Course Details

01:790:324 Causes of War

  • Academic Credits: 3
  • Focus area for the major: Foreign and International Politics
  • Sample Syllabus File
  • Syllabus Disclaimer: The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) on the first day of class.

Course Description:

This course offers a critical evaluation of the causes of international conflict. It begins by surveying some of the classic contributions to the study of war and peace by Thucydides, Aquinas, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Kant and Keohane and Nye. The course then examines the historical development of the modern system of states from its origins in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 until the end of the nineteenth century. The final section of the course looks at the origins of the major international conflicts of the twentieth and twenty-first century, considering the First World War, the Second World War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the crisis in trans-Atlantic relations that developed during the 2003 Iraq War. The emphasis throughout the course is on the relevance of the theoretical and empirical material for issues facing contemporary American foreign policy.