Summer 2019 - POL 348 D100

Theories of War, Peace and Conflict Resolution (4)

Class Number: 5879

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 5030, Burnaby

    We 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 3220, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 12, 2019
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    SSCC 9001, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Six lower division units in political science or permission of the department.



Examines the origins and causes of several major conflicts during the last century. This course reviews various theories on the causes of conflict and war in the international system. It also examines the techniques of preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping, crisis management and coercive diplomacy as they have been used to try to forestall open warfare and maximize the opportunities for peaceful change and the negotiated resolution of international disputes. Both documentary and feature films will be used to illustrate many types of conflict and warfare in the international system. Course simulations, when employed, will concentrate on the problems and risks that are involved in international efforts to contain and reverse the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.


Why do wars occur? How can we maintain peace? Are we destined for another big war among competing great powers? These are fundamental and perennial questions in world politics, and many thinkers have wrestled with them. This course provides an overview of these theories, as well as common ways of scholarly inquiry, with which all students of international security should be familiar. Upon the successful completion of this course, students will have acquired the foundational knowledge for further academic training in international security affairs.

There will be a four-hour lecture twice a week (8 hours of instruction per week).

Summer Session


  • Participation (attendance and weekly journals) 25%
  • In-class mid-term exam 35%
  • Final examination 40%



• Richard K. Betts, ed., Conflict After the Cold War: Arguments on Causes of War and Peace. 5th ed. (Routledge, NY: 2017). 3rd and 4th editions are also acceptable.
ISBN: 978-1-138-29069-3

• Kenneth N. Waltz, Man, the State, and War (New York: Columbia University Press, 1959). Later editions are also acceptable. ISBN 978-0231125376 978-0-231-12537-6.

In addition, journal articles will be assigned (reserved at the library).

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.
For details, see and click on “Plagiarism and Intellectual Dishonesty” .

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.