ESSAYS by monkey6



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Professors A Seegers
Consultation Hours: TBA
Tutorial Assistants: TBA


This course is an introduction to the study of conflict in world politics. We use the
concept conflict to refer to organised political violence. Organised political violence
means that more than a few people are involved; that, because the violence occurs more
than once, some forethought, links and planning are involved; and that the violence
occurs in a political or power setting. Interstate conflict refers to situations with states as
major actors and where at least 1000 people per annum are killed. Intrastate conflict
refers to organised political violence occurring primarily within the borders of one
country and killing at least 1000 people over its course, with a yearly average of at least

Since the literature on conflict is immense, we focus on only the following six questions:

1. How should we study conflict?
2. What causes conflict?
3. Who participates in conflict?
4. How do people behave during conflict?
5. What are the consequences of conflict?
6. How do we evaluate conflict?

To each of these questions, there are different, even opposing, answers. We shall
examine these answers, illustrating them with cases and/or empirical material.

READING MATERIAL You will receive a Course Reader. Additional material will be
placed on Vula.

GRADES          25% = test;
                25% = essay; and
                50% = examination

DUE DATES               Essay =
                        Test =

EXPECTATIONS In the class test and the exam, you will be tested on your command of
the basic questions, answers, debates and issues relating to conflict. The Reader, lectures,
tutorials, and your own reading should prepare your for the tests and exam. The essays are

an opportunity to show how you can research issues largely, but not entirely, on your
own. Limit, therefore, your use of the Course Reader and lecture notes.

HOW TO SUBMIT WORK In two ways: (a) Essays and tutorial assignments are
submitted via Vula and (b) are posted in the correct box outside the Departmental Office
on or before the due date. This box is closed after the due date; late essays must be
submitted to the Departmental Secretary, who will stamp a date on your essay. Never
submit essays to the lecturer and never shove it under the lecturer’s office door. Essays
not submitted via Vula and Turnitin will be returned with a 0%.

UNABLE TO MEET A DEADLINE? There are many justifiable reasons for being late,
not submitting assignments, etc. You will be accommodated if you: (i) discuss your
situation with the lecturer in advance; and/or (ii) submit a medical certificate or
appropriate documentation to the lecturer. Tutorial assistants and administrative
assistants/secretaries cannot grant extensions. If you are unjustifiably late, a 5% per day
penalty applies. A weekend is calculated as 10%.

DPR-REQUIREMENTS1 To qualify for a DP, a student must:

       attend tutorials (more than 2 unjustified absences = DPR);
       write the test;
       write an essay; and
       achieve a coursework average of 45%

RE-EXAMINATION Provided that you intend to graduate in June 2009, re-
examinations will be offered to deserving students. Names will appear on the
departmental notice board within one week of the POL3030F examination: it is your
responsibility to see whether your name appears on this list.

RULES UCT regulations also require that a student’s work must be their own, ethically
appropriate work. Thus, for example, written work must include a statement that work
has not been plagiarised; we understand plagiarism as fraud or pretending that work,
words and ideas are your own when it is not. Violation of UCT rules and regulations may
lead to your suspension and/or expulsion from the university. For UCT Humanities
Faculty’s style, see For the Chicago style,
which is also acceptable, see

 UCT regulations state that a student cannot write examinations without duly performed
certification. Students who have not completed required coursework receive DPR-
certification; the list of DPRs is posted as soon as possible.



a. Define/describe the following concepts: authority and coercion; conflict and war;
structural violence and deadly force; defence and security; positive and negative peace;
the military; and militarism

b. Describe the following types of conflicts: interstate wars (general/hegemonic; limited;
and ordinary/simple) and intrastate wars (revolution; civil war; dirty war; and collapsed

c. Describe the major types of warfare, including the concepts associated with each type:
nuclear warfare; conventional warfare; unconventional warfare; and the use of terror


1.1. Briefly explain the following (general) approaches and theories about conflict:
     Realism; Constructivism; Domestic Content: for example, Democratic Peace and
     State Weakness explanations; Ethnicity and Identity for example, Huntington and
     Posen’s ethnic Security Dilemma; Quantitative Approaches: for example, Correlates-
     of-War; and Peace Operations.

1.2. Briefly explain the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches and theories.

1.3. Define the key concepts of the above approaches and theories, including Balance-of-
Power; Security Dilemma; Norms, Identity and Culture; State Failure; etc


2.1. Correlations about intrastate conflict: Identify the major correlations found by
Collier and Hoeffler; Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their “greed”-argument.
Identify the major correlations found by Fearon and Laitin; Discuss the strengths and
weaknesses of Fearon and Laitin’s argument.

