Causes of War (Theory and Method) OpenCourseWare: A Free Bachelor Level Political Science Course by MIT on the Causes of Modern War

Published Jan 30, 2009

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'Causes of War: Theory and Method,' an OpenCourseWare project from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, seeks to explain and understand the causes of armed conflict through a series of hypotheses and case studies. This free online course is particularly applicable to individuals interested in or currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.

Causes of War (Theory and Method): Course Specifics

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Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
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Causes of War (Theory and Method): Course Description

The preventable roots of armed conflict are the focus of 'Causes of War: Theory and Method,' a course from MIT's Political Science curriculum. Professor Stephen Van Evera taught this course on the MIT campus through a four-part lecture series supplemented by extensive readings; in the OpenCourseWare version, Professor Van Evera provides students with an annotated list of readings and references. First, the course materials cover the formation and use of theories, with attention to the testing process and utilization of case studies. Next, students study several individual hypotheses that seek to explain war, including those of strategic interaction, national misperception and the structure of power. The course reviews some of history's most notable conflicts as raw case studies. Students analyze the eruptions of several infamous wars, including World Wars I and II, and examine them in a historical context. 'Causes of War: Theory and Method' culminates with an in-depth look at the future of war, exploring how theory may help to foretell impending conflicts. A strong background in Political Science is recommended for undergraduate students interested in this OpenCourseWare. The course consists of advanced content also suitable for graduate students

Materials available for this course include a comprehensive reading list, writing assignments, notes and related readings for further study. To investigate the origins of conflict, visit the war causes course page.

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