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Conflict and Cooperation in International Politics

Vak 2018-2019


The primary goal of this seminar is to develop the capacity to evaluate existing theories on contemporary armed conflict (inter and intrastate wars). The course will be divided into two parts: covering the topic of conflict and that of cooperation. Within the part of conflict, we will cover several broad topics dealing with the definitional problems of conflict, how the grand theories look at conflict and war, the onset and consequences of conflict. In the cooperation part of the course, we will tackle questions like: how do the general international theories approach the topic of cooperation? How do they cooperate on issues like human rights? Are UN peacekeeping mission effective? What is the difference between peacebuilding and peacekeeping? What is the role of domestic and international institutions in promoting cooperation among states? All these questions will be addressed and discussed using theories and applications presented in the articles.

Course objectives

Objective 1: Students gain knowledge about the general approaches to conflict and cooperation.
Objective 2: Students can apply their knowledge to critically evaluate existing studies and theories.

Mode of instruction

Seminar format with active discussions of the readings, complemented with short introduction by the lecturer

Course Load

The total course load of 10 EC is approximately 280 hour and is spent on attending classes (around 30 hours), the required readings (120 hours), the presentation (50 hours), and the final paper (80 hours).

Assessment method

One longer paper
One review
One presentation

Reading list

• Fearon, James. D. 1995. “Rationalist Explanations for War.” International Organization 49(3): 379-414.
• Kenneth N. Waltz, “The Origins of War in Neorealist Theory,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 18(4): 39-52.
• Hultman, Lisa, Jacob Kathman, and Megan Shannon. 2014. "Beyond Keeping Peace: United Nations Effectiveness in the Midst of Fighting." American Political Science Review 108(4): 737-753.
• Abbott, Kenneth W. and Duncan Snidal. 1998. “Why States Act through Formal International Organizations.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 42: 3-32.
A list with additional journal articles (syllabus) will be available before the start of the course on Blackboard


See Preliminay Info