POST 138 PZ -Social Order, War & Violence
Description: The purpose of this course is to examine the problems of conflict and violence in ‘international’ and ‘domestic’ politics. We will attempt to take a fresh look at the concepts and assumptions that underlie the dominant theoretical approaches to ‘international’ and ‘civil’ war and peace. Are we asking the right questions? Do we have an adequate conceptual framework? Do we understand the nature and extent of the problem of violence and conflict in international politics? We will ask and derive preliminary answers to these and other questions in a broad comparative historical framework.
This seminar is an attempt to look at war and the societies that fight them on a grand, even epic scale. Almost every book on the syllabus is what I consider to be a masterpiece of historical scholarship. Most are syntheses that reflect the state of the art; they are the culmination of generations of scholarship and I believe that all students of war and violence should at the very least be aware of the existence of the profound scholarship being done outside of political science. They address big questions in elegant and often moving ways. The primary concern of the participants should be with the theoretical implications of the arguments and not with the details per se. The details, I believe, are essential in order to sustain any generalization worth making but are not an end in and of themselves. The reading is very heavy but I firmly believe that engaging these literatures will be profoundly important to the intellectual development of the participants.
For up-to-date information on current course offerings and details, please refer to the Pitzer class schedule on MyCampus2 Portal.
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