Women, some of whom are quite young in this photo, take target practice in Dacca (East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) during the 1964-65 Indo-Pakistani War.
Women, some of whom are quite young in this photo, take target practice in Dacca (East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) during the 1964-65 Indo-Pakistani War.

The onset, expansion and consequences of inter-state conflict lie at the heart of international relations scholarship. This class will explore these topics, highlighting what we know and what we do not know. We will start by clarifying our concepts and what we mean when we use terms like “dispute” and “war.” The rest proceeds as an overview of the literature in the spirit of the Correlates of War project. We will discuss the ubiquitous and problematic issue of “power” in international relations. We will reiterate that most conflicts are between land-contiguous neighbors and concern territorial issues between them. Thereafter, we will discuss numerous other correlates of war and peace, like alliances, joint democracy, and rivalry. We will also talk about conflict processes like deterrence, compellence, dispute escalation and the dynamics of war. Students that complete this class should have a broad overview of prominent quantitative scholarship on the cause of disputes and war in the international system, situating them in scholarship in the “peace science” field.

Course Materials

  1. Syllabus
  2. Set Up Google Scholar to Find Class Readings on Your Syllabus
  3. Dos and Dont’s of Writing for Students
  4. Assorted Tips for Students on Writing Research Papers
  5. Exam Grading Policy
  6. Fun with Attendance and Grades (i.e. Students Should Attend Class)
  7. The Educational Power of Discomfort
  8. Everybody Writes: A Web Content Approach for Students
  9. Put Your Laptops Away, Kids (Vol. 2)
  10. Reading a Regression Table: A Guide for Students
  11. Welcome
  12. The Scientific Study of War
  13. ‘Dangerous Dyads’ and an Introduction to Applied Research