War, Peace and World Orders POLITIC4140

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

The overarching aim of this course is to provide students with the conceptual and theoretical tools for understanding the nexus between, on the one hand, to the prevailing patterns of relations between polities ("world orders") and resulting patterns of war or peaceful co-existence. This course looks closely at the role of such different patterns, from anarchy and balance of power "systems" to great power oligarchies to proposals for federative structures and universal monarchy.

Timetable

Depending on numbers signed up : if more than 20 :

1x 1hr Lecture p/week

1x 1hr seminar p/week for each seminar group

 

If fewer than 20 : one 2-hour seminar per week.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt 

Excluded Courses

None

Co-requisites

None

Assessment

Assessment

One essay, approximately 2000 words (40%), excluding footnote references and bibliography.

One 2-hour exam with two questions (60%).

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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Course Aims

The overarching aim of this course is to provide students with the conceptual and theoretical tools for understanding how "rules" or customs of inter-polity behaviour further wars or peaceful co-existence, and in turn, how these patterns of inter-polity behaviour hang together with beliefs about the world. The different patterns that have emerged in Europe, the West, and later the world as a whole, range from anarchy and balance of power "systems" to great power oligarchies to proposals for federative structures and universal monarchy. These patterns will be explored both empirically (how did polities interact?) and theoretically (what did key authors from Thucydides, St Augustine, Pierre Dubois, George Podiebrad, Bodin, Sully, William Penn, the Abbe de St Pierre, Guibert, Rousseau, Bentham, Kant, Gentz, to Woodrow Wilson, and key texts such as the Utrecht Treaties of 1713, the Charters of the League of Nations and the UN say about how they should interact).

 

Typical questions that we will examine in this class include: Where does the ideal of "sovereignty" come from and is it conducive to the peaceful settlement of disputes? Is a system promoting a "balance of power" much different from anarchy? Whence the fear of "universal monarchy"? How do different cultures and mind-sets explain the resort to force in a conflict, or attempts to resolve the conflict in other ways? What are legitimate aims of war? What are the origins of the great-power oligarchy or Pentarchy which is dominating the UN Security Council? What do the many proposals for a European Council or Union since the 14th century have in common, and has the EU fulfilled these expectations?

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the major inter-polity systems which Europe and the post-1492 World have known since Antiquity.

2. Apply relevant concepts and theories to analyse the interaction between polities in war and peace.

3. Interpret and engage with key texts on the subject from Thucydides to the UN Charter and on the Responsibility to Protect.

4. Critically assess the different goals of polities in pursuing their narrow or more collective interests within each system, and identify their contributions to a more bellicose or more pacific world.

5. Evaluate the implications of key concepts as they have evolved over the centuries, from universalism to political particularism.

6. Advance reasoned and factually supported arguments in response to key questions (for examples, see (15) above), both orally and in writing.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.