Political Science 43001 Sec. 04: Causes of War

Fall 2007 Syllabus

Political Science Department Junior Writing Seminar

DeBartolo 347, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:45

Professor Dan Lindley

Department of Political Science

Office: 448 Decio Hall; Phone: 574-631-3226; Email: dlindley "at" nd.edu

Website: http://www.nd.edu/~dlindley/

Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:15-2:45pm and Wednesdays 12:00-1:30pm, and by appointment


            What causes war? Why do groups of people systematically kill other groups of people? What do we need to know to prevent war if possible, and prepare for it when necessary? Is it possible to prevent war (or prepare for it) if it is often caused by accidents, miscalculation, and misperception?


             The first aim of this course is to diagnose the causes of war. This course proceeds on the assumption that diagnosis should precede prescription. Diagnosis consists of finding patterns of behavior. Patterns of behavior in political science are based on history and are called theories. Hence, to make prescriptions that may reduce the probability of war, we must study history and theories about the causes of war.


             A central theme in our diagnostic task is to try to figure out the extent to which wars are the purposeful, rational pursuit of policy, the result of miscalculation and misperception, or the result of seemingly inexorably forces over which there is little control. Most hypothesized causes of war fall into these three categories.


             The second aim of the course is to teach clear and effective writing, argumentation, and presentation skills. I have tried to make most of our efforts serve these goals from the World War I debate, to RAPs (Response/Analysis Papers) and their presentation, to selections of readings which differ in their arguments, styles, and methods. Which readings are most persuasive, which should you emulate, why?


             A final aim is to help teach students about political science methods. This is designated as a methodologically-focused course, so we will learn about hypotheses, variables, and how to test theories. This may sound dry, but is in fact quite useful in helping us with the first two aims.




There are four books to purchase and all other readings are available through online course reserve and some are on physical reserve.. The link to the online reserve is this:


https://www.library.nd.edu/reserves/ereserves/course.cgi?course=2007F_POLS_43001_04 NOTE: this is my first time with online reserve. There will surely be missing readings. If there are any problems, just send me an email, then don’t sweat it. I’ll just review the important points in class.


The books are available at the Hammes bookstore and they are:


Richard K. Betts, Conflict After the Cold War: Arguments on the Causes of War and Peace, 3 ed., (New York, NY: Pearson, 2008)


Geoffrey Blainey, The Causes of War (New York, N.Y.: The Free Press, 1973)


Stephen Van Evera, Causes of War: Power and the Roots of Conflict (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999)


Stephen Van Evera, Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997)


These will be referred to as Betts, Blainey, Van Evera or SVE/Methods throughout the rest of the syllabus.




             You will be graded on these tasks; there are no tests:


Participation (~30%)


2 Ungraded response/analysis papers (aka URAPs, 0+%)


3 Response/Analysis Papers (aka RAPs, due as indicated below, 15%)


1 Five page paper (15%)


1 Term Paper (15-20 pages, due last day of classes, ~40%)


Participation: includes talking about the readings, debating the causes of World War I, presentation of short papers (RAPs, URAPs, Op-ed), and talking about war-related current events. For the WWI debate, the class will be divided into 5 groups of 3 (Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain; exact numbers depend on enrollment). On the first day, 2 members of each team will talk for 6 minutes each on what caused the war with particular attention being devoted to exonerating one's own country. On the second day, the remaining team member will have 6 minutes for rebuttals, with some time available for counter-rebuttals, followed by general conversation. More details on the debate are below.


On the days short papers (RAPs and URAPs) are due, students should be prepared to present their papers. Students will be picked at random, although all students will present the same number of papers by the end of the semester (not counting volunteer presentations). 2 - 4 papers may be presented each week, and they will catalyze debate and discussion.


Excellent participation depends on doing all the readings. This may appear daunting on some days. Here is some advice: 1. Look at my how to read handout. It offers tips on how to 'confront' some of the readings without having to read every word. 2. Under no circumstances should you let your mind play games with you and trap you into believing that if you can't do all of the readings, then you should do none. Always do as much as possible. If you make a reasonable effort, your participation should be fine. 3. In the words of Richard Betts: "Outstanding performance may require work comparable to an elite job (the kind to which most Columbia students aspire [and ND (DL)]), meaning overtime. Students who cannot or do not wish to complete a demanding load of reading should not take this course." On his War, Peace, and Strategy syllabus via: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/polisci/ I would add that at most jobs worth doing, you will always have more to do than you think you can handle. Coping, improvising, prioritizing are key skills to learn.


