The goal of this course is to explore the conditions that lead to the initiation, escalation, and termination of international conflict as well as the factors that encourage peace between states. The course does not focus on historical description of particular wars but rather provides a broad theoretical treatment of the causes of war and peace. We will first familiarize ourselves with the principles of the scientific study of international conflict. Then we will spend the semester examining various factors that scholars have identified as potentially leading to conflict, such as the distribution of power, arms races, alliances, territory, rivalry, trade interdependence, and domestic politics.
Subfield: International Relations
Students who took PS 191 "Junior Seminar: Scientific Study of International Conflict" with Professor Mattes cannot take this course due to the substantial similarity in course content.