This course examines the dynamics of interstate conflict—its inception, development, and termination—from a variety of perspectives: the international system and the society of states; the domestic arena and public opinion; and the beliefs and perceptions of decision-makers. We will apply theories from International Relations, sociology, psychology, communications, and linguistics to explore three broad issues: how conflicts start and under what conditions they escalate to war; why some conflicts remain short-lived whereas others become enduring, war-ridden affairs; and how conflicts terminate. Among the topics to be studied are the causes of crisis and war; diplomacy (old, new, and public); negotiation and mediation; crisis management and prevention; security regimes; arms control; humanitarian intervention; peace-making, etc. Most of the empirical cases will be taken from the Middle East, but we will also look at other regions in different historical periods. This seminar is the centerpiece of the Honors Program in Peace & Conflict Studies and only students in this program can participate.
This course is open to students in the Honors Program in Peace & Conflict.