Response/Analysis Papers and ungraded analysis papers (RAPS and URAPS): In 1-2 double spaced pages, you must critique a/some/all readings covering the items within that section of readings (see below; some sections of readings span up to 3 class meetings). Your critiques should be reasoned, analytical, and well-argued. 'I like/I don't like' opinion pieces do not taste great and are not filling. As this is a writing seminar, half the grade for each RAP will be based on writing clearly and persuasively. You will get grades ranging from 1 to 5 for A. writing and B. insight/argument/evidence/substance. While URAPs are ungraded, particularly thoughtful and well-written ones will receive a (+) and particularly slipshod efforts will receive a (-). Either may be factor in the final grades.


To look at an exemplar piece of criticism, read Betts' review of Van Evera in the readings. Certainly way longer than a RAP, but it shows the types of issues a critical piece can cover.


When RAPs and URAPs are due, please bring two copies to class. One to pass to me at the beginning of class, and one for you to keep if you are chosen to present your RAP/URAP that day (see participation above).


(this was a prior assignment, described here for archival purposes DL) Op-Ed: Write 600 words critiquing any war-related aspect of U.S. foreign policy. Write about something that fires you up: are you concerned that the US is sliding into war somewhere, or should be more engaged somewhere, should peacekeep or not peacekeep, etc. Get mad, get concerned, and fire away with an op-ed. Advice for how to write op-eds may be found here. http://www.tlawson.com/pro/HTMLobj-216/op_ed.pdf I have a few of my own on my website - some are better than others.... Please indicate your word count. If you are over 600, you must cut until you are at or below 600. No exceptions. If over, you lose. If there are any particularly good op-eds, we can discuss trying to place them (which you are free to try and do anyway).


Five page paper: This is an in-depth book or article review, focusing on a single book or article. After the summary introduction, you should devote 20-30% of the space to saying why the article is good, what you can learn from it, what it contributes to debates, etc.; 40-60% on devastating but polite and civil critiques; and 10+% on the quality of writing itself.


Term paper: The task for the term paper is to take a war (your choice w/approval), find the two leading explanations for why it started, and make an argument about which explanation is more persuasive. You may also refute both explanations and propose your own, but substantial space must be devoted to rejecting specific claims made by the contenders. The excellence bar will be higher if you choose to write on a war covered in our case study readings. More on this assignment will be handed out later in the semester.




             There is no curve. All excellent work will receive an A. All good and competent work will receive a B. Work with some significant flaws will receive a C. Work with very significant flaws will receive a D along with recommendations or requirements to speak with the Professor, any special counseling and advising services, etc. as appropriate. Incompetent, negligent, or non-existent work will receive an F. Fortunately, poor work will be caught early in this class. I expect everyone to work hard and do well. Work deserving of an A impresses graders and creates smiles; B quality work evokes little; C quality work creates disappointment, frowns, and concern; D quality work evokes anger and worry.


I want you to do excellent work. I will try hard to explain assignments clearly ahead of time and otherwise do everything I can to help you do your best. Read this syllabus, assignments, and advice handouts carefully! When the people grading you give you the playbook, read and follow the playbook!





             Do not cheat. Your work must be your own. In writing for political science courses, cheating is most likely to take the form of plagiarism. Plagiarism is when writers use other people's words or ideas and do not give them credit. Use footnotes or endnotes to give credit for direct quotes, paraphrased quotes, or borrowed ideas. I will explain how to use footnotes and endnotes in class, in section, and in handouts. If you don't know what footnotes or endnotes are...Ask! Do not copy other people's old papers. Do not copy or buy papers or sections of papers from the web or other sources. Do not quote or paraphrase without giving credit in footnotes or endnotes. Your ideas, your arguments, and the vast majority of your text must be your own. Everything which is not your own must be noted. Penalties for cheating range include redoing work, lowered grades, course failure, letters on your permanent record, and expulsion. As you may know, the University acquired an institutional license for Turnitin.com, the leading plagiarism detection service on the internet. If papers are suspected of having been plagiarized, I will use Turnitin.com as per the guidance provided by the University Honor Code Committee. For more information on cheating and its consequences, please consult the University Honor Code. Let me repeat: if you have any questions about how to use citations or about plagiarism, please ask!


Unprofessional Behavior

             Arriving late without good reason or making distracting noise in class (whispering, beepers, cell phones, etc.) is unprofessional and self-centered. Such behavior bothers others who have paid money to concentrate and learn something in class. If you use the words 'like' and 'you know' (or other language ticks) excessively and when they add no meaning to what you are saying, you should know that many people consider those ticks unprofessional, casual, and sloppy. Take this opportunity to think about what you are saying and to refrain from excess use of such language.


More for large classes: Please do not play computer games, surf the web, check email, or do anything other than take notes with your computers and other electronic devices. If you must do these rude and distracting activities, please sit in the back row so as not to disturb the more serious consumers. If you are observed using electronic devices for purposes other than taking notes, I will be made grumpy by the sign of disrespect, I will wonder why you bothered to show up for class, and you will have to worry for the rest of the semester about unspecified retribution (read Arthur Clarke's Childhood's End; that's a threat that brought down governments). Note that papers and tests are graded without regard to personal histories. Fairness first and above all.



Useful Web Sites


             The POLS 43001 Sec. 06 web site contains the syllabus, the assignments, handouts and overheads, and advice: http://www.nd.edu/~dlindley/govt491/govt491maincoursepage.html


Best overall set of links on military/history issues

http://www.sais-jhu.edu/cse/links.htm collected by Bill Arkin. Tell a friend before you go in, and don't forget that you have work to do, real world responsibilities... (or am I just projecting...)


News and Current Events

             To keep up with conflict-related current events, you can read the US' top two newspapers on the web:


 http://www.nytimes.com/ The New York Times.

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/ The Washington Post.


And you can try: http://www.cfc.dnd.ca/spotlight.en.html Links to current military/conflict news stories, put together and updated daily from the Canadian Forces College. Includes many British and Canadian newspapers to expand your mind.


News and Research

I have designed my main website http://www.nd.edu/~dlindley/ to make current events and international relations/security studies research fairly easy. Near the top of the page are links to various newspapers, journals, branches of government, international organizations, and various think tanks and non-governmental organizations. You may wish to bookmark the page for the duration of the course. I use it to click around and get my daily fix on news and views.


Great Bibliography on War

http://web.mit.edu/17.423/www/Archive98/Syllabus.html The syllabus for Stephen Van Evera's Causes of War course has a great bibliography covering war in general and various specific war.





Class Outline, FALL 2007


Class Number & Date



Class 1, 8/28



Class 2, 8/30



Class 3, 9/4

More methods


Class 4, 9/6

Violence, Force, and the Prevalence of War


Class 5, 9/11

Overview of the Causes of War


Class 6, 9/13

Power and System-level Theories of War and Peace


Class 7, 9/18

Power and System-level Theories of War and Peace


Class 8, 9/20

Power and System-level Theories of War and Peace


Class 9, 9/25

Rationality vs. Miscalculation and Misperception


Class 10, 9/27

Rationality vs. Miscalculation and Misperception


Class 11, 10/2

Domestic Political and Economic Causes of War


Class 12, 10/4

Domestic Political and Economic Causes of War


Class 13, 10/9

Domestic Political and Economic Causes of War


Class 14, 10/11

Causes of Internal Conflict (and other causes, NEC)


Class 15, 10/16

Causes of Internal Conflict (and other causes, NEC)


Class 16, 10/18

Causes of Internal Conflict (and other causes, NEC)

Five Page Paper

Class 17, 10/30

Interlude as we transition to cases; we'll talk about the major paper assignment, and watch a film or some film clips.


Class 18, 11/1

Seven Year's War in America


Class 19, 11/6

World War I


Class 20, 11/8

World War I


Class 21, 11/13

World War I


Class 22, 11/15

World War I (and talk about everyone's ideas for their research papers)


Class 23, 11/20

World War II in the Pacific


Class 24, 11/27

Surprise Attacks


Class 25, 11/29

Wars in the Former Yugoslavia: Serbia/Bosnia


Class 26, 12/4

Wars in the Former Yugoslavia: Serbia/Kosovo Footnote


Class 27, 12/6



Class 28, 12/11

Future of War

Final Paper Due



World War I Debate


             It is January 1919. The Armistice was signed late last year. You are part of a delegation representing Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, or Great Britain at the South Bend peace conference. This is your delegation's mission:


You will speak before the other nations for12 minutes. After the speeches and at the next class session, the delegations will have 6 minutes for rebuttals. See timing details under requirements. Speeches and rebuttals should cover the following three points:


1. Assign blame for the war. Who's fault was it? What else caused the war?


2. Explain and defend your own country's actions leading up to the war.


3. Make concrete suggestions about how to prevent future wars.


Astute leaders will note the potential conflicts and connections between these three points.


