Stathis Kalyvas, The Ontology of Political Violence: Action and Identity in Civil
poor quality of information in civil wars
claims about identity and action may be self-serving and information may be
manipulated by various actors
two main motivato
Jeffrey Hughes: The Origins of World War II in Europe: British Deterrence Failure an
British increasingly dependent on its empire
o Ability to defend itself being challenged by Japan, Italy, and Germany
o Gamble: geopolitical trend
The Nature of Security Studies
Prof Scott Fitzsimmons
The Golden Age
-Henry Kissinger Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy:
-Limited nuclear wars can be fought between nuclear-armed vehicles AND be
Why cant Russia boost their economy?
Russians invested a lot in science and technology
But this doesnt lead to higher GDP
Institutional explanation: the big problem is the government. Weak property
rights deter investments.
How do wars start?
Disagreements over what will happen (how much itll cost, how itll end etc.).
How long do they go on?
Until both sides realize and agree on who actually will win. Then whoever
was wrong at the start does what?
Just resettle and accept
Expected utility (on written sheet)
Real puzzle of war
War is costly but happens anyway
What is puzzling is that given costs of war, it often benefits both parties to
bargain a compromise before fighting but wars happen anyway.
We find they often dont
War is organized conflict between groups of individuals.
Type of group dictates what kind of war it is.
- Example interstate and intrastate.
- Interstate: participants must be sovereign states.
Threshold: 1000 casualties (battle
Definition: organized violence between groups of individuals (threshold:
>1000 battle deaths).
War is a specific type of violence
Different from criminality, riots, class conflict.
Idea of security is recent one.
What aspects of war are we interested
Midterm Notes POLI 360A
War and Misperception by Robert Jervis
Use of term misperception broadly, to include inaccurate inferences, miscalculations of
consequences, and misjudgements about how others will react to ones policies.
Misperception often plays
POLI 360 Lecture Notes
September 5, 2013
TAs: -Mendee Jargalsaikhan
-Email TAs for questions
-Office hours Friday 10am-noon
Initial definition of war: Organized violence between groups of individuals
-Organized: not random violence
POLI 360 Readings
Jervis, War and Misperception (675-700)
-Conceptual and methodological problems
-How misperceptions might lead to WWIII
-Misperception = inaccurate inferences, miscalculations of consequence, misjudgments of
how some respond to
The Failed States Index
What were you expecting?
The Humpty Dumpty principle
- Somalie in top spot for 6 years in a row
- When countries fall significantly, they can do so rapidly and catastrophically and
it takes significant resources to reconstruct them
POLI 360: SECURITY STUDIES
What is this class about?
- one thing: war
o definition: organized violence between groups of individuals
(threshold >1,000 battle deaths).
There are relatively stable groups that we can clearly identify
Regional Power Nuclear Postures
- the ability to assemble a single nuclear weapon is the critical threshold in a states
ability to deter conflict
o however the mere acquisition of the nuclear devices neither constitutes an
operational nuclear arsena
The Logic of War: Finland and the USSR: 1939-44
- Prior to WWI, Finland was one of the many ethnic regions that fell under the rule
of the Russian Tsars
- After war between Germany and Russia in 1914, Finns saw a German victory
Germany late 1917
Germans wanted Belgium
British said no: no bargaining possible.
Germans expanded war on western front in 1918.
Offensive failed: Germany only stopped when probability of victory was near
Point of this is: most of the time when