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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Summer 2009

GOV S360N • International Security

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
84680 MTWThF
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
MEZ B0.306

Course Description

This course is designed to provide you with a broad introduction to the conditions and motivations behind the use of military force in the contemporary political world. Traditionally, this subfield in international relations has focused on how states use or threaten to use violence to preserve their sovereignty and resolve political conflicts with other states. We will begin by examining how the anarchical structure of the international system constrains a state's ability to meet these responsibilities. This discussion will then lead into an examination of the origins of war between states and nuclear deterrence theory. After these sections, we will explore whether the task of protecting national security has changed in the post-Cold War and post-9/11 worlds. In particular, we will explore the following questions. Does nuclear proliferation enhance or diminish international stability? Under what conditions do civil wars occur? Does terrorism provide a unique challenge to sovereign states? Does globalization enhance or diminish national security? What strategies should the United States adopt to cope with traditional and emerging threats to its political interests?

Grading Policy

Brief writing assignments 30% Take-home midterm 30% Final 40%


Various journal articles, and: David Fromkin. 2004. Europe's Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914? New York: Knopf. Robert H. Bates. 2008. When Things Fell Apart: State Failure in Late-Century Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press.


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