In covering the three points, you are required to talk about:


A. The international situation (as you see fit: balance of power, alliances, windows, deterrence, offense/defense, and so on).


B. The domestic situation of your country (as you see fit: of other countries, militarism, perceptions, nationalism, aims of the government, constraints on the government, domestic politics, and so on. Some topics such as nationalism, mobilization, etc. are both international and national).


C. The July Crisis - you must describe and interpret your country's role in and perspective on this event.


To do a good job, you will probably 'see fit' to add to the above. Almost every theory and proposition we have studied is relevant - you have to sort them by significance.


Don't get beaten on the facts!

Government 43001 Sec. 06: Causes of War

Response/Analysis Papers: what they are and how to present them, v1.2


Response/Analysis Papers: In 1-2 double spaced pages, you must critique a/some/all readings covering the items within that section of readings (some sections of readings span up to 3 class meetings). Your critiques must be in the form of a well-reasoned and well-proved argument. 'I like/I don't like' opinion pieces do not taste great and are not filling. As this is a writing seminar, half the total grade for each RAP will be based on writing clearly and persuasively. You will get two grades ranging from 1 to 5, one for writing and another for insight/argument/evidence/substance. See the how to write and argue handouts for more on this.


One way to think about how to criticize or come up with insights about a paper is to use my "How to Read" handout. You can use these points to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the reading(s) you are rapping about. Or you assess a contradiction found among the readings or within a single reading.

Some sample openings: 1. X persuasively undermines Y's core argument in 3 ways...

2. Combining X and Y yields a new theory 'Z', which seems to explain ABC, and also avoids weaknesses in each authors arguments....

3. X's argument is weak in 3 ways, and can not explain much in recent history. However, if amended....

4. X's argument is even more persuasive than he/she thinks: it applies not only to 19th century interstate war, but also to many post-Cold War ethnic conflicts...


To look at an exemplar piece of criticism, read Betts' review of Van Evera under the 9/21 readings. Certainly way longer than a RAP, but it shows the types of issues a critical piece can cover.


When RAPs are due, please bring two copies to class. One to pass to me at the beginning of class, and one for you to keep if you are chosen to present your RAP that day (see participation above). Use a checklist for the RAP you turn in to me.


Presentation of RAPs: Students will be chosen at random to present their RAPs. This will help catalyze discussion, and help us all learn how to make critiques and presentations.


I do not intend for the presentations to be formal, with slides, etc. I just want students to summarize their critiques clearly and efficiently. This should only require a few minutes of 'pre-thought' before each class. Say what your argument is, then make the argument. Make your case. I do not expect the presentation to exceed 5 minutes.


See my Oral Presentations handout for more advice (much of which is more relevant to longer, more formal presentations).


Goals for RAPs and their presentation: Learning to critique and present are crucial skills. Learning to do so in short time and space is a crucial skill. Students at the Kennedy School of Government spend much time learning to write short memos. You can not waste words. Writing and presenting are mutually-reinforcing skills. If you do not present clearly, chances are your argument was garbled to begin with.

Government 43001 Sec. 06: Causes of War

Term paper: 15-20 pages, due last day of classes



The task for the term paper is to take a war (your choice w/approval), find the two leading explanations for why it started, and make an argument about which explanation is more persuasive. You may also refute both explanations (or the single leading explanation) and propose your own, but substantial space must be devoted to rejecting specific claims made by the contenders. The excellence bar will be higher if you choose to write on a war covered in our case study readings.


This is a diagnostic paper, not a prescriptive paper. The diagnostic tools are the theories we covered in class.


You must specify what the theories predict about the war, and find evidence which bears on these predictions. Competing theories will generate competing predictions. Which predictions find the most support in the evidence? Determining which theory is most persuasive is dependent in large part on framing the theories, laying out their predictions, and weighing the evidence in light of these predictions.




Read the handouts on writing and research. They are on the web and in your reading packets. When the people grading you give you the playbook, it pays to read it and find out what they are looking for. You will be well served if you follow the writing advice from me and Professor Van Evera, especially the latter's explicit recipe for writing an efficient and engaging first paragraph, ordering sections of the paper, and making yourself clear throughout. See also my handout on how to write a theoretically informed paper. If you have any questions, ask. Follow the recipe and you will be well served.

