Course Syllabus

2017 Special Problems (Post-Cold War Security Issues)(E)

[Lecture Course Basic Information]

Lecturer: Matthew Linley
Other Lecturers:
Course Type: Lecture
Semester: Spring
Year: 3-4
Course Periods: Thu 13:00~14:30
Credits: 2
Whether mandatory or not:
Classroom: 905 / GSL Bldg.


Outline of Lecture Course

This course introduces the subfield of International Relations (IR) known as Security Studies.  Through a series of lectures, discussions and readings we are going to cover the most important concepts in International Security. 

Course Objectives At the end of the course, participants are expected to have basic knowledge of Security Studies and have improved their ability to make informed and appropriate decisions about policies related to international security issues 
Textbooks No single text will be used. Readings will be assigned throughout the course. 
Course Materials/Supplementaries Course materials and supplementary readings will be provided throughout the course. 
Assessment Grading will be based on class participation, one short paper, and a longer research paper.  
Prerequisites No prerequisite is required though it is helpful if students have studied International Relations before.

Other Notes Students should complete readings before each class and come prepared to participate in discussions with classmates and the Instructor.


Lecture Theme Lecture Course Description Learning outside the class Related page
1 What is Security Studies? In this introductory lecture, we will examine the history of security studies, discuss what we mean by security, and think about means by which we can achieve security at the individual, state, and international levels.
2 The Roots of Violence Why are some times and places more violent than others? Is the world more peaceful today than in the past? Are the roots of violence in the individual or society? Are societies with large numbers of young, unemployed men more violent than those with more women? Taking into consideration the latest research, we will discuss these topics and more.  
3 International Relations Theory and Security Studies

We will review the two main theories of International Relations - Realism and Liberalism. We will discuss their usefulness in examining issues related to security. 


4 Interstate War We will discuss why countries go to war with one another sometimes but not others. 
5 Mitigating War: Alliances and International Organizations Can institutions prevent war? We will discuss theories of alliances and international organizations.  
6 Nuclear Arms and Nuclear Proliferation Is the possession of nuclear arms a good way to prevent war or does it make the world more dangerous?  We will consider balance of power theory and the nuclear proliferation regime.
7 Civil War Why do civil wars seem to occur more frequently in some parts of the world than others? What are the causes? We will review some of the vast literature on this topic and consider why civil wars occur.
8 Ethnic Conflict and Genocide Why do different ethnic and religious groups in some societies live peacefully with one another while in others they resort to violence in an attempt to wipe the other out? Using examples of ethnic conflict in the post-Cold War period we will consider the question of why genocides occur during specific times and places.
9 Humanitarian Intervention Despite knowledge of human rights violations in a particular country, why do so few states send in their military to prevent it from happening? The United States intervened in the former Yugoslavia and Somalia in the 1990s but has not intervened in the Syrian civil war. We will consider this question as well as the political question of whether or not it is rational for states to use military force to protect civilian populations.
10 Terrorism

Are terrorists crazy or are they rational? Looking at the phenomenon of terrorism from the perspective of asymmetrical warfare we will use an evidence-based approach to consider this question.


11 Democracy, Authoritarianism and Conflict Are democracies more peaceful than authoritarian states? Does regime-type matter? In this class we will examine the "democratic peace hypothesis".
12 Human Security and Poverty Despite the fact that diseases such as malaria kill far more people every year than terrorism or warfare, these are often not treated as security issues. We will examine the concept of human security and discuss whether it is useful in understanding society and making policy.
13 Transnational Organized Crime

Transnational organized crime is organized crime coordinated over national borders. It involves groups or networks working in more than one country to plan and conduct illegal business. Is this a subject that should be left to movies or does it pose a serious threat?

14 Population Movements/Energy Security In 2015, a refugee crisis threatened the foundations of the European Union. Governments spend huge amounts of money trying to keep people from entering their country. In the first part of our class, we will examine the threat that population movements pose to state security. In the second part of the class, we will look at energy security. Is it rational to rely on the Middle East and countries such as Russia and Venezuela for our petroleum supplies? We will consider this question.
15 Course Summary and Conclusion

In this final class, we will review the topics that we covered throughout the semester.



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