The Department of Government
The Department of Government

R. Harrison Wagner

Professor EmeritusPh.D., Harvard University

R. Harrison Wagner



International conflict, international political economy, the relations between domestic and international politics, and formal theories of foreign policy and international politics


Professor Wagner's research interests include international conflict, international political economy, the relations between domestic and international politics, and formal theories of foreign policy and international politics. In his most recent research he has used the theory of games to investigate various problems in the theory of international politics, including international cooperation, the balance of power, deterrence, crisis bargaining, the causes of war, and the use of economic sanctions.

His recent publications include: "Bargaining and War," American Journal of Political Science (2000); "Bargaining, War, and Alliances," Conflict Management and Peace Science (2004), and War and the State: The Theory of International Politics (2007, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press).


GOV 360N • Understanding The Cold War

38605 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm GAR 3.116

Course Description:

Contains a substantial writing component and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

The purpose of this course is to help students understand what the Cold War was all about, why it happened, and why it ended when it did and in the way it did.

Grading Policy
Short weekly essays: 50% Final Examination: 50%

Allison & Zelikow, Essence of Decision
Lebow & Stein, We All Lost the Cold War

GOV 388L • Polit Order & Organiz Violence

38835 • Fall 2010
Meets W 330pm-630pm BAT 5.102

Course Description
This course focuses on the relation between political institutions and organized violence. Stronger international institutions are often said to be the only reliable way of preventing wars among states, but the necessity of living under common political institutions frequently leads to civil war. Thus the relation between political institutions and political order is not as simple as it often appears to be. Discussions of it are hampered by the traditional division of intellectual labor between students of international politics and students of domestic politics, which is often justified by the idea that domestic politics is politics within institutions while international politics is politics with no institutional constraints. The use of force, however, is common in both arenas, and the ever-present possibility of its use influences behavior in both, even when force itself is not being used.

This course will therefore focus directly on the use of force as one means by which individuals and groups seek to pursue their interests, no matter what the context. It will investigate how force is used, what it can be used for, and what determins whether it is used or not. It will also consider how people organize themselves for the use of force and what effect that has on political institutions. Thus it will examine, on the one hand, institutional structures at both the domestic and international levels, and on the other hand, autocracy, coups d'etat, riots, revolutions, and civil and international wars.

Grading Policy:
Weekly written assignments: 50%
Final examination: 50%

Textbooks: TBA


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    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
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