PS 440/540, CRN: 26401/26403
M & W, 8:30- 9:50
Prof. Jane K. Cramer
Office: PLC 820; Office hours: Tuesday, 1:00-4:00
GTF: Lauren McClain; PLC 636; Office hours Mon. 11-12;
THE CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF WAR
“Great is the guilt of unnecessary war.”
-- John Adams, Second
President of the
course examines the causes of war with the aim of discovering and assessing
means to prevent and control war. We
review a large selection of hypotheses of the causes of war but focus upon manipulable or
controllable war-causes. Specifically,
we look to see how modern major wars may have been avoided or controlled in the
past by recognizing dilemmas and misperceptions. We ask: what could people have reasonably
done to avoid war? We use our
examination of theories and historical evidence to look to the possible causes
of wars in the future. What are the most
important (yielding the most peace) and the most possible means to
prevent wars of the future? We apply the
theories we examine to current
Requirements: Grades will be based on one REASEARCH paper (6-10 pages), reading quizzes (participation grade/instead of a midterm), and a final exam. Class attendance is REQUIRED and class participation will be graded by assessing answers to brief pop questions almost daily about the assigned readings and the lectures. There will be a single, comprehensive make up exam offered for students with documented MEDICAL excuses for two or more missed quizzes. The paper will focus on an assigned topic.
Study questions for the final exam will be handed out throughout the term, recombined and reviewed the last day of class. There will be an accumulating list of terms for short answer questions (most likely 5 short answer questions on the final) and approximately 8 longer essay questions to prepare from which I will pick 2 that you will be required to answer during the final exam period.
Class participation = 40% (attendance, reading quizzes)
RESEARCH Paper, Wednesday, week 9, (3/7/2012) = 30%
Final, Tuesday, March 20 at 10:15 am—in the classroom = 30%
Students are expected to do the readings in advance of the class for which the reading is assigned. This is very important for the class--students will be called on from time to time.
PS 540—Graduate students are required to do all of the work and exams, including the additional readings, especially the Levy and Thompson book, as listed below on the syllabus. They will also need to do a longer research paper, 15-20 pages. Graduate students will arrange to meet for several extra discussions with Prof. Cramer in or just after office hours. Assignments weighted: Final =25%; Research Paper = 45%; class participation = 30%.
Blackboard: There is a Blackboard web site for this class—all students need to make sure to check this site regularly for announcements, discussion and MORE HINTS as to how to succeed in this class. Make sure you receive our e-mails through this site—they will include hints for quizzes and other important announcements!
Book: Students should buy this book at the University Bookstore or off the web:
Robert J. Art and Kenneth N. Waltz, The Use of Force: Military Power and International Politics 7th Edition (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009) (A&W)
Some Recommended Books***, easy to order and most are on Reserve at Knight Library:
Jack S. Levy and William R. Thompson, Causes of War (Malden, MA: Wiley & Blackwell, 2010) (Required for PS 510.)
Stephen Van Evera, Guide to Methods for Students of Political Science (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1997) –(Required for PS 510 students)
Greg Cashman, What Causes War? An Introduction to Theories of International Conflict (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 1993) (HIGHLY Recommended for reference—available on reserve.)
Greg Cashman and Leonard Robinson, An Introduction to the Causes of War: Patterns of Interstate Conflict from World War I to Iraq (2007: Rowman & Littlefield, Inc.)
Richard K. Betts, Conflict After the Cold War (2008: Pearson Longman)
Michael E. Brown et. al. (editors), Theories of War and Peace (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1998)
Stephen Van Evera, Causes of War: Power and the Roots of Conflict (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999)
Jack Snyder, Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991)
Joshua Goldstein, War and Gender,
P.M. H. Bell, The Origins of the
Second World War in
Saburo Ienaga, The Pacific War, 1931-1945 (NY: Pantheon, 1978)
***Some of these books could help you a lot when you are writing your paper. Cheap, cheap copies of these books can be found on-line at amazon.com used books and elsewhere.
All other readings will be available e-reserve or linked through the Blackboard website—see BLACKBOARD for instructions!
PLEASE: Follow The New York Times (especially the International Section & Op-Eds.) We will discuss the NYT sometimes in class, and we will try to use the theories we learn to assess current events.
Monday, Jan. 9: INTRODUCTION: Causes of War? (Is war an insolvable problem!?!)
How can we begin to study "the causes of war?" Many perceive that there are too many causes of war and each situation is unique, so it is not possible to study war with the hope of discovering real solutions. Is it even possible to discover regular "laws of motion" for international politics? If so, how can we discover them? Can we use methods parallel to those of the harder sciences? How has the study of war been approached? What methods are available?
This course approaches the study of war primarily as a problem between states. While the problem of war was somewhat redefined as of September 11, 2001, many of the theories still apply and history teaches useful lessons. A special focus of this class will be on creating war-solving military doctrines, preventing misperceptions, understanding the problems and possibilities of nuclear deterrence, and understanding the link between democracy and war/peace. I will argue that these key lessons offer some of the greatest leverage over today’s security problems.
