Civil conflicts—civil wars and terrorist campaigns—are among the major threats to peace in the current system. This course addresses explores why, and to what end, civil conflicts fought. It then focuses in on the question of when, why, and how international actors intervene in civil conflicts—especially to end them. Students will have the opportunity to better understand what we know about civil conflict termination and international intervention in that process. These questions also produce answers about the processes by which peace agreements are signed; why peace sometimes lasts and what can be done to make peace more durable; as well as the longer-term prospects for rebuilding after war. This course draws on different theoretical and empirical approaches to actively ask and answer these questions. It is designed to help you: (1) actively engage with the existing research to begin to understand the causes, strategies, and consequences of civil conflict and international intervention, (2) broaden your theoretical framework in international relations generally, (3) develop your critical thinking and writing on these topics through in-class exercises, assignments, and discussion in sections.
Recommended: Familiarity with social science methodology at the level of PS 3 is needed for this course.