MVZn5050 Human Evolution and International Politics

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2020
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 6 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Bradley Thayer, Ph.D. (lecturer), PhDr. Petr Suchý, Ph.D. (deputy)
Ing. Mgr. Petr Svatoň (assistant)
Guaranteed by
PhDr. Petr Suchý, Ph.D.
Department of International Relations and European Studies - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Olga Cídlová, DiS.
Supplier department: Department of International Relations and European Studies - Faculty of Social Studies
Mon 9. 3. 8:00–9:40 P22, Tue 10. 3. 8:00–9:40 U42, Wed 11. 3. 8:00–9:40 P21, Thu 12. 3. 8:00–9:40 P21, Fri 13. 3. 8:00–9:40 P21, Mon 16. 3. 8:00–9:40 P22
Prerequisites (in Czech)
! MVZ450 Human Evolution and IP && ! NOW ( MVZ450 Human Evolution and IP )
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 25 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 11/25, only registered: 1/25
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
Course Description: This course introduces social science students to evolutionary theory and its application to major theories and topics in international politics. We discuss how evolutionary theory assists international relations theory, permits understanding of the origins of warfare and ethnic conflict, and yields key insights for nuclear deterrence theory and understanding of suicide terrorism in the Islamic fundamentalist context.
Learning outcomes
The students will learn to understand how evolution could affect international relations.
  • Course Outline: Part One: Introduction to the Evolutionary Approach Session One February 29: Introduction and Course Objectives; and What Is Evolution and How May It Be Applied to Social Science? Low, