Fall/Winter Timetable

POL2206H1S L0101

Undergraduate Course Code: POL487H1S L0101

Topics in International Politics II

Civil War and Counterinsurgency


This course provides an overview on the origins, dynamics, and outcomes of civil war and counterinsurgency. It provides a theoretical and empirical foundation for understanding these forms of conflict, the logic of their violence, and the determinants of their duration and outcomes. The course is organized in three parts. The first reviews the general concept of civil war and provides an overview of various theoretical approaches to understanding it. We will consider arguments concerning identity and ethnic conflict, the political economy of violence, and rationalist explanations for war. The second part of the course examines the dynamics of insurgency and counterinsurgency, including recruitment and rebel alliances, combatant strategies, third-party intervention, and other international dimensions of intrastate conflict. The final section considers the outcomes and aftermaths of civil war, including conflict duration and the challenges of post-conflict statebuilding, and also briefly explores the literature on predictive modeling and forecastin



Format and Requirements

One two-hour seminar per week; requirements TBA