Political Science 208
Theories of International Conflict
Perkins Libarary 307
406 Perkins Library
Tuesday and Thursday 2:50-4:05
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 1:30-2:30
In this seminar we will read and evaluate the social science literature on the causes of international conflict. In particular, our readings will emphasize theories concerning the causes of war. We will focus our attention on both theoretical and empirical works in this area, and we will address a wide variety of research strategies. The primary objectives of this course are: 1) to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the literature concerning the causes of war, 2) to define specific questions and issues which must be addressed by future research, 3) to develop concrete research strategies for investigating these questions, and 4) to prepare graduate students for oral examinations in international relations.
Student performance will be evaluated on the following basis:
1) Most of our time in class will be spent discussing and analyzing the weekly readings, so attendance at and participation in the discussions are essential. Students will also be asked to sign-up to lead the discussion on one set of readings. Class participation (and discussion leadership) will count for 20% of your final grade.
2) During the course of the semester each student must submit two short papers (3-5 double spaced, typed pages). Students will sign up in advance for the weeks that they wish to write short papers. Click here for a schedule of paper due dates and discussant duties. In these papers you are to analyze a particular reading or set of readings for your assigned week. However, you should not consider these papers to be book reports or summaries of the readings. Instead, in each paper the student should analyze a particular theoretical or empirical issue in the readings, identify some weakness of the existing literature in this area, and present a concrete solution to the problem. If students focus on a single reading, they are encouraged to write the short paper as if it were a review of the article for a scholarly journal. These two short papers will account for 30% of your grade.
3) The final course requirement is a research design paper of approximately 20 pages, which will be DUE ON FRIDAY APRIL 27 at 5:00 PM. The papers should be submitted by email. Please begin the name of the file with your last name. As with the short papers, students will be expected to analyze an issue covered by this course, identify a weakness, and provide a solution to the problem. In this case, however, the issue must obviously be of greater magnitude and/or be discussed in greater detail than in the short papers. Moreover, the goal of this final project is to develop a research agenda which the student could actually follow up and execute if he or she chose to do so. Thus even if the student's ideas relate primarily to theoretical issues, he or she must specify some appropriate method for testing his or her refined hypotheses. It is my hope that students may be able to use these research designs as the starting points for future journal articles or dissertation prospectuses. The research design will account for the final 50% of your grade.
It is important that students cite the material that they have relied upon in writing these papers. If you have questions about when you need to provide citation for a source, please see the Duke Libraries' guide on avoiding plagaiarism. If you have questions about how to provide citation on your sources, please see the Duke Libraries' guide on citation formats. Use any citation format that you prefer, what is important is that you give credit to the sources you used.
No books are required for purchase for this class. All readings are available online through Duke's full-text databases or on e-reserves. Students can obtain the readings by clicking on the links below. Students must be connected to the Duke network or through the Duke VPN client to download and print the readings.
Schedule of Readings - All listed readings are required
January 12 - Organization
*Gary King, Robert Keohane, and Sidney Verba, Designing Social Inquiry, Princeton University Press, Princeton: NJ, (1994). Chapter 1, pp.3-33.
Randall L. Schweller, "Bandwagoning for Profit," International Security, 19, 1, (1994):72-107.
Randolph Siverson and Juliann Emmons, "Birds of a Feather," Journal of Conflict Resolution 35,2 (1991): 285-306
Simon and Erik Gartzke, "Political System Similarity and the Choice of
Allies," Journal of Conflict
Resolution 40,4 (1996):
Camber Warren. 2010. "The Geometry of Security: Modeling Interstate Alliances as Evolving Networks." Journal of Peace Research 47(6):697-706.
January 19 -The Consequences of Alliances
T. Clifon Morgan and Glenn Palmer. 2003. "To Protect and to Serve: Alliances And Foreign Policy Portfolios." The Journal of Conflict Resolution 47,2(2003):180-203. (at Ingenta.com)
Brett Ashley Leeds. 2003. " Do Alliances Deter Aggression? The Influence of Military Alliances on the Initiation of Militarized Interstate Disputes." American Journal of Political Science, 47,3(2003):427-439. (in Synergy)
Alastair Smith. 1995. "Alliance Formation and War." International Studies Quarterly 39(4):405-425.
Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics, Addison-Wesley Publishers, Reading: MA, (1979). Chapter 8.
Alexander Wendt, "Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics," International Organization 46, 2, (1992):391-425.
Johnathan Mercer, "Anarchy and Identity," International Organization, 49, 2 (1995).
January 26 - System Structure and War
Paul Huth, Christopher Gelpi, and D. Scott Bennett, "The Escalation of Great Power Disputes: Testing Rational Deterrence Theory and Structural Realism," American Political Science Review, 87, 3, (1993):609-623.
Edward D. Mansfield. 1993. Concentration, Polarity, and the Distribution of Power." International Studies Quarterly , Vol. 37, No. 1. (Mar., 1993), pp. 105-128.
Ted Hopf. 1991. "Polarity, the Offense-Defense Balance, and War." American Political Science Review 85(2):476-493.
Manus Midlarsky. 1993. "Polarity and International Stability." American Political Science Review 87(1):171-180.
January 31 - International Institutions and War
Charles Boehmer, Erik Gartzke and Timothy Nordstrom. 2004. "Do intergovernmental organizations promote peace?" World Politics 57.1 (Oct 2004): p1-38.
Jon Pevehouse and Bruce Russett. 2006. "Democratic Intergovernmental Organizations Promote Peace." International Organization 60(4):969-1000.
Yoram Haftel. 2007. "Designing for Peace: Regional Integrational Arrangements, Institutional Variation, and Militarized Interstate Disputes." International Organziation 61(1):213-237.
February 2 - International Norms
Christopher Gelpi. 1997. "Crime and Punishment: The Role of Norms in Crisis Bargaining," American Political Science Review, June (1997).
Nina Tannenwald. 1999. "The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Normative Basis of Nuclear Non-Use." International Organization Summer 1999 53,3 p433(38) (in Cambridge Journals Online)
Paul Huth, Sarah Croco, and Benjamin Appel. 2011. "Does International Law Promote the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes?" American Political Science Review 105:415-436
Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence, Yale University Press, New Haven:CT, (1966). (See Course Documents for PS 208).
Paul Huth, "Extended Deterrence and the Outbreak of War," American Political Science Review, 82, (1988).
James D. Fearon, "Signaling versus the Balance of Power and Interests: An Empirical Test of a Crisis Bargaining Model," The Journal of Conflict Resolution , Vol. 38, No. 2, Arms, Alliances, and Cooperation: Formal Models and Empirical Tests. (1994), pp. 236-269.
February 9 - Deterrence and Crisis Decision Making Revisited
*Richard Ned Lebow, Between Peace and War, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore:MD, (1981). Chapter 4.
Janice Gross Stein. 1992. "Deterrence and Compellence in the Gulf: A Failed or Impossible Task?" International Security Fall 1992 v17 n2 p147(33)
Daryl Press. 2005. "The Credibility of Power: Assessing Threats During the Appeasement Crises of the 1930's" International Security 29(3):136-169.
John Meuller, "The Essential Irrelevance of Nuclear Weapons," International Security , Vol. 13, No. 2. (Autumn, 1988), pp. 55-79.
Robert Powell. 2003. "Nuclear Deterrence, Nuclear Proliferation, and National Missile Defense." International Security 27(4):86-118.
February 16 - Nuclear Proliferation
Kenneth Waltz, "Nuclear Myths and Political Realities," American Political Science Review, 90, 3, (1990).
Scott Sagan, "The Perils of Proliferation", International Security, vol.18, no.4, (1994).
Steve Fetter; Devin T. Hagerty. "Nuclear Deterrence and the 1990 Indo-Pakistani Crisis." International Security , Vol. 21, No. 1. (Summer, 1996), pp. 176-185.
Devin T. Hagerty. 1995-1996. Nuclear Deterrence in South Asia: The 1990 Indo-Pakistani Crisis. International Security , Vol. 20, No. 3. (Winter, 1995-1996), pp. 79-114.
February 21 - Arms Races and War
Michael Wallace. 1982. "Armaments and Escalation," International Studies Quarterly, 26 (1):37-51.
