Politics of Arms Control|
Spring 2009 not offered
This course will investigate the roles of military power and armaments in international relations and explore states' attempts to limit them to decrease the probability of conflict and improve international security. We will examine the concepts of arms racing and arms control and evaluate various theoretical approaches for understanding these phenomena. Specifically, we will also attempt to answer a number of important questions. What, if any, is the relationship between arms races and war? How do states approach innovation and technological change? How do they manage the crucial tradeoff between providing for one's own security versus potentially improving the likelihood of war by driving a rival to take similar actions? Can cooperative arms control initiatives significantly reduce the likelihood of conflict? Moreover, we will also attempt to discern practical lessons from past arms races and arms control initiatives to address current policy challenges such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional arms races, and the activities of rogue regimes.
Logical Reasoning, Writing
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (GOVT)
Barry Buzan & Eric Herring, THE ARMS DYNAMIC IN WORLD POLITICS (Boulder: Lynne Reinner Press, 1993).
Joseph Cirincione, Jon Wolfsthal, Miriam Rajkumar, DEADLY ARSENALS: NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, AND CHEMICAL THREATS, 2nd Ed. (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005).
|Examinations and Assignments: |
2 small (5-7) page papers; Final Exam (~10 pages); participation.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Students will be responsible for several writing assignments. The first will focus on the students┐ understanding of important key concepts. Other assignments will build upon this understanding by asking students to provide their own analysis of historical cases and, finally, their analysis of a current challenge and recommendations for effectively addressing it. In each instance, they will be encouraged to present their thoughts and insights with clarity and to articulate a point of view upon which their analysis should be based.
As mentioned above, students will be asked in assignments and in class discussion to present insights and ideas derived from the materials. As the class progresses, they will be challenged to attempt to develop their own policy-relevant recommendations to address political problems. This approach facilitates the development of logical reasoning and critical thinking that students will take with them to apply to other challenges in their academic pursuits and beyond.
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