War and Peace

New Thinking About the Causes of War and War Avoidance


Syllabus Image

Fall 2017 Syllabus

Suggested Paper Topics

Readings Volume
Turner: Korea & Vietnam presentation

Dates & Topics

August 30, September 6, September 13, & September 20

I. Theories of War and War Prevention

A. Introduction and Overview: Theories of War and War Prevention

1. Some Classics about War

2. Competing Perspectives about the Nature of War on the Eve of the War to End All Wars

3. Theories of War and War Prevention

September 27

II. Internal Checks on War: Democracy as a Strong Correlative of Peace—The “Second Image”

A. The Democratic Peace: Examining Non-War Between Democracies and Some Possible Counter-Examples

B. Are Democracies Less War-Like?: The Record of Democracies versus Non-Democracies

C. An Examination of Possible Underlying Reasons for the Democratic Peace

1. Concentration of Power

2. Expectations of Peacefulness

3. Normative Beliefs and Institutional Structures

4. Domestic Political Culture

5. Domestic Structure and Decisional Constraints

6. Structural and Behavioral Attributes

7. Liberalism

8. Government Failure

D. Prevailing in War: The Record of Democracies versus Non-Democracies

Guest Speaker: Prof. John Owen, UVA Dept of Politics

October 4

III. External Checks on War: Deterrence—The “Third Image”

A. Deterrence and How it Operates: A Continuing Debate

B. The Effects of a Double Deterrence Absence: Simultaneous Absence of Adequate Deterrence in both the Political and Military Domains

C. Democracies and Deterrence: The State of Knowledge About Comparative Effectiveness of Democracies and Non-Democracies in Deterring

Guest Speaker: Prof. Bruce Russett, Yale University

***Fall Break - Oct. 9-11, 2017 – No Classes***

October 18

D. New Thinking About Deterrence: Modalities for Deterring Regime Elites

1. War Crimes Indictments or Trials

2. Targeting of Command and Control During Hostilities

3. Governmental Replacement as a War Aim

4. Governmental De-Recognition or Loss of U.N. Membership

5. Travel, Financial, and Other Personalized Sanctions

6. Civil Remedies

7. Other

October 25

IV. Individual Psychology and Perspectives—The “First Image”

A. Personality Type

B. Belief Systems: Political, Religious, Cultural, Historical

C. Life Experience

D. “Wired” Cognitive Bias Including Prospect Theory

E. Mao: a Case Study

Guest Speaker: Mr. Michael Mott, Esq.

November 1

V. Democracy as a Correlative of Other Major Foreign Policy Goals

A. Human Rights and Avoidance of Genocide and Democide

B. The Debate About Implementing Human Rights (Human Rights Alone or Human Rights and Democracy Building?)

C. The Debate about Democracy and Economic Development

D. Totalitarianism and Environmental Destruction

E. Totalitarianism and Famine

F. The "Arab Spring" and the Spread of Democracy

November 8

VI. Implementing Incentive Theory in Democratic Foreign Policy

A. The Debate about the Conditions and Modalities for Democracy Building

B. Democracy Building and Deterrence in U.S. Foreign Policy

Guest Speaker: Mr. Davis Brown, Esq.

November 15

VII. Selected Case Studies: Similarities & Dissimilarities

A. World War I

1. Overview

2. The Eastern Front

3. The Western Front

B. World War II

1. The European Theater

2. The Asian/Pacific Theater

C. The Korean War

D. The Indo-China War and Its Aftermath

E. The Gulf War, the Iraq War and the War on Terror

***Thanksgiving Holiday, No Classes: Nov. 22-24, 2017***

November 29

Presentations of Student Research

December 6

Presentations of Student Research