Fall 2018 - HS 280 D100

War in the Balkans and the Making of the 21st Century (3)

Class Number: 8889

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5008, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 15, 2018
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    AQ 5037, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    James Horncastle
    Office: AQ 6207
    Office Hours: Mon, 12:30-13:30 or by appointment



Provides an overview of the second World War as a backdrop to the dramatic changes in Greece and South Eastern Europe. Students with credit for HS 280 may not take IS 280 for further credit. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


The Refugee Crisis, one of the defining events of the 21st century, has its origins in the Syrian Civil War. War influencing the Balkans is not a new development, as it has played a pivotal role in shaping the political, cultural, and structural dynamics of the region for much of modern history. Many of the legacies of today, in fact, are the result of the conflicts of the past century. This course, therefore, provides an overview of military developments in the 20th century Balkan history as a backdrop to the dramatic changes in Greece and South Eastern Europe in the 21st century. The lectures will examine the construction and development of these states, and the role that warfare had in their creation. Topics will include: How does one define irregular war? What role does warfare have in state formation? What role have non-state entities, such as guerrillas, had in constructing states in the region? What role has warfare had in creating specific cultural and social dynamics in the region? Answering these and other related questions will not only be of use for those seeking to increase their awareness of the Balkans and contemporary events, but also those who seek to expand their understanding of international relations as a whole.


  • In-Class Quizzes 20%
  • Class Participation 20%
  • Midterm (Week 7) 30%
  • Take-Home Final Exam 30%



D101 09:30-10:20, Wednesdays, West Mall Centre, RM 2530

D102 11:30-12:20, Wednesdays, West Mall Centre, RM 2530



All required readings will be provided on Canvas or emailed by the professor. 


  • Beckett, Ian. Modern Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies: Guerrillas and their Opponents Since 1750. London: Routledge, 2001.
  • Glenny, Misha. The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers, 1804-2012. Toronto: Anansi, 2012.
These texts are not required, but are useful reference materials for the historical issues and themes covered in the course. They will be made available on two-hour loan at the library.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html