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50.711 War and Peace Security and Stability
Term 1 2013
Some aspects of the topic of war and peace seem depressingly constant. Clashes of interest and security dilemmas caused problems for ancient civilisations just as they do today, and we are still a long way from a peaceful world. But today’s conflicts are not just replicas of yesterdays, and our increasingly globalised era opens up new prospects both for cooperation and conflict. An ever-denser network of global communication, for example, can be a factor in promoting either. A daunting array of transnational problems, from terrorism to escalating environmental degradation, can drive nations to new levels of cooperation or become powerful new potential causes of strife. As global norms and values shift, the resulting landscape offers grounds for both hope and fear.
In this paper, we will use history and International Relations theory to work out frameworks to approach these debates, but we will also try to keep continually in mind that war and peace are not just abstract issues. They profoundly affect humanity and our planet, and demand active, engaged responses from each of us. Throughout, our class time will emphasize interactive and applied learning. A core element is the opportunity to specialize in an area of your choice, and use the different perspectives offered by the paper to shed new light on your topic.
* Is war inevitable?
* What is peace?
* What has changed over time and what remains constant in the causes of war and the prospects for peace?
* Is growing interdependence more likely to be a force for peace or a cause of conflict?
* Is democratization the answer to world conflict?
* How can we promote peace?
Class times: 3,30- 5.20, Tuesday and Friday
Tutor: Graham Cowle
Office number 354-0922 ext 742
Email: [email protected]
By the end of this paper, students will be able to: