Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Fall 2021



Course Number

DIPL 2120

Course Description

This course is designed to offer students an introduction to the field of security and conflict studies (broadly defined). This being said, the class itself is intersectional, engaging with broad historical trends, theory, causes of war, the effects of technology, the changing face of conflict etc., There is a reason why our national defense budget is so large, and this course barely scratches the surface as to the reasons why. We will begin the class with classical conceptions of conflict and security illustrated with historical examples, and then begin to move onto the changing face of conflict and security in the post-Cold War world. In the end however this class is primarily concerned with the use of force and coercion towards political gains i.e., we begin to understand why we fight, and what “fighting” looks like. This class is not only geared towards explaining the historical and theoretical foundations of war, peace, and security. I also intend to gear this class towards introducing and outlining some of the more current issues in the realm of security studies, if only to expand your minds as to how complicated it really is out there.

By the end of this course you:

- Will become familiar with the relevant concepts and terminology in the security studies literature.

- Will be able to accurately apply both the theoretical and analytical tools you learn towards the explanation of both war and peace.

- Will understand the historic and contemporary challenges faced by nation-states and how the interconnected nature of the 21st century has complicated the overall use of force towards political ends.

- Gain greater insight into the questions of foreign policy and broad decision-making and be able to accurate explain, defend, and critique empirical developments in international relations.