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A Global History of War


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


War is an endemic phenomenon in politics and has been throughout history. This course will provide a global history of war—how it has been waged and how it has been influenced by external factors—during the Columbian epoch, the era in which the disparate regions of the world become increasingly connected by sea. Although intra-regional wars will be discussed when they were historically significant, the focus of the course will be on inter-regional wars, or wars between and among various regions. This course will provide a sweeping global history of war from the 15th century, when inter-regional maritime links first began to be formed, to the present day. Throughout the course students will learn about and discuss the politics of war, technologies and other major developments which have affected the conduct of war, and the historical practice of strategy itself both across the centuries as well as in innumerable unique historical circumstances.

Sir Michael Howard encourages students of war to study it in depth, in breadth, and in context. In this course, we will try exactly that.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand, independently research, analyze, and reflect critically upon strategic history

    • In depth
    • In breadth
    • In context
    • Within any region
    • Between or among any regions
  • Collaborate to complete group projects (an orally-presented group presentation)

  • Write effectively about the history of war (HCR and final essay)


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

The course has four forms of assessment.

  1. In-class participation (10%)
  2. In-class presentation (20%)
  3. Historical Contextual Review (20%)
  4. Final essay (50%)

A resit is offered for those who fail the final essay on the basis of details negotiated with the lecturer.

Reading list



Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable.