Political Science | International Relations: International and Domestic Sources of Civil Wars
Y669 | 11638 | Rasler
This seminar focuses on the dynamics of civil wars – those that
reside within states and those that cross state boundaries. The
theories and empirical evidence that we will address in this seminar
reside at the intersection of International Relations and
Comparative Politics. One theme that we will return to frequently
is the increased leverage we gain from merging Comparative and IR
research traditions. The course will offer a broad survey of this
literature, most of which appears in the last decade. Some of the
more prominent questions that we will address are the following.
1. What are the transnational dimensions of civil war? When do
civil conflicts in one country cross borders and affect another
country’s internal conflict? How does geography influence the
diffusion of civil war? Can we explain good and bad neighborhoods,
zones of peace and zones of war?
2. What factors influence the duration, outcome and termination
of civil wars?
3. How do inequalities, ethnicity, nationalism, natural
resources and state failures account for civil war onset and
4. What are the theoretical microfoundations of rebellion? How
do rebels organize and recruit? Do these factors explain why
indiscriminant violence occurs in civil war contexts?
What factors influence the duration, outcome and termination of
civil wars? Why do some civil wars last so much longer than others?
What are the critical barriers to civil war settlements? Why are
some peace settlements more successful than others?