This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the theoretical and empirical study of violent political conflict within countries. The coure offeres a comparative approach to the study of civil war, communal conflict, terrorism and other irregular forms of political violence. The central questions examined will include: Why and how is violence employed as a political strategy? What are the mechanisms influencing patterns and levels of violence? How is violence organized and who participates? What is the impact of violence on politically relevant outcomes? How should violence be conceptualized and measured? The course readings will draw on a variety of approaches in political science, economics, history, and sociology.