PSC/IR 265 (2015)

PSC/IR 265: Civil War and International Systems
William Spaniel
Spring 2015
Lecture: Tu/Th 3:25-4:40 Meliora 203
Office Hours: M 12:00-2:00 Harkness 320B
Email: (Do NOT email my address.)
YouTube Playlist
Problem Set #1 (Solutions), Problem Set #2

Topic 15: Insurgency
Slides: Here

Lecture: Causes of Insurgency

Readings: Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War

Topic 14: Terrorism
Slides: Here

Lecture: Oudbidding, Spoiling

Readings: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, Design, Inference, and the Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism

Topic 13: Post-Cold War Developments
Slides: Here

Readings: Outside Options and the Logic of Security Council Action, Coups and Democracy

Topic 12: Economic Coercion
Slides: Here

Readings: Why Economic Sanctions Do Not Work, The Hidden Hand of Economic Coercion

Readings: The Hidden Hand of Economic Sanctions, Sanctions and Regime Change

Topic 11: The Conflict Trap
Slides: Here

Readings: Breaking the Conflict Trap (overview and chapter 1 only). Google Books has a prettier (but non-PDF) version of it as well.

Lecture: The Conflict Trap, Breaking the Trap

Topic 10: Issues with Intervention
Slides: Here

Readings: Give War a Chance, Lincoln’s Gamble

Lecture: Did Slavery Cause the American Civil War?, Intervention as a Cause of War, Moral Hazard

Topic 9: Neutral Intervention
Slides: Here

Readings: The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement, Countering the New Orthodoxy: Reinterpreting Counterinsurgency in Iraq, Obstacles to Ending Syria’s Civil War

Lecture: The Post Civil War Commitment Problem, The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement, Costly Signaling, The Iraq Surge

Topic 8: Mediation
Slides: Here

Readings: When Is Shuttle Diplomacy Worth the Commute?

Lecture: The Limitations of Mediation

Topic 7: Mechanism Design
Slides: Here

Lecture: Mechanism Design, Incentive Compatibility, The Revelation Principle Pt. 1, The Revelation Principle Pt. 2, When Can We Guarantee Peace?, Is War Unavoidable?

Readings: Uncertainty and Incentives in Crisis Bargaining: Game-Free Analysis of International Conflict, External Subsidies and Lasting Peace

Topic 6: Coordination Problems
Slides: Here

Lecture: The Arab Spring, China’s Internet Censorship, The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Readings: Why Do Some Civil Wars Last Longer than Others?, How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression

Topic 5: Commitment Problems
No office hours Wednesday. (I held them on Monday to facilitate problem set questions.) My other class is in a similar boat next week, so I will be holding office hours next Monday (2/16) from noon to 2 pm. There will be no office hours next Wednesday (2/18).

Slides: Here

Lecture: Commitment Problems, The Breakdown of Yugoslavia

Readings: “Ethnic War as a Commitment Problem

Source Material from Class: “Trade, Institutions and Ethnic Tolerance: Evidence from South Asia

Topic 4: Reputation and War
Slides: Here

Lecture: The Chain Store Paradox, Reputation as a Cause of War, Rational Appeasement

Readings: “Building Reputations” and “Rational Appeasement” (skip the math on 351-362)

Topic 3: Information and War
Slides: Here, also AK-47 vs. M16

Lecture: The Ultimatum Game, Risk-Return Tradeoff, Predicting Civil War Outbreak, The Black Market for AK-47s, Incentives to Misrepresent, Principle of Convergence, Russia-Georgia War of 2008, Fighting with No Intention to Win

Readings: “The Principle of Convergence in Wartime Negotiations” (Note that you should skip the technical material on pages 622-626 and in the appendix.)

Topic 2: Bargaining and War
Here is the problem set. It is due 2/10 and is worth 20% of your overall grade.

Lecture: Bargaining and Lawsuits, Unitary Actor Assumption, Why Bargaining Succeeds, War’s Inefficiency Puzzle, Misconceptions about the Syrian Civil War, Why the Iraqi Insurgency Began

Slides: Here

Readings: “Rationalist Explanations for War” (required), Chapter 2 of The Rationality of War (not required, but these are the written notes that I base this week’s lectures on)

Topic 1: Motivation
Slides: Here

Lecture: Why You Should Care, Macro Trends in Civil War, Overview, What Is a Civil War?

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