Political Science | War & International Conflict
Y375 | 4589 | Johns


This course surveys the leading theories on the causes of war. We
will examine the emergent “new” wars of the post-Cold War era, with
an eye towards the changing nature of war, the applicability of
causal theories, and the prospects for peace in the 21st Century.
Keeping with our focus on ethnic conflict, armed humanitarian
intervention, and terrorism, we will examine several case studies
including, but not limited to: Somalia, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and the
current conflict in Afghanistan. The purpose here is to use theory to
inform our understanding of these cases. War however is not an
abstract concept to be studied with traditional intellectual
objectivity and detachment. War is real, terrible, and ugly. Thus,
utilizing film and other multimedia tools, this course will also
investigate the realities and experience of war in the modern era.
Course requirements will include regular attendance, participation,
several short essays, and a group presentation. Additional
assignments will depend on the size of the class.