--No readings assigned, except two handouts on “Crater Supports Idea on Extinction” from NYTimes, 1992 & NSF press release, “New Blow for Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Theory”
I. THEORIES OF WAR:
Wednesday, Jan. 11: Introducing the LEVELS OF ANALYSIS; The level of the individual: Is it Human Nature to fight? Do wars happen because of psychological biases of humans?
Political scientists generally organize the study of war by examining different “levels of analysis.” We will discuss the most popular and the most compelling hypotheses proposed at each level. The first level we discuss is the Individual Level. Does war happen because of human psychological biases? Does war happen because individuals instinctively fight or because they are taught to fight? Nature v. nurture and the causes of war. Gender and war.
Daniel Kahneman and Jonathan Renshon, “Hawkish Biases,” Thrall & Cramer—see Blackboard.
Robert Jervis, “Understanding beliefs and threat inflation” –see Blackboard.
Alexander L. George, “Coercive Diplomacy” in A & W book.
Mary Warner Blanchard, “American manhood and the Rhetoric of War,”—see Blackboard for link.
Recommended on Reserve:
BK. 1. Greg Cashman, What Causes War?, Cashman provides an overview of the study of war—a comprehensive review of the theories at different "levels of analysis." This is a textbook for undergrads that will help the uninitiated throughout this class. For this week, read pp. 1-17, p.35, 36-46, 75-76. Skim 17-34, 46-74. Also, Levy and Thompson is a brilliant book organized by Levels of Analysis—perfect for grad students, and the MOST up-to-date literature review available.
Jan 16 & 18: State Level Theories: Democracy and Nationalism
Is it the type of state that matters for war? Are democracies more peaceful than non-democracies? How important are governmental decision making processes for war? Is nationalism a cause of war or peace? How can it be contained or controlled?
Barry R. Posen, “The Sources of Military Doctrine” in A & W
Robert A. Pape, “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism” in A & W
John M. Owen, “How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace” –see Blackboard.
Christopher Layne, “Kant or Cant: The Myth of the Democratic Peace Theory”—see Blackboard.
Recommended on Reserve:
Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder, “Democratization and the Danger of War”
Stuart J. Kaufman, “Symbolic Politics or Rational Choice? Testing Theories of Extreme Ethnic Violence,” International Security, 30/4 (Spring 2006), pp. 45-86.
Dale C. Copeland, “Economic Interdependence and War: A Theory of Trade Expectations”
BK. 1. Cashman, pp.77-160. Read lots, skim as necessary. Pay most attention to Chapter 5 for now.
Jan. 23 & 25: Anarchy, System Level Theories, Offense-Defense Theory and the Security Dilemma
Anarchy: The international system is “anarchic” because there is no sovereign to enforce a rule of law between states. Does this mean war is inevitable?
Security Dilemma: Often/sometimes--the means a state uses to increase its own security decreases the security of other states. This is the security dilemma. This means efforts to increase security may in fact provoke actions by others that will leave the state worse off. Ooops. So what is a state to do? Should a state always “play it safe” and deter other states? Or should a state “appease” others in an effort to avoid unwanted conflict spirals? How does a state decide which action is appropriate? Can you apply this idea to history or current events?
Military Doctrines as Causes of War: States have many choices in the types of policies they can choose to pursue. Very crucially, it matters a great deal what type of military doctrine a state adopts—an offensive doctrine or a defensive doctrine or some mix. Here we examine the factors that help to shape military doctrines, and then the various types of choices a state makes, either consciously or by default.
Robert J. Art, “The Fungibility of Force,” in A & W.
Robert Jervis, “Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma” in A & W.
Stephen Van Evera, “Offense, Defense and the Causes of War” –see Blackboard
Robert Jervis, “The Utility of Nuclear Deterrence” in A & W.
Stephen Van Evera, Causes of War .
Thomas C. Schelling, Arms and Influence (New Haven: Yale, 1966) chapter 6 on "The Dynamics of Mutual Alarm.” The classic statement of the problem of preemptive war.
Robert Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton: Princeton U. Press, 1976), pp.58-84. Some say conflict is best resolved by the carrot, while using sticks merely provokes; others would use the stick, warning that using the carrot ("appeasement") emboldens others to make more demands. Who's right? Probably both--but under what circumstances? How can you tell which circumstances you are in?
Cashman, What Causes War?, Sections on Arms Races and the Security Dilemma: pp. 172-192, esp. pp.177-180, 184-188. These sections help clarify much of what Jervis says above.
Throughout this class we will examine how common and how dangerous misperceptions are in international politics. Misperceptions are extremely common. States/leaders often fail to understand each other, and the consequences are often deadly. What are the numerous causes of misperceptions? What can be done?
