PSCI 225 Spring 2013 International Security

This class is about the means, methods, and motives for violence in international politics.
We will study the causes of war; the effectiveness of forces on the battlefield; and the implications of both for contemporary problems in American foreign policy. In so doing, we will analyze some of the major theories of international relations, review the historical events that gave birth to the modern world, and gain a basic understanding of the nuts and bolts of military forces.
The course has very little international economics in it and even less about international organizations. It focuses on states and therefore mostly ignores non-state and transnational actors, neither terrorists nor Doctors without Borders make an appearance. Sunshine, roses, and happy thoughts are not present in great abundance. This is the seedier side of international politics: the behavior of Great Powers, yesterday and today. Why take such a course?
The impulse to drawback from the brutality of war is humane, and in the present era of relative peace and prosperity, natural. But the subject matter could not be more important, despite its dark nature. Discovering the causes of past wars, the present peace, and the dynamics of state behavior throughout history will provide vital clues to navigating the problems of today and tomorrow. After a similar period of peace during the nineteenth century, people could and did write that the problem of war was behind us. Things worked out rather differently. It will pay massive dividends to get our predictions right for the coming century, and this class will help you think about how to make them.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: papers, participation, and an exam
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: juniors and sophomores
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: INST Borders, Exiles + Diaspora Studies Electives,LEAD American Foreign Policy Leadership,PSCI International Relations Courses
Enrollment Limit: none
Expected Enrollment: 30
Class Number: 3651
PSCI225-01(S) LEC International Security Division 2: Social Studies Brendan R. Green
TF 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Griffin 6 3651
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