Do not regurgitate the readings. Be creative and original. For example, do not use misperception of the O/D balance to assess the same cases Van Evera uses. On the other hand, you may find that Van Evera provides a good example of what it means to make a theoretical argument about events in IR.

You can combine theories. You can make up your own theory -- so long as a good portion of the paper is devoted to showing why the course's theories don't work well enough (don't forget that the point of the paper is to demonstrate mastery of the course materials and gain practice using theories and models. To do this, you must use them.).

A required checklist like the one in your packet will be handed out closer to the due date.

Part I: Introduction: What is War?


***Class 1, Introduction (18 pages)


           David W. Ziegler, War, Peace, and International Politics (New York, NY: Longman, 2000), pp. Chapter 2, plus page 105. (hmm, why did I assign this single page?)


           Please also review my handouts on reading, writing, and making arguments.


We begin with some background on WWI and WWII and an overview of some causes of war. We will be exposed to these wars and causes in more depth and from different perspectives later. We will talk about these readings today, as well as more generally about the purposes of the course, including how to write and argue clearly.


***Classes 2 and 3: Methods


           Some general points by me on the real world importance of social science methodology: See point two (2) here: http://www.nd.edu/~dlindley/handouts/arroganceofleftandright.html and the first six paragraphs here: http://www.nd.edu/~dlindley/handouts/models.html


           Chapter 1 of Van Evera, Methods: Hypotheses, Laws, and Theories


           My handout on how to read: http://www.nd.edu/~dlindley/handouts/howtoread.html (on my general handouts page: http://www.nd.edu/~dlindley/handouts/handoutlinks.html )


           My handout on how to make a theoretically informed argument: http://www.nd.edu/~dlindley/handouts/howtomakeanargument.html


For class 3:


           Chapter 2 of Van Evera, Methods: Case Studies




***Class 4, Violence, Force, and the Prevalence of War (~90 pages)

           Chapter 1, "Diplomacy of Violence," in Thomas C. Schelling, Arms and Influence (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1966)


           Robert J. Art, "The Four Functions of Force," in Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, eds. International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues, 3rd ed. (New York, NY: Harper Collins, 1992), pp.132-145.


Two discussions of the purposes of force. Schelling is blunt. That is the point.


           Statistics on war from:

*University of Michigan, Correlates of War Inter-State War Data, via: <<http://cow2.la.psu.edu/>>The *United States Civil War Center, Louisiana State University (http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/cwc/other/stats/warcost.htm)

* may wish to see this on the estimated 40 million war dead, 1945-2000: http://www.cissm.umd.edu/documents/LeitenbergDeathswarsconflicts.pdf

*Michael E. Brown, excerpts from "Introduction," and "The Causes and Regional Dimensions of Internal Conflict" in Michael E. Brown, ed. The International Dimensions of Internal Conflict (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996), pp. 4-7


           Dan Lindley and Ryan Schildkraut, "Is War Rational? The Extent and Some Sources of Miscalculation and Misperception as Causes of War," draft of an article. As mentioned, this course focuses on the issues covered in this paper. Is war rational? Or are decisions for war dominated by miscalculation and misperception? Here’s one answer. FYI: Ryan was an ND undergrad, class of 2004. A super-bright guy and a wonderful person to work with. This reading is on my website.


Some bird's eye views on the frequency of various types of war and their costs.



***Class 4, Images of War



Selections from various films which may include: Paths of Glory; All Quiet on the Western Front; Trinity And Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie; and Saving Private Ryan.


This is another way to think about what we are studying.


***Class 4, NO CLASS (Lindley at a conference talking at a panel on the Causes of War and at a panel on the influence of ideas on international politics)


We will reschedule to watch a film or three. One will be Dr. Strangelove at the Kroc, one will be Tora, Tora, Tora at my house, and I will try for a third at my house - we can vote on which one. Read ahead, class three has lots of dense readings.



Part 2: The Causes of War


             This part of the course is devoted to learning theories about the causes of war.


***Class 5, Overview of the Causes of War (87 pages)



           Jack Levy, "The Causes of War: A Review of Theories," in Philip E. Tetlock, Jo L. Husbands, Robert Jervis, Paul C. Stern, and Charles Tilly, eds., Behavior, Society, and Nuclear War, Vol. 1 (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 209-333 (lots of endnotes)


This is the best summary of its type. Read it well enough so that you know what is there for future reference. It is as much a reference for the rest of the class as it is a reading for today.