2.2. About 9/11 and the Use of Terror: Why do political actors use terror? Was “religious
fundamentalism” the major cause of 9/11? What are the major causes of 9/11? Did 9/11
involve “asymmetric” political relationships? Did messianic sanctions play a role in

 Notes for the Introduction are available on Vula.
 If you need more information on Intrastate Conflicts, consult the second part of the
POL2038F course reader entitled Violent Politics: Intrastate Wars and Their Explanation.
The reader is available for purchase at the Administrative Office of the Department of
Political Studies.


2.3. Some scholars have said that Rwanda is a prime example of an “ethnic conflict.” In
your view: What caused the Rwandan conflict (1990-1994)? What caused the mass
killing of 1994? How different are the explanations of Des Forges and Mamdani about
the mass participation in the killings of 1994? How would Barry Posen’s ethnic Security
Dilemma help to explain the mass killing of 1994?



3.1. Using the approach known as Civil-Military Relations, identify the following types
of kind of military organisation and the context in which it is usually found. The
Professional Soldier; the Revolutionary Soldier; the Praetorian Soldier; the Warlord
Soldier; and the Peace Soldier

3.2. About the United Nations as a Peace Soldier: What does the United Nations Mandate
say about peace and security? Describe these concepts as used by the UN: collective
security; preventative diplomacy, peacemaking; peacekeeping, peace enforcement; and
peacebuilding. What are the major achievements of the UN Peace Soldier? What are the
major criticisms of the UN Peace Soldier in Rwanda?

3.3. What can we learn about the tendencies of (a) the Peace Soldier and (b) the Warlord
Soldier from their encounter in Somalia?

3.4. About the Corporate Soldier: What is a “corporate military/security company”? Who
hires these companies, for what reasons, and to do what? What are the major criticisms of
the Corporate Soldier?


4.1. Institutions and Behaviour: How do institutions influence a country's behaviour
during conflicts? Use the American government’s behaviour during the Cuban Missile
Crisis to illustrate your arguments.

4.2. Political Culture and Behaviour: Does political culture affect behaviour during
conflict? Consider Japanese behaviour during WW II.

4.3. Behaviour in “New Wars”: How do you respond to the claims that behaviour in some
recent conflicts – the “new” wars - is barbaric, motivated by greed, unnecessarily violent,
and involves unrepresentative groups?

4.4. Why are refugees’ behaviour often criticised?



5.1. What criteria are used to evaluate war and peace?

5.2. (a) What are the major arguments for and against an approach of conducting war
crimes trials about abuses of violence during conflict? And (b) What are some of the
main problems associated with the Nuremberg trials?

5.3. What are the major arguments for and against conducting UN criminal tribunals, like
the ICTY, about abuses of violence during conflict?

5.4. What are the major arguments for and against an approach that relies on the
International criminal Court (ICC) to punish abuses of violence during conflict?


6.1. How would you assess the consequences of interstate wars? Organise the effects into
different levels of analyses.

6.2. Some scholars argue that World War I created some of the major causes of the
Middle East’s conflicts. How do you respond to this view?

6.3. Long Cycle-theorists say general or hegemonic war changes the international system:
Use World War II to illustrate this theory.



1. LENGTH Each essay may not exceed 5,000 and be no less than 4,000 words. Please
attach the word count to the cover page.


       Select one interstate conflict of the post-1945 era: explain the major causes of this

       Select one case of terror: Why did the actor(s) choose to use terror?

       How do institutions influence a country's behaviour during conflicts? Use the
       American government’s behaviour prior to 9/11 to illustrate your arguments.

       It is often said that the consequences of one war are the causes of the next war. Is
       this true of world wars I and II?

2. ASSESSMENT Criteria are posted on Vula. Remember the essays are an opportunity
to show how you can research issues about conflict largely, but not entirely, on your own.
Please, therefore, limit your use of material given to you - the Readers and lecture notes -
in the essays. You may use the Web/internet: your ability to find and use trustworthy sites
will be assessed. Avoid amateurish and commercially minded sites, including Wikipedia.

3. REFERENCE SYSTEM All work should be referenced either in the style prescribed
by UCT's Humanities Faculty or in the Chicago style. For the former, we will check your
work against the instructions of the UCT Humanities Faculty website. For the Chicago
style, see

4. DUE DATE The essay is due by the

5. HOW TO SUBMIT: Via Vula and Turnitin. Essays not submitted in this manner
will be returned unmarked.


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