CDSn4001 Conflict Analysis

Faculty of Social Studies
Autumn 2023
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 8 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Miriam Matejova, Ph.D. (lecturer)
doc. PhDr. Věra Stojarová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. PhDr. Věra Stojarová, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science – Faculty of Social Studies
Supplier department: Department of Political Science – Faculty of Social Studies
Mon 12:00–13:40 PC25
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
This course examines the causes of conflict and particularly war. It focuses primarily on major interstate war, though the causes of civil war and violent internal/intrastate conflict are also addressed. The course is divided into three main parts. Part I explores the key concepts in the study of conflict, including definitions of conflict (and peace) as well as conflict actors and conflict phases. Part II focuses on major theories, hypotheses, and debates on the causes of war. We conclude the course by examining debates on conflict resolution, war prevention, and the future of war.
Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to: identify and critically evaluate major theories, hypotheses, and debates on the causes of violent interstate conflict and civil war; use theory to better understand and gain insight into the causes of particular conflicts; and use theory and history to design and assess viable policy options for preventing or minimizing the severity of violent conflict.
  • Defining conflict
  • Conflict actors and phases
  • International systemic causes of war: balance of power
  • International systemic causes of war: critiques of balance of power
  • Hypotheses on military factors as a cause of war
  • National misperception as a cause of war
  • Domestic political/social causes of war
  • Causes of civil war
  • Asymmetric conflicts: rebellion and insurgency
  • Conflict resolution and future of war
    required literature
  • • Jeremy Weinstein, Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).
  • • J. David Singer, “The Level of Analysis Problem in International Relations,” World Politics 14, no. 1 (1961): 77–92.
  • • James D. Fearon and David D. Laitin, “Ethnicity, Insurgency and Civil War,” American Political Science Review 97, no. 1 (February 2003): 75–90.
  • • Robert Jervis, “Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma,” World Politics 30, no. 2 (January 1978): 167–214.
  • • Otomar J. Bartos and Paul Wehr, Using Conflict Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002).
  • • Kenneth Waltz, “The Origins of War in Neorealist Theory,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 18, no. 4 (Spring 1988): 615–628.
  • • Stephen Van Evera, “Primed for Peace: Europe After the Cold War,” International Security 15, no. 3 (Winter 1990-91): 7–57.
Teaching methods
Lectures, class discussion, online reading summaries and discussion
Assessment methods
Written analytical summaries, written examination
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2020, Autumn 2021, Autumn 2022, Autumn 2024.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2023, recent)
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