Spring 2022 - POL 348 D100

Theories of War, Peace and Conflict Resolution (4)

Class Number: 5105

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    WMC 2507, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 21, 2022
    3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    POL 141 and three 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.


Course Details:

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.   

Course Times:

3 hours per week.   Tuesday  2:30pm-5:20pm



  • 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) [paperback and electronic]. ISBN 978-1-138-29069-3.  3rd and 4th editions are also acceptable. 

In addition, journal articles will be assigned.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.