CONTEMPORARY CIVIL WARS
KSGA 20201 / IIPS 30564 (Undergraduate, 2019), syllabus here
Most armed conflicts since the end of the Cold War are civil wars, and these are longer and more violent than other forms of conflict. This course explores the politics of contemporary civil war. It examines the logic of rebel strategy, key trends in the practice of violence, and cross-border dynamics including the political economy of armed trafficking and intervention. It takes a multi-scale approach to probe the roles of a variety of actors and institutions in global politics, including armed groups and civilians at the sub-national level, the nation-state and counterinsurgency approaches, international organizations and peacekeeping missions, and emerging transnational actors like advocacy networks and humanitarian organizations. It examines how the interaction among these actors reshapes the strategies, resources, and duration of contemporary wars. Students will compare the voices and experiences of civilians and rebels in warzones with the decision-making processes for intervention and conflict mitigation at the global level. Consequences for domestic governance structures and the development of global policy will be examined, and students will build skills in conflict analysis to assess gaps between diverse narratives of civil war.
MGA 06125 (Master’s seminar, 2019, 2020), syllabus here
This course examines the dynamics of contemporary armed conflict. It examines the logic of rebel strategy, key trends in the practice of violence, and the political economy of armed trafficking and intervention. It takes a multi-scale approach to probe the roles of a variety of actors and institutions in global politics, including armed groups and civilians, sovereign states, international organizations, and transnational actors like advocacy networks and humanitarian organizations. It examines how the interaction among these actors reshapes the strategies, resources, and duration of contemporary wars. The course is geared toward students who will take on policy and practioner roles in their careers and will examine the problems that these actors commonly confront, like data quality, decision-making, and intervention attempts into complex environments.
PEACE RESEARCH METHODS
IIPS 80200 (PhD seminar, 2019, 2020), syllabus here
This course will focus on methods in peace research and will expose the students to the interdisciplinary dimension of the field. The course will build on the knowledge and preparation gained in previous Peace Studies required courses. It aims to engage the students with theoretical and methodological issues of their partner fields as well as ethical implications in conducting peace and conflict research. Faculty members from the partner disciplines will come in as guest lecturers throughout the semester.
IDENTITY, POWER, AND POLITICS
This course introduces the major theories, debates, and issues in the study of identity and politics, focusing on how relationships of power are constructed and contested between dominant and non-dominant groups. It takes a comparative political and regional perspective to link current-day issues and power imbalances to historical and political processes, understand how national, ethnic, and racial identities are shaped by state power, and how identity categories are created and reproduced. A first part of the course examines the formation of identity in colonial contexts, including how state, ethnic, and citizenship status are linked to contemporary issues of development and human rights. The second part examines how US national identity and creation of race is linked with current-day political and economic systems and inequalities. The third examines the role of ethnicity, religion, and gender in contexts of armed violence and connects these processes to global and domestic security. Coursework will place these issues in proximity to students’ lives and develop practices of truth-telling, affect and critical reflection on one’s place in global and domestic political systems.