20673 - POLITICS OF CONFLICT
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
A basic knowledge of International Relations and Conflict Studies could be helpful. Students that have no prior knowledge of such fields can read: Frieden A, Jeffrey A, Lake DA, and Schultz KA (2018). World Politics: Interests, Interactions, Institutions. New York: Norton (for a general and wide perspective on International Relations)
From large-scale wars to mass protests, and from coups d’état to ethnic violence, politics often turns violent. When does conflict occur? Diving into the contemporary political chaos, this course aims to study rigorously the factors that explain violent disruptions of the political order, and the institutional devices that allow political communities to contain, prevent, and mitigate conflict. The course is divided in two blocs. In the first part, the focus will be on the various types of organized violence – inter-state and intra-state (civil) wars, terrorism, coups, human rights violations – and their main causes. In the second part, it will be shed light on how domestic factors such as – leaders, bureaucracies and regime – and tans-national actors and dynamics – alliances, international organizations, trade, and sanctions – affect conflict. In this bloc, the role of climate change and gender will be also discussed. After these classes, the course entails a short monographic part about the relation between conflict and geopolitical dynamics. At the end, students are required to work in groups and provide a presentation (30min ca.) on one of the topics discussed in class. The ultimate goal of the course it to acquaint students with an empirical approach to the analysis of conflict and with solid theoretical tools to support such a rigorous investigation.
Introduction: When do politics turn violent?
discuss contemporary, crucial issues related to conflict
assess how different actors interplay in the politics of war and peace
find, interpret, and use relevant datasets for the study of conflict
explain when and why various forms of violence and wars are more likely
evaluate competing theories against alternative empirical strategies
Employ solid theoretical and empirical insights to analyse and explain political conflict and violence
Locate and critically assesses relevant datasets for policy evaluation
Interpret contemporary events in a rigorous way
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Group assignments
Guest lectures: classes thought by non-academic experts sharing their knowledge of a specific topic and personal experience in the field
Group assignment: groups’ presentations on a topic chosen by the students and not covered in the face-to-face classes
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
The written, divided in the partial and general exam will cover the 80% of the final grade. Students' presentations and other research projects will cover the 20%
The written exam will cover the 80% of the final grade. Students' essay will cover the remaining 20%.
Frieden A, Jeffrey A, Lake DA, and Schultz KA (2018). World Politics: Interests, Interactions, Institutions. New York: Norton (for a general and wide perspective on International Relations)
Readings (as in the syllabus)