College Of Arts And Sciences | Coping With War
E104 | 0148 | McGinnis

	Conflicts in remote areas of the world erupt onto the public agenda
without advance warning and fade just as quickly, only to resurface in
another guise a few years down the road. If you rely on political leaders or
the news media to inform you about international crises, then you are
condemning yourself to a life of confusion. Thanks to the World Wide Web, an
incredible amount of information on international conflicts
is available to anyone with access to a computer. However, it is often
difficult to interpret information from widely varying sources, each with
their own biases and distortions. This course is designed to help you learn
how to use this information to understand wars and crises, wherever and
whenever they may occur.
	The class will be divided into working groups, each of which will
examine a different conflict. (Selection of cases will be made during class,
since we can't tell ahead of time which crises will be underway when the
semester begins.) Each group will repare reports on the issues at stake, why
the parties consider these issues to be important, and what the U.S. or the
international community can do to encourage the parties to resolve their
differences peacefully. Individual students will specialize in understanding
the positions adopted by one or more participants, including UN agencies and
humanitarian aid organizations. Each working group will present a case for
U.S. intervention in their conflict to members of another class.
	There will be two exams, a textbook, and a few other readings, but
for the most part students will be uncovering material on their own. You
will learn how to gather and evaluate information from news media, reference
sources, and, especially, via the Internet. You will develop an ability to
understand conflicts from the point of view of participants, while still
being able to step back and suggest proposals for conflict
resolution. In short, you will learn how the world copes with war.