss a broad range of theoretical and political perspectives on conflict; (b) discuss different manifestations of conflict and their proposed solutions; (c) demonstrate some knowledge of the concerns of countries other than the United States; (d) improve their oral communication; and (e) understand basic research methods and writing an academic paper.

Course Topics:

  1. Foundations for Analyzing Conflict
  2. Sources of Conflict
  3. War, Unconventional War and Terrorism
  4. The Consequences of Conflict
  5. Conflict Management and Resolution