Jack Snyder, “Imperial Myths and Threat Inflation” see Blackboard. ALSO see Snyder, Myths of Empire, pp.1-65, Chapter 1, “The Myth of Security Through Expansion” and Chapter 2 “Three Theories of Overexpansion”.—see Blackboard. Snyder identifies common “myths” that can be seen across time and in different states, and he offers some possible explanations of where these “myths” come from.
Chaim Kaufmann, “Threat Inflation and the failure of the Marketplace of Ideas” see Blackboard.
Robert Jervis, "Hypotheses on Misperception" World Politics, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Apr., 1968), 454-479. A classic discussion of the delusions to which states are prone. Is Jervis' list of myopias a good one? Do they arise from the psychological sources he stresses or are other causes at work?
Recommended for reference:
Geoffrey Blainey, The Causes of War, 3rd ed., (NY: Free Press, 1988), chapter 3: "Dreams and Delusions of a Coming War." Miscalculation and false optimism as causes of war.
II. HISTORICAL CASE STUDIES OF WARS
Weeks 5 & 6
Feb. 6, 8 & 13: World War I
An avoidable tragedy? A world war that emerged within a few short decades from a seemingly untroubled world. Any parallels to today? Lessons to be learned?
Annika Mombauer, “Long and short-term causes of the First World War” from The Origins of the First World War –see Blackboard.
Jack Snyder, “The Cult of the Offensive in 1914” in A & W.
Geiss, German Foreign Policy,
1871-1914 (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976), pp. 142-150,
206-207. This selection is the tale of
the War Council of
James Joll, Origins of the First World War (NY: Longman, 1984), chapter 2. SEE link on Blackboard. A summary of the events of the strange and amazing July crisis.
Feb. 15 & 20: World War II in Europe
Hitler planned and caused the war--but did the West fail to deter him? Was "appeasement" the real cause of
the war? Why was the West in such a
mood to appease Hitler so soon after WWI?
Did they feel guilty about
P.M.H. Bell, The Origins of the Second World War in Europe, (NY: Longman, 1986) pp. 1-54; 77-97--especially selections of “History and Historians” and “German Nazism” –see Blackboard. Excellent mainstream historical analysis.
John Mearsheimer, “Hitler and the Blitzkrieg Strategy” in A & W.
Holger Herwig, "Clio Deceived: Patriotic Self-Censorship in Germany After the Great War" International Security, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Autumn, 1987), 5-44. See Blackboard. How and why Germans and others mis-remembered the origins and aftermath of the First World War.
Feb. 22: World War II in the Pacific.
US attempted to deter Japan--it certainly did not appease Japan-- and yet Japan
still went to war with the US. Would war
have been averted or greatly minimized if
George Sansom, “
Scott Sagan, "The Origins of the Pacific War."—see Blackboard.
Full book on reserve, but read short sections on Blackboard: Saburo Ienaga, The Pacific War 1931-1945, pp. 3-54; 247-256—but the rest is very engrossing. Was the Japanese decision for war a rational response to circumstances, or in some sense "irrational"? Ienaga and Sagan disagree--who's right?
To ponder: Timothy C. Lehmann, “Keeping Friends Close and Enemies Closer: Classical Realist Statecraft and Economic Exchange in U.S. Interwar Strategy” Security Studies 2009—see Blackboard.
Feb. 27 & 29: The Nuclear Revolution
Have nuclear weapons changed everything? What has not changed?
McGeorge Bundy, “ The Unimpressive Record of Atomic Diplomacy” in A & W.
Review: Robert Jervis, “The Utility of Nuclear Deterrence” in A & W.
Kenneth N. Waltz, “Nuclear Myths and Political Realities” in A & W.
Week 9 & 10
**6-10 page Research Paper due Wednesday, March 7—in class—do NOT MISS CLASS TO FINISH THE PAPER!
March 5, 7 & 12: Contemporary Era & Current Military Issues:
TBA: Obama’s new stratey & the China and Iran threats discussed.
Michael E. O’Hanlon, “The Afghani War: A Flawed Masterpiece” in A & W.
Benjamin Friedman, Harvey Sapolsky and Christopher Preble, “Learning the Right Lessons from Iraq” in A & W.
Christopher Layne, “From Preponderance to Offshore balancing” in A &W.
Robert J. Art, “The Strategy of Selective Engagement” in A &W.
Stephen M. Walt, “Taming American Power” in A & W.
Recommended and on e-reserve:
Keir A. Leiber and Daryl G. Press, “The End of MAD? The Nuclear Dimension of U.S. Primacy” International Security, 30/4, (Spring 2006), pp.7-44.
Wednesday. March 14: Review
I will handout possible questions for final.
Bring THREE green books to final on Tuesday, March 20 at 10:15 am in the classroom. I will hand out study questions for the final on the last day of class. Most of the essay questions on the exam will be taken from this set of study questions, or closely based on these questions. There will also be a number of short identification questions on the final as well.