***Class 6, Class 7, and Class 8, Power and System-level Theories of War and Peace


For Class 6 (54 pages):

           Kenneth N. Waltz, "Origins of War in Neorealist Theory" in Betts, pp. 87-93 (6)

           Robert Gilpin, "Hegemonic War and International Change" in Betts, pp. 94-105 (11)

           Blainey, Chapters 1, and 8 (Peace and Abacus) (15+19)


For Class 7 (70 pages):

           Van Evera: skim first chapter, read Chapters 3 and 4 (First Move Advantages and Windows) (38+32)


For Class 8 (76 pages):



           Van Evera: Chapter 6 (Offense/Defense) (76)


           Skim Levy, "The Offense/Defensive Balance of Military Technology," in Betts, pp. 428-440.


As you read, think about which of the causes discussed are manipulable and which cast war as an intractable and inevitable feature of international politics. Also, compare Blainey's arguments, styles, and methods to Van Evera's. Who is most persuasive, who should you emulate, why?



***Class 9 and Class 10: Rationality vs. Miscalculation and Misperception


The readings for these two classes address head-on the issue of whether or not war is based on miscalculation and misperception.


For Class 9 (75 pages):

           Robert Jervis, "War and Misperception," The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Spring 1988), (26)


           Blainey, Chapters 9, 10, and 11 (Accidents, Aims and Arms, and Infamy) (49)


FOR Class 10 (60+/- pages):



           Jack S. Levy, "Misperception and the Causes of War, Theoretical Linkages and Analytical Problems" World Politics, Vol. 36, No. 1 (October 1983) Skim until p. 93: Conceptual and Methodological Problems (23-). Is it even possible to make analytical judgements about miscalculation and misperception?


           George H. Quester, "Crises and the Unexpected," The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Spring 1988) (18)


           Daniel S. Geller and J. David Singer, chapter 2, "Decision Models" in Nations at War: A Scientific Study of International Conflict (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998) (14)


           Richard K. Betts, "Must War Find a Way? A Review Essay," International Security, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Fall 1999) (33). Read fast, you may come back to it later. Focus on the themes and questions below. This review of Van Evera's book is the equivalent of combat in academe. Arguments are made and attacked. That's life in the big city. I assign this review in part to highlight the importance of argumentation and debate. Betts' review can be considered one long RAP. What are Betts' views on the rationality of war and how do they differ from Van Evera's? What are other areas of core disagreement? Is this a review about core beliefs or different interpretations? And if the latter, who is right and how do we know? What research remains to be done to determine who is right? Who has what faults in style, methodology, in research/facts?


***Class 11, Class12, and Class13: Domestic Political and Economic Causes of War


How do the causes described below fall into the war as rational policy or into the war as miscalculation and misperception categories?


For Class 11 (53 pages):

           Jack S. Levy, "Domestic Politics and War," The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Spring 1988) (22)


           V.I. Lenin, "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism," in Betts, pp. 281-287 (7)


           Alan S. Milward, "War as Policy," in Betts, pp. 2297-308 (11)


           Kenneth N. Waltz, "Structural Causes and Economic Effects," in Betts pp. 309-318 (9)


           Skim: Stephen Van Evera, "Why States Believe Foolish Ideas: Non-Self Evaluation by States and Societies," draft 3.5, January 10, 2002. ~35 pages (NEED TO SECURE)


For Class 12 (50 pages):

           Van Evera, Chapter 5 (Cumulativity) (12)


           Blainey, Chapters 2, 4, and 6 (Paradise, Waterbirds, and War Chests) (38)


For Class 13 (62 pages):



           Van Evera, Chapter 2 (False Optimism) (21)


           Blainey, Chapters 3 and 5 (Scapegoat, and Dreams and Delusions) (41)




***Class 14, Class 15, and Class16: Causes of Internal Conflict (and other causes, NEC)


As you do these readings, think about whether or not (and if so, how much) the causes of internal conflict are different from inter-state war. Are there real differences, or is it just the same old with new language? What do these differences, if any, suggest about the relative tractability of internal conflict?


