Syllabus 2017.doc - PS 124A War T TH 11-12:30 Hearst Annex A1 Instructor Ron Hassner email [email protected] Instructor Office 720 Barrows Office

Syllabus 2017.doc - PS 124A War T TH 11-12:30 Hearst Annex...

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PS 124A: War! T, TH: 11-12:30, Hearst Annex A1 Instructor: Ron Hassner email: [email protected]ey.edu Instructor Office: 720 Barrows Office Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2-3:30, by appointment (To make an office hours appointment, please visit ) War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Is this necessarily true? Wars are brutal and horrific events, but are they all necessarily the result of miscalculation, accident or fanaticism? Can war serve a rational purpose? Are wars governed by rules and do states care about these rules? Are some periods in history, particular parts of the world or certain types of states, more war prone than others? What are tribal, ethnic, religious or national groups actually fighting over? Can their conflicts be prevented, moderated or halted? What can we do about terrorism and insurgencies? Have nuclear weapons changed the face of modern war? How do nuclear weapons work anyway? This course seeks to answer these and other questions surrounding the phenomenon of war. We begin with a three-week survey of the history of war in the Western Hemisphere to examine the relationship between societies, the manner in which they fought and the weapons they used. We will then seek answers to the riddle of war from a variety of disciplines: What can soldiers, philosophers, economists, psychologists and sociologists teach us about war? The core of the course seeks to introduce students to theories of war from within International Relations theory. We will utilize in-class exercises, movies and discussion sections to get at some of the most challenging questions surrounding war. Finally, we will examine several pressing issues relating to modern warfare: the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, civil wars, genocide, religiously motivated violence and terrorism. Students interested in enrolling should be prepared for a demanding class that will require proactive involvement, mandatory attendance at weekly sections, three exams and several written assignments. The class is also reading intensive: we will be reading three books cover to cover as well as significant selections from a textbook and a course reader. This course is designed for upper-level undergraduate students. PS5 is a prerequisite for this class. Students who have not taken PS5 will not be admitted to PS124, without exception, since PS124 assumes familiarity with IR theory. Please also note that the use of laptops and other electronic devices is not permitted in this class. 1
Requirements and grading: I. Preparing for class and section : 10%. Due to time restrictions and implicit Berkeley policy, we will not be participating in war during this course. Therefore, our main source of information, aside from lectures, is the written word. Four required texts for this course are available at the book store. They are: 1. Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels (New York, NY: Ballantine Books, 2003).

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