My Courses

War and Peace in the Modern Age (Gov 50.04): This course explores the fundamental issues of war and peace. What is war? What is peace? Why do human beings engage in lethal combat? Why do international and civil wars occur? Can war ever be morally justified? How can wars be avoided or limited? How have military technologies such as nuclear weapons and drones and changed the practice and ethics of war? Students examine general theories of war and peace and explore how these theories apply in selected historical cases including the Second World War, genocides in Darfur and Rwanda, and the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The course will also help students understand the experience of war for combatants, non-combatants and those who work to prevent war.

International Politics (Gov 5) : This course provides an introduction to the field of international relations. More than ever, international cooperation is necessary for states to achieve security and prosperity in an increasingly interconnected world. The challenges to achieving cooperation among nations, however, remain significant. International Politics focuses on understanding the barriers to international cooperation and on the different ways that people, states and international institutions might overcome them. The course begins with a review of the dominant theoretical paradigms for understanding international relations. It then applies these theories to the major substantive areas of international relations: international security, the global economy, and emerging issues such as the global environment and economic development. The goal of this course is to help students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to think critically about international politics.

International Security (Gov 53): This course examines contemporary problems of war and peace in historical and theoretical perspective. What were the causes of war in the past and what can we learn from them today? To what degree have nuclear weapons changed the international system? Will international relations be more or less peaceful in the future than they were in the past? The course begins with a review of political, psychological and organizational theories of the causes of war and then uses these theories to examine the origins of the First World War, the Second World War in Europe, and the Pacific War between Japan and the United States. The course then examines the dawn of the nuclear era and the efforts of the United States and the Soviet Union to accommodate these weapons in their military and political strategies. Finally, the course investigates the major emerging international security problems of the post-Cold War era. What are the causes and consequences of the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction? What are the causes of terrorism and what should be done about it? What kind of foreign and security policies should America adopt to ensure its security and limit the potential for war for the years ahead?

The Causes and Prevention of Genocide and Mass Killing (Gov 85.16): This course examines genocide and other kinds of mass killing in historical and theoretical perspective. The course will begin by examining the debate over the concept of genocide. Then the course reviews a range of psychological, sociological, and political perspectives on the causes of genocide and mass killing. Next, the course examines a number of historical episodes of genocide and mass killing including the Holocaust, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, mass killings by communist states in China, the Soviet Union and Cambodia, and episodes involving the mass killing of civilian populations during war. Finally, the course explores possible measures that the United States and/or the international community might take to limit or prevent genocide and mass killing in the future. For example, should the international community use military force to prevent genocide if necessary? Will institutions like the International Criminal Court help to deter genocide and mass killing?

Honors Program in Government(Gov 98/99): Government 98 provides students with the intellectual tools necessary to research and write high quality senior honors theses in the field of government. Among other activities, students will review the strengths and weaknesses of previous government honors theses, examine various political science research methods and receive critical feedback from the program directors and fellow students on written work including research proposals and draft chapters.

Leading Voices in U.S. Foreign Policy (Gov 50): American interests and values are increasingly affected by events that occur beyond our borders. This course addresses the major issues in U.S. foreign policy today. These issues include American grand strategy, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, international public health, international economic development, international trade and finance, climate change, human rights and humanitarian intervention, as well as regional issues such as U.S. policies towards China, the Middle East and Afghanistan. Each week, the course will feature a public lecture by a prominent current or former policy maker or expert in one of these policies areas. One course meeting each week will be devoted to preparing for the week’s guest speaker and discussing the content of the previous week. The second class meeting will be reserved for the guest speaker who will address the assigned topic. In most cases, the guest speakers will meet exclusively with the class for a lecture and question and answer session.



Dartmouth TedX Talk “When Bad Men Combine": Why does genocide happen in some societies and not others? Hear my answer in this 2011 TedX talk.