Civil War and Peace


Civil wars have become the most prevalent form of violent conflict in contemporary times. What conditions are sufficiently dire, or inspiring, to make someone take up arms and risk their life as part of a rebel group? Throughout the semester we will discuss, analyze, and critique a variety of arguments about the onset, duration, and termination of intrastate wars. This class will provide you with extensive exposure to the quantitative study of civil wars around the world, as well as the bargaining model of war. The course will push students to not only assess the arguments being made, but also require them to understand and evaluate the methods through which theories are tested. By the end of the course, students will be able to understand the scientific method of theory building, be familiar with various forms of empirical analysis, and be able to both understand and challenge existing theories of war and peace. While this course is focused on large-N cross-national quantitative studies of civil wars, we will frequently use current and historical examples to supplement our analysis of theories of conflict.
Course Attributes: EN S; BU BA; BU IS; AS SSC; FA SSC; AR SSC