Paul F. Diehl. 1983. "Arms Races and Escalation: A Closer Look." Journal of Peace Research 20 (3):
Susan G. Sample. 1997. "Arms Races and Dispute Escalation: Resolving the Debate" Journal of Peace Research , Vol. 34, No. 1. (Feb., 1997), pp. 7-22.
Paul F. Diehl; Mark J. C. Crescenzi. 1998. "Reconfiguring the Arms Race-War Debate." Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 35, No. 1. (Jan., 1998), pp. 111-118.
Jack Levy, "Declining Power and the Preventive Motive For War," World Politics, 40, 1, (1987):82-107.
Randall L. Schweller. 1992. "Domestic Structure and Preventive War." World Politics Jan 1992 v44 n2 p235(35)
Indra de Soysa, John Oneal and Yong-Hee Park. 1997. "Testing Power Transition Theory Using Alternative Measures of National Capabilities." Journal of Conflict Resolution 41(4):509-528.
Douglas Lemke. 2003. "Investigating the Preventive Motive for War." International Interactions 29(4):273-292.
February 28 - Culture and International Conflict
James D. Fearon; David D. Laitin. "Explaining Interethnic Cooperation." The American Political Science Review , Vol. 90, No. 4. (Dec., 1996), pp. 715-735.
Mary Caprioli and Mark Boyer. 2001. "Gender, Violence and International Crisis." Journal of Conflict Resolution 45(4):503-518Alastair Iain Johnston. 1998. "China's Militarized Interstate Dispute Behavior, 1949-1992: A First Cut at the Data." The China Quarterly 153:1-30.
March 1 - The Clash of Civilizations?
Samuel Huntington, "Clash of Civilizations?" Foreign Affairs, 72, 3, (1993):22-49.
Bruce M. Russett, John R. Oneal and Michaelene Cox, "Clash of civilizations, or realism and liberalism deju vu? Some evidence." Journal of Peace Research Sept 2000 v37 i5 p583(26).
Giacomo Chiozza. 2002. "Is There a Clash of Civilizations? Evidence from Patterns of International Conflict Involvement, 1946-97." Journal of Peace Research Nov 2002 v39 i6 p711-734 (in Ingenta)
SPRING BREAK - MARCH 2-12
March 13 - The Liberal Peace Debate
John R. Oneal and Bruce Russett. 1999. "Assessing the Liberal Peace with Alternative Specifications: Trade Still Reduces Conflict." Journal of Peace Research Vol. 36, No. 4, Special Issue on Trade and Conflict. (Jul., 1999), pp. 423-442
Omar Keshk, Brian Pollins, and Rafael Reuveny. 2004. "Trade Still Follows the Flag: The Primacy of Politics in a Simultaneous Model of Interdependence and Armed Conflict." Journal of Politics, Vol. 66, No. 4 (2004):1155 - 117.
Havard Hegre, John Oneal and Bruce Russett. 2010. "Trade Does Promote Peace: New Simultaneous Estimates of the Reciprocal Effects of Trade and Peace." Journal of Peace Research 47(6):463-474.
March 15 - The Nature of the "Liberal Peace"
Christopher Gelpi and Joseph Grieco. 2008. "Democracy, Interdependence, and the Liberal Peace." Journal of Peace Research 45(1):17-36.
Erik Gartzke. 2007. "The Capitalist Peace." American Journal of Political Science. 51(1):166-191.
Quan Li and David Sacko. 2002. "The (Ir)relevance of Militarized Interstate Disputes for International Trade." International Studies Quarterly 46(1):11-43.
March 20 - Regime Change and War
Stephen Walt, "Revolutions and War," World Politics, vol.44, no.3, (1992).
Zeev Maoz, "Joining the Club of Nations," International Studies Quarterly, 33, 2, (1989):199-231.
Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder. 1995. "Democratization and the Danger of War." International Security , Vol. 20, No. 1. (Summer, 1995), pp. 5-38.
Reinhard Wolf, Erich Weede, Andrew J. Enterline , Edward D. Mansfield , Jack Snyder . "Democratization and the Danger of War (Comment). International Security Spring 1996 v20 n4 p176(3)
March 22 - Diversionary War?
Charles Ostrom and Brian Job, "The President and the Political Use of Force," American Politcal Science Review, 80, 2, (1985):541-566.
