Syllabus for Political Science 357
International Security Policy
Christopher L. Ball, Lecturer
Dept. of Political Science
Office Hours: MW, 10:10-11:10 & by appt.
517 Ross Hall
This course examines a range of contemporary topics in international military security in historical, theoretical and ethical perspectives. First, we will discuss key principles of military strategy and theories of the causes of wars. Second, we will examine changes in military deterrence as a strategy and policy and its implications for modern warfare. Third, we will discuss the causes and responses to terrorism. Fourth, we will study the causes of genocide and issues of humanitarian intervention and multilateral peace-keeping.
All students must do the assigned reading. I reserve the right to distribute unannounced in-class quizzes on the assigned readings for the week. In addition to course readings, students should follow current events. The New York Times, The Washington Post or National Public Radio (NPR) news broadcasts (on WOI 640 AM and KTPR 91.1 FM) are excellent daily news sources. I will also post items on the course website.
The main course website is at this URL: <http://www.public.iastate.edu/~pol_s.357>. I will post slides displayed in class, relevant links, and information about the course. There is a WebCT site as well. This will be used to post assigned articles that are not easily accessible on the Internet and to host a discussion forum.
Class Participation: All students should be prepared to participate in class discussions. Each student has a D as his or her default grade. If students participate well, their grades will be increased. Students who fail to participate or who do so poorly will get a D. I will call on students in class by name on a rotating basis. Responses to these questions count toward class participation.
Students are not expected to perform Periclean orations, but everyone should be prepared to discuss the assigned readings, current events, and question that I pose. Criticisms of points made in readings, by fellow students, and by yours truly are welcome, and debates may emerge among students. Students should respect their classmates’ contributions, and refrain from partisan or parochial philippics. The purpose of these discussions is not to win imaginary debating points, but to learn beyond solitary reading and unexamined listening.
Extra-Class Essays: During the term, students will write three essays based on topics and rules that I present. I will divide the class into groups with different schedules, but essays will be due roughly every four weeks. Each essay should be 1200-1300 words (roughly 4 double-spaced pages). The grading is progressive. The first essay is worth 10%, the second 15% and the third 25% of the course grade. The final exam will be a longer essay based on a question that I present. It is worth 30% of the grade.
A computer mishap will not excuse a late paper. You should make frequent and multiple back-ups of your work (to at least 2 separate floppy disks or other removable media), so that you never lose more than one hour’s worth of work. If you own your own computer, be sure you familiarize yourself with the ISU’s computer labs in case your system breaks down.
Your final grade will be calculated as follows:
· Participation: 20%
· Take-Home Essays: 50%
· Final Exam: 30%
Each component will be assigned a letter grade, converted to a grade point, and multiplied by its percentage weighting. I do not accept make-up assignments, re-writing of papers, or extra-credit work.
exams is failure for the course.
ISU advises: “If a student has a disability that qualifies
under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Disability Resources
(DR) office for information on appropriate policies and procedures. DR is
located on the main floor of the
three books, in order of assignment, available for purchase for this course at
University Bookstore (294.5684) in the Memorial Union and the Campus Bookstore
The books are also available on reserve at Parks Library.
21, 23 & 25 Aug.
War, Security and Politics
28 & 30 Aug. & 1 Sep.
Strategy and Theory: Clausewitz And His Critics
Howard, Clausewitz, entire
6 & 8 Sep. (No Class on 4 Sep.)
Causes of War: The Case of World War I
Jack Snyder, “Civil-Military Relations and the Cult of the Offensive, 1914 and 1984,” International Security 9:1 (Summer, 1984) WebCT
Scott D. Sagan, “1914 Revisited: Allies, Offense, and Instability,” International Security 11: 2 (Autumn, 1986) WebCT
11, 13 & 15 Sep.
Freedman, Deterrence, chap. 1-4
18, 20 & 22 Sep.
…and Its Discontents
Freedman, Deterrence, chap. 5-8
25, 27 & 29 Sep.
Modern Warfare, I
Shaw, The New
2, 4 & 6 Oct.
Modern Warfare, II
Shaw, The New
9, 11 & 13 Oct.
Ethics of War, I
Walzer, Arguing about war, chap. 1-2 & 11-12
16, 18 & 20 Oct.
Townshend, Terrorism, chap.1-6
23 & 25 Oct. (No class on 27 Oct.)
Strategy and Terrorism
Pape, Dying to win, chap. 1-7
30 Oct. & 1 & 3 Nov.
Ethics of War, II
Walzer, Arguing about war, chap. 4, 10, 5 & 7
Townshend, chap. 7
6, 8 & 10 Nov.
Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing, I
Mann, The Dark Side…, chap. 1, 3 & 12
13, 15 & 17 Nov.
Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing, II
Mann, The Dark Side…, chap. 13-15 & 17
27 & 29 Nov. & 1 Dec.
Peacekeeping, Peace Enforcement, and Security, I
Marten, Enforcing the peace, chap. 1-3
4, 6 & 8 Dec.
Peacekeeping, Peace Enforcement, and Security, II
Marten, Enforcing the peace, chap.4-6