(POL241A – Autumn, POL241B – Spring)
Credits: 30 credits
Semester: 3 and 4
Contact: Prof Jef Huysmans
Prerequisite: POL100 & POL106
Associate Availability: Full Year, Spring and Autumn
The module examines the study of war and security in world politics, examining the modern roots of the study of these phenomenon to the development of the field today. The first part of the module examines war and security in the broad context of international relations. The theoretical roots of studying security and war are introduced, examining key thinkers and perspectives on the politics of organized violence. We then examine a variety of perspectives on the causes of war, from those originating in the character of international relations, to the politics of particular states, to ideas about the changing nature of technology. In Part II, the module offers an advanced understanding of the place of war in world politics and society. We will ask what war is and then investigate its relation to the fields of ethics, law, society and gender. We will look at the question of combat motivation (why solders fight) and specific forms of warfare such as genocide, insurgency and guerrilla warfare, and counter-insurgency. We will conclude by addressing anti-war activism and related forms of civil disobedience and strategic non-violence as alternatives to war.
Assessment: 1 x Fact Sheet assignment (20%), 1 x Review assignment (20%), Exam (60%)