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IRLS603 - Politics and War

Course Details

Course Code: IRLS603 Course ID: 3469 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course examines the relationship between military affairs and statecraft, ranging from how war is a logical consequence of political behavior. Case studies in the great powers' use of force and military issues clarify the connection between politics and the use of force, including war in its international context, attitudes toward war and its causes, the notion of "vital interests," WHY humans fight, and aspects of past areas of conflict that appear relevant to the future.





Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/29/19 - 10/04/19 10/07/19 - 12/01/19 Fall 2019 Session B 8 Week session
07/29/19 - 01/03/20 01/06/20 - 03/01/20 Winter 2020 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Analyze the themes inherent in theories of war.

CO-2: Examine the underlying causes of war within a political context.

CO-3: Apply theories of war to a contemporary case study in conflict.

CO-4: Evaluate the impact on society from prosecution of war.

CO-5: Critique political decision-making in the 21st century in response to the changing nature of war.

These course objectives harmonize with the Degree Program Objectives, which require graduates to:

  • Construct and criticize the theory and politics of conflict, war, diplomatic relations, and the evolving nature of the international system.
  • Provide students with a research-active teaching environment to provide grounding in the study of international relations including its political, social, and economic aspects.
  • Assess how state, non-state, and supra-national actors behave and interact through a dynamic appreciation of different levels of analysis.
  • Critique the theories of international relations, the heritage and development of the discipline, its major debates, its inherent nature as an interdisciplinary study, and a critical appreciation of the essentially contested nature of politics in general, and international relations in particular.
  • Evaluate the nature and distribution of power in the international systems, the problems of political order and the social economic, historical and cultural context within which international actors operate.
  • Assess the current challenges to international order, cooperation, identity, social formations, and global issues, and possible strategies to address them.
  • Evaluate the changing role of the state in the context of globalization and regional integration and the implications for international peace and security.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussion Forums – 30 percent

Discussion questions will be provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings and respond to the assigned topic(s). Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Midterm Assignment – 20 percent

This assignment is a take-home essay assignment of 2 questions, 2-3 pages each, to test knowledge and assimilation of the course objectives. The exclusive use of required texts and readings from this course is mandatory.

Specialized Project – 30 percent

This sequenced project is an Authentic Assessment to demonstrate your ability to synthesize discipline specific material. This is a task based exercise. 12-15 pages.

Final Assignment – 20 percent

This assignment is a take-home essay assignment of 2 questions, 2-3 pages each, to test knowledge and assimilation of the course objectives. The exclusive use of required texts and readings from this course is mandatory.

NameGrade %
Forum Participation 30.00 %
Week 1 Forum 3.75 %
Week 2 Forum 3.75 %
Week 3 Forum 3.75 %
Week 4 Forum 3.75 %
Week 5 Forum 3.75 %
Week 6 Forum 3.75 %
Week 7 Forum 3.75 %
Week 8 Forum 3.75 %
Mid-term Assignment 20.00 %
Mid-term Assignment 20.00 %
Final Assignment 20.00 %
Final Assignment 20.00 %
Authentic Assessment 30.00 %
Authentic Assessment Part 1 6.00 %
Authentic Assessment Part 2 6.00 %
Authentic Assessment Part 3 9.00 %
Authentic Assessment Part 4 9.00 %

Required Readings

  • External websites and other assigned readings are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.

  • Weekly Lesson Notes and videos or audio files are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
Book Title:There are no required books for this course.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.