POL S 333 A: Topics In International Relations

Meeting Time: 
MW 9:00am - 10:20am
PCAR 291
Jonathan Mercer

Syllabus Description:

Strategy and War

syllabus here and below

Lecture outlines, here

Assigned readings, here

Reading questions, here




Professor Jonathan Mercer                                                     Pol Sci 333, Winter 2017

Gowen 135, mercer@uw.edu                                                 M,W 9:00-10:20

Office hours: M, 1:30-3:00                                                   Room: PCAR 291


Teaching  Assistants


Strategy is when my best move depends on your move. It is a central issue in the study of international security. We begin the course with an assessment of strategy and rationality. How does one deter war, how important are individual beliefs and theories, and how can one use psychology to help with strategy? To what extent are individuals less important than their environment in explaining war? We will examine the role of material and ideational structures, and then examine two specific types of conflict (ethnic conflict and insurgencies). We conclude the first part of the course with an an examination of ethics, choice, and war crimes. In the second part of the course, we return to deterrence theory with a focus on the nuclear revolution and nuclear strategy. We then focus on a set of specific topics: terrorism, chemical and biological weapons, cyber warfare, intelligence, economic sanctions, and non-lethal weapons. The course objective is to familiarize students with deterrence theory and other theoretical approaches to the study of international conflict, as well as to provide background in a few substantive areas of international security.



Department Requirements: 
International Relations Field
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:16pm