Christopher Gelpi, "Democratic Diversions: Governmental Structure and the Externalization of Domestic Conflict," Journal of Conflict Resolution, April (1997).
James Meernik 2000. "Modeling International Crises and the Political Use of Military Force by the United States." Journal of Peace Research 37:547-562.
David Brule, Brian Marshall, and Brandon Prins. 2010. "Opportunities and Presidential Uses of Force: A Selection Model of Crisis Decision-Making." Conflict Management and Peace Science 27(5):486-510.
March 27 - The Democratic Peace Debate
and Zeev Maoz, "Normative and Structural Causes of the Democratic Peace,
1946-1986," American Political Science
Review, 87, 3, (1993):624-638.
Henry S. Farber and Joanne Gowa. 1995. "Polities and Peace." International Security. Vol. 20, No. 2 (Autumn, 1995), pp. 123-146
March 29 - No Class
April 3 - Sources of the Democratic Peace
"Domestic Poltical Audiences and the Escalation of International Disputes," American Political Science Review,
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, James D. Morrow, Randolph M. Siverson and Alastair Smith. 1999. "An Institutional Explanation of the Democratic Peace." The American Political Science Review Vol. 93, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 791-807
Erik Gartzke. 2000. "Preferences and the Democratic Peace." International Studies Quarterly. Vol. 44, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 191-212
Douglas Lemke and Willam Reed. 1996. "Regime Types and Status Quo Evaluations: Power Transition Theory and the Democratic Peace." International Interactions 22(2)143-164.
April 5 - World War I and the Cult of the Offensive
Jack Snyder, "Civil-Military Relations and the Cult of the Offensive, 1914 and 1984," International Security , Vol. 9, No. 1. (Summer, 1984), pp. 108-146.
Steven Van Evera, "The Cult of the Offensive and the First World War," International Security , Vol. 9, No. 1. (Summer, 1984), pp. 58-107.
Scott Sagan, "1914 Revisited: Allies, Offense, and Instability," International Security , Vol. 11, No. 2. (Autumn, 1986), pp. 151-175.
April 10 - The Offense Defense Balance
Stephen Biddle. 2001. "Rebuilding the Foundations of Offense-Defense Theory." The Journal of Politics 63(3):741-774.
Stephen Van Evera. "Offense, defense, and the causes of war." International Security Spring 1998 v22 n4 p5(39)
Karen Ruth Adams. 2003. "Attack and Conquer" International Security Vol. 28, No. 3 (Winter 2003/2004).
Keir Lieber. 2000. "Grasping the Technological Peace: The Offense-Defense Balance and International Security" International Security 25(1):75-104.
April 12- NO CLASS
April 17 - American Public Opinion and War
Eichenberg, Richard. "Victory has Many Friends: U.S. Public Opinion and the Use of Military Force, 1981-2005." International Security 30(1):140-177.
Berinsky, Adam. 2007 "Assuming the Costs of War: Events, Elites, and American Public Support for Military Conflict." Journal of Politics 69(4):975-997.
Christopher Gelpi. 2010. "Performing on Cue? The Formation of Public Opinion Toward War." Journal of Conflict Resolution 54(1):88-116.
John Mueller. 2005. "The Iraq Syndrome." Foreign Affairs 84(6):44-54.
April 19 - Civil War vs. International War
Fearon, James and David Laitin. 2003. "Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War." American Political Science Review 97(1).
Elbadawi, Ibrahim and Nicholas Sambanis. 2002. "How Much War Will We See? Explaining the Prevalence of Civil War." Journal of Conflict Resolution 46(3).
Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and Grievance in Civil War," Oxford Economic Papers 56 (4), pp. 563-595.
Michael Ward, Brian Greenhill, and Kristin Bakke. 2010. "The Perils of Policy by P-Value: Predicting Civil Conflicts." Journal of Peace Research 46(4):363-375.
April 24 - Terrorism and War
Robert A. Pape . 2003. "The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism." American Political Science Review August 2003 v97 i3 p343(19) (in Cambridge Journals Online)
Scott Ashworth, Joshua Clinton, and Adam Meirowitz. 2008. "Design, Inference and the Strategic Logic of Terrorism." American Political Science Review 102:269-273.
April 27 - Research Design Papers Due at 5:00 PM via email. Please begin the name of the file with your last name!