Political Science 372 Theories of War and Peace

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Political Science 372
Theories of War and Peace
Spring 2005
Instructor: Professor Catherine Zuckert Office: 412 Flanner

Tel: 631-6623 (o) or 247-1103 (h) Hours: 1-3 Thursday or

zuckert.2@nd.edu 10-12 Friday
Teaching Assistant: Kevin Cherry

Course Description: In this course we will examine the “classic” alternative understandings of the reasons people go to war and consequent proposals to erase the sources or alleviate the results of armed conflict. Although we will concentrate on understanding the different “theories” in an attempt to discover which author is correct and why, we will upon occasion also try to see how these theories elucidate current disputes.
1) to come to a better understanding of the causes of conflict among nations;

2) to investigate proposals for alleviating, if not eradicating such conflict;

3) to investigate what changes or can be changed over time, and to identify the factors, e.g., economic and/or intellectual, responsible for the changes;

4) to learn the different explanations of why war occurs;

5) to determine the effect, if any, of domestic forms of government on foreign relations;

6) to see how theories can affect actual political politics and outcomes.


Available for purchase in the ND Hammes Bookstore:

Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy

Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws

Walzer, Arguing About War

In addition to a
Coursepack–available in La Fortune Copy Shop

W-1/12 Introduction
I. Thucydides’ Tragic View of the Rise and Necessary Decline of Nations
M-1/17 A. The Character of Thucydides’ History and the Circumstances of the War
Read: Thucydides, History, Bk I, Sections 1-88
W-1/19 B. The Character of the Two Regimes and the Causes of War
Read: Thucydides, Bk I., Sections 88-100, 103, 115-146
M-1/24 C. Pericles and the Plague
Read: Thucydides, Bk. II, Sections 1-66
W-1/26 D. Revenge, Interest, and the Effects of Civil War
Read: Thucydides, Bk. III, Sections 1-85
M-1/31 E. The Decline of Athens
Read: Thucydides, Bk. V, Sections 84-116; Bk. VI, 8-41, 60-71, 89-93

(“Alcibiades at Sparta”); VII, 1-17, 47-55, 72-87.

PAPER OPPORTUNITY # 1, Due Monday, February 7 by 9 a.m.
II. Educating Leaders Not To Be ImperialisticPlato’s Republic
W-2/2 A. The Rise of Political Associations and the Causes of War
Read: Republic, selections from Bk II, in coursepack
M-2/7 B. The Education of Warriors
Read: Republic, selections from Bk III-IV in coursepack
III. Just War or Religious War
W-2/9 Read: Augustine, City of God, selections from Ch. XIX in coursepack
M-2/14 Read: Jihad selections in coursepack
SECOND PAPER OPPORTUNITY, Due Monday February 21 by 9 a.m.
IV. Machiavellian Machinations
W-2/16 A. The Advantages of Imperialism

Read: Discourses, Ep. Ded., Bk I, Preface, Ch. 1-8

M-2/21 B. Foundings and Re-foundings
Read: Discourses, Bk I, Ch 9-27, 55, 58, 60
W-2/23 C.. The Conquest of Fortuna
Read: Discourses, Bk II, Preface, Ch. 1-5, 13, 20, 29
M-2/28 D. The Power and Importance of Leadership
Read: Discourses, Bk. III, Ch. 1-5, 9, 17, 19-24, 28
W-3/2 Midterm Examination
Midterm Break
V. Formulating the Law of Nations
A. Definitions of War and Right
M-3/14 Read: Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace, Bk I: Ch. I; Ch. II, Sect. 1-5, Ch. III
B. The Causes of War: Defense of Person and Property

W-3/16 Read: Grotius, Rights, Bk II, .Ch. I, II, XXII- XXV

C. What Is Lawful in War
M-3/21 Read: Grotius, Rights, Bk III, Ch 1, III-VI
VI. Hobbes on the Causes of War and the Rational Remedy
W-3/23 Read: Hobbes, Leviathan Ch 13-15 in coursepack
VII. Montesquieu–Forms of Government and the Liberating Effect of Commerce
W-3/30 A. The “Spirit” of the Laws and the Forms of Government
Read: Spirit of the Laws, Bk. I-IV, Ch.5, pp. 3-36
B. Ancient Republics and Federations for Defense
M-4/4 Read: Spirit of the Laws, Bk. V: Ch. 2-16; Bk. IX and X.
C. Modern Liberal Regimes–Constitutional Checks & Balances, Individual

Liberty, and Characteristic “Mores”

W-4/6 Read: Spirit of the Laws, Bk. XI, Ch. 1-8, Bk. XII, Ch. 1-8, Bk XIX,

Ch. 2-6, 27, pp. 154-68, 187-95, 308-11, 325-33.

D. The Softening Effects of Commerce on Politics–Domestic and International
M-4/11 Read: Spirit of the Laws, Bk. XX, Ch. 1-23; Bk. XXI, Ch. 1-6, 20-22,

Pp. 338-62, 387-96; Hamilton, Federalist #6, coursepack

FIFTH PAPER OPPORTUNITY, Due Monday, April 28 by 9 a.m.
VIII. Liberal Democracies United for Peace
A. Kant’s Proposal for Securing Perpetual Peace
W-4/13 Read: Kant, “Perpetual Peace” (coursepack).
Recommended: Compare with attempts to put Kant’s ideas into practice:
Covenant of the League of Nations:


UN Charter:http://www.un.org/Overview/Charter/contents.html

IX. New Forms of Empire, War and World Government?
M-4/18 A. Imperialism
Read: Selections from Hannah Arendt in the coursepack
Recommended: Vladimir Lenin, Imperialism (in coursepack)

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

W-4/20 B. The New American Hegemon?
Read: National Security Strategy & Kagan in coursepack
M--4/25 C. Can there be a “war on terrorism”?
Read: Walzer, Arguing about War, pp. 51-98, 130-68
W-4/27 D. The Triumph of Just War Theory and the Prospects for a New World Order
Read: Walzer, Arguing, pp. 3-22, 171-91
Preparation for class: Students will be expected to come to class having read and prepared to discuss the assignments. To assist in preparation, everyone will be required to turn in a short paragraph on the reading via e-mail to both instructor and TA before class or in person at the beginning of class. After the paragraph you should also state the one question you would like to have answered. (Everyone is allowed three days “off” without penalty.)
Papers: Students will also be expected to write two short analytical papers on the readings–one before the midterm examination and one after. Each paper should be approximately five pages, typed and double-spaced in length. There are three occasions or “opportunities” upon which students can write such papers in the first half of the semester and three in the second half. Suggested topics and specific directions will be passed out before each such “opportunity.” Students disappointed with their performance on one paper may write another. The two best grades will count toward the grade in the course.

Examinations: There will be an in-class midterm examination on the readings before midterm break and a final examination at the scheduled time during finals week.


Individual grades for the course will be calculated on the following basis:
Participation and paragraphs: 15%

Short papers: 20% each

Midterm Exam 20%

Final Examination 25%

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