For Class 14 (78 pages)


           Michael E. Brown, "The Causes of Internal Conflict: An Overview," in Michael E. Brown, et. al., eds., Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997) (23)


           Barry R. Posen, "The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict," in Michael E. Brown, Ed., Ethnic Conflict and International Security, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993) (22)


           Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, "Democratization and the Danger of War," in Michael E. Brown, et. al., eds., Theories of War and Peace, (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997) (33)


For Class 15 (60 pages):


           Richard K. Betts, "The Delusion of Impartial Intervention," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 73, No. 6 (November/December 1994), pp. 20-33 (13) For us, the important thing is not intervention itself, but what the argument says about the causes of ethnic conflict/war.


           Beverly Crawford, "The Causes of Cultural Conflict: An Institutional Approach," in Beverly Crawford and Ronnie D. Lipschutz, eds., The Myth of "Ethnic Conflict:" Politics, Economics, and "Cultural Violence," (Berkeley, CA: University of California, 1998) (41) Pay attention not just to the institutions argument, but also to the critique of most of the above arguments.


           "The Global Menace of Local Strife," Economist, May 22, 2003 (6). Focuses on economic causes of civil wars, but note how everything is linked to everything else. Reality is difficult.



For Class 16 (50 pages):



           Myron Weiner, "Security, Stability, Migration," in Betts, pp. 580-595 (15)


           Thomas F. Homer-Dixon, "Environmental Changes as Causes of Acute Conflict," in Betts, pp. 607-622 (15)


           John K. Cooley, “The War Over Water in Betts, pp. 596-606 (10)



***Class 17: Interlude


As we transition from break and onto case studies, we'll talk about the major paper assignment, and watch a film or some film clips.



***Class 18: Seven Year's War in America (45 pages)


In some ways, it seems like a great case of war by idiocy and accident. Was it?


           R.R. Palmer & Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World, 5th ed. (New York, NY: Alfred Knopf, 1978), pp. 261-268 (4). Focus on the War in America and the peace settlement. I always give a textbook summary to each case as an introduction. If you want or need more along these lines for this or other cases, try the Encyclopedia Britannica - in the library or on line. I find that if I can't grasp the big picture, I can't grasp the details presented in the more fine-grained analyses.


           Richard Smoke, chapter 8, "The Seven Years War" in War: Controlling Escalation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977), pp. 195-236 (41). Note that this is my book and the scribbles are mine. I find writing in library books reprehensibly selfish.


***Class 19, Class 20, Class 21, Class 22: World War I


For Class 19 (68+/-):


           R.R. Palmer & Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World, 5th ed. (New York, NY: Alfred Knopf, 1978), pp. 654-689 (read through 665; skim rest; 10+).


           James Joll, chapter 2, "The July Crisis, 1914," Origins of the First World War (New York, NY: Longman, 1984), pp. 9-34 (25)


           Paul Kennedy, "The First World War and the International Power System," in Steven E. Miller ed., Military Strategy and the Origins of the First World War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985) (33 read fast, concentrate on what the tables tell you). Some great background facts on power changes before the war.


For Class 20: World War I Debate: Opening arguments

No official readings, but if you and your team do not do some independent research, that bodes ill for you... I assume that as part of your efforts, you will read ahead and start doing the rest of the WWI readings (the 11/9 readings are 125 pages).


For Class 21: World War I Debate: Closing arguments and discussion

No official readings, but if you and your team do not do some independent research, that bodes ill for you... I assume that as part of your efforts, you will read ahead and start doing the rest of the WWI readings


For Class 22 (129 pages - long, but you've had essentially 3 sessions to complete it):


           Scott D. Sagan, "1914 Revisited" in Betts, pp. 398-410 (13) (NEED TO SECURE)


           Ralph K. White, Nobody Wanted War: Misperception in Vietnam and other Wars (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1968), pp. 3-26 (skim pp. 15-26 on WWII) (12)


           L. L. Farrar, The Limits of Choice: July 1914 Reconsidered, in Melvin Small and J. David Singer, International War: an Anthology (Chicago, IL: Dorsey Press, 1985), (22)


           Van Evera, Chapter 7 (O/D and WWI) (47)


           Jack S. Levy, "Preferences, Constraints, and Choices in July 1914" in Steven E. Miller, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, eds., Military Strategy and the Origins of the First World War, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991) (35)




***Class 23: World War II in the Pacific (64 pages)

(I hope to have the class over for pizza and a showing of "Tora, Tora, Tora" at some point near this class date)


           R.R. Palmer & Joel Colton, A History of the Modern World, 5th ed. (New York, NY: Alfred Knopf, 1978), p. 810. Amazing that this is all you usually get in college/high school. Read on!


