syllabus - COLLEGE PARK SCHOLARS INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 118N...

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I NTRODUCTION C OLLOQUIA F ALL 2009 JMZ 0220 D R . J AMES M. G LASS 1149 Tydings, 405-4119 [email protected] Teaching Assistants JAVIERA ALARCON 1104 Centreville, 5-9304 [email protected] CARMEN DEANNA 1104 Centreville, 5-9304 [email protected] ASHLEY GORHAM 1104 Centreville, 5-9304 [email protected] DARRAGH MCNALLY 1104 Centreville, 5-9304 [email protected] O FFICE H OURS D R . G LASS J AVIERA C ARMEN A SHLEY D ARRAGH Monday --- --- --- --- --- Tuesday --- --- --- --- --- Wednesday --- --- --- --- --- Thursday --- --- --- --- --- Friday --- --- --- --- --- If these times are not t convenient for you, we will gladly m make an appointment INTRODUCTION College Park Scholars (CPS) 118N will be an introduction to major issues in international studies. International Studies encompasses an enormous range of political, social and cultural issues. What we will be doing here is focusing on those concerns that demand attention in the contemporary world; and there is nothing more vital in modern political life, than the facts, theories, and realities of terrorism, war, and morality. Nevertheless, terror and terrorism are not simple topics; they demand attention as problems in understanding the world, in historical perspective, in human suffering and living conditions; terrorist demands and claims often involve thinking about religion, religious doctrine and theology, and the role of religions consciousness in inducing terrorist actions. State sponsored terrorism must be considered as well. September 11, 2001 showed the world that people are willing to engage in mass murder and the killing of innocents in the service of religions beliefs and commitments. It is also the case that war induces terror. The war in Vietnam, or the war in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, created situations of terror for combatants and innocents alike. To live or be in terror is not C OLLEGE P ARK S CHOLARS I NTERNATIONAL S TUDIES 118N -1-
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novel to the 21st century; terror has been a part of human exchange in the form of war for centuries. We can read ancient texts like Thucydides chronicles of the Peloponnesian war in ancient Greece and see situations of terror, used both by the Athenians and the Spartans, the chief combatants in that long and deadly conflict. But, terror also involves moral questions and issues; what is right and wrong; is there such a position as ‘right’ or wrong’ when thinking about war and morality. Can we think about ‘good violence’ as opposed to ‘bad violence’? What distinguishes legitimate violence from genocidal violence? Is morality only to be understood in terms of the strongest; who ‘wins’ the war is the most ‘moral’ of the combatants; and is morality only to be judged in terms of outcomes? Alternatively, are there transcendent moral positions that we can appeal to; that have nothing to do with utility or with ends, but which stand independent, as a kind of natural law, of the actions of human beings? If the victor determines what is moral,
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syllabus - COLLEGE PARK SCHOLARS INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 118N...

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