Title: Conflict Resolution in World Politics (790:363:H6)

Instructor: Dalia F Fahmy

Instructor’s E-mail: daliaf@rci.rutgers.edu

Dates, Times, Location: Summer III (07/11/11-08/17/11); TTh 6:00-9:55pm; CDL-102

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 5-6pm

Synopsis: This is a course that looks into the nature and management of conflict in world politics. It covers theoretical and paradigmatic approaches used by scholars and practitioners to gain greater understanding of world politics.  Throughout the semester, we will examine various approaches taken to answering central questions of world politics: What are the causes of war? What can be done to prevent or resolve international conflicts?  What roles do individuals, states and the international system play within international relations?  What is the role of international organizations?  Are anarchy, conflict and insecurity the normal state of affairs in world politics?  What is power?  How is power exercised?  Can governments cooperate effectively to address pressing global and regional problems such as environmental destruction, poverty, disease and underdevelopment, civil conflict and violations of human rights?  Do "events" including the collapse of most communist regimes, the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the global economy signal a fundamental turning point in the history of international politics?  Lastly, we will repeatedly ask and attempt to answer the following questions: What does all of this have to do with us? and What roles are, or could be, played by the United States?"

The goal of this course is to provide students with an improved conceptual and theoretical understanding of the study of world politics.   There will be a great emphasis on the limits of national power, sources of various types of conflicts, changing patterns of alliance and alignment, and approaches to peace, resolution and stability. We will also examine several leading theoretical approaches to questions such as those posed above and draw upon a range of past and present examples, events and case studies in order to evaluate the claims and explanatory power of various theories.  We will ask whether available theories shed light on such diverse processes as nationalism, war and conflict, the workings of the global economy, human transformation of the global environment and human rights violations.  We will also examine ethical issues emerging from the theory and practice of international relations.