           Scott D. Sagan, "The Origins of the Pacific War," The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Spring 1988), (29)


           Saburo Ienaga, The Pacific War: 1931-1945, (New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 1978), pp. 3-12; 13-32 (skim); 33-54 (skim); read 129-43 then skim to 152 (23+). Note the date; it isn't 12/7/41.


           Jonathan G. Utley, Going to War With Japan 1937-1941 (Knoxville, KY: University of Tennessee Press, 1985), pp. 151-156 (5)


           Waldo Heinrichs, The Threshold of War: Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Entry into World War II (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. 141-142, 177-79, 246-247 (note 68) (6). "Was the crucial American decision to cut off oil exports to Japan taken by a bureaucracy out of control? Utley and Heinrichs disagree. How can this mystery be unraveled?" Credit to Prof. Van Evera, MIT, for Utley vs Heinrichs and this quote from his CoW syllabus (see website above)



***Class 24: Surprise Attacks



             What causes miscalculation and misperception and is it avoidable? The literature on surprise attacks offers insights on these questions (and also ties back into Pearl Harbor).


           Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press 1962), pp. 382-401 (19).


           Richard K. Betts, "Surprise Despite Warning: Why Sudden Attacks Succeed," World Politics, Vo. 95, No. 4 (Winter 1980-1981) (21).


           Klaus Knorr, "Lessons for Statecraft," in Klaus Knorr and Patrick Morgan, eds., Strategic Military Surprise: Incentives and Opportunities (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1983) (18)



***Class 25: Wars in the Former Yugoslavia, Serbia/Bosnia (59 pages)


           Aleksa Djilas, "Fear Thy Neighbor: The Breakup of Yugoslavia," in Charles Kupchan, ed., Nationalism and Nationalities in the New Europe (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995) (22)


           V.P. Gagnon, Jr., "Ethnic Nationalism and International Conflict: The Case of Serbia," International Security Vol. 19, No. 3 (Winter 1994/95) (37)



NOTE: We may do a session or two on terrorism somewhere around here. (much easier now that Betts has a section on terrorism, too; but the literature on terrorism is changing fast, so there may be lots to add. We’ll take a poll, etc.)


***Class 26: Wars in the Former Yugoslavia, Serbia/Kosovo (50+ pages)


           Ivo Daalder and Michael E. O'Hanlon, Chapter 1, "Introduction," Winning Ugly: NATO's War to Save Kosovo (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2000) (21, focus on roots of the conflict, pp. 6-11) Background, plus a critique of U.S. policy



           Barry R. Posen, "The War for Kosovo: Serbia's Political Military Strategy," International Security, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Spring 2000) (45) Note what is deduction, speculation, and fact. Note how difficult assessment can be, even after the fact.


***Class 27: Rwanda (95+ pages; note: I am not too happy with how these readings serve our purposes - I will likely trim or tailor or substitute for these pages to cut down the readings a bit)


           J. Matthew Vaccaro, "The Politics of Genocide: Peacekeeping and Disaster Relief in Rwanda," in William J. Durch, ed., UN Peacekeeping, American Politics and the Uncivil Wars of the 1990s (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1996) pp. 367-373 (4) Background/overview


           Bruce D. Jones, "Civil War, the Peace Process, and Genocide in Rwanda," in Taisier M. Ali and Robert O. Matthews, Civil Wars in Africa, Roots and Resolution (Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1999 (28)


           Bruce D. Jones, "Military Intervention in Rwanda's 'Two Wars': Partisanship and Indifference," in Barbara F. Walter, ed., and Jack Snyder, Civil Wars, Insecurity, and Intervention (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1999) (30)


           Gerard Prunier, Chapter 7, "Genocide and Renewed War," The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1995. Read pp. 213-247; skim fast 248-280.



***Class 28, 12/9: The Future of War (26 read + 25+ skim)


           Van Evera, skim Chapter 8 (nuclear revolution), and read Conclusion (4+)


           John J. Mearsheimer, "Why We Will Soon Miss the Cold War," in Betts, pp. 18-33 (15, read)


           Francis Fukuyama, "The End of History," in Betts, pp. 6-17 (11, skim carefully)

Note: Read Fukuyama, Mueller, and Van Evera well enough so that you can debate them against Mearsheimer in your head.


           John Mueller, "The Obsolescence of Major War," in Betts, pp. 224-235 (14, skim carefully)


           Benjamin R. Barber, "Jihad vs. McWorld," in Betts, pp. 618-627 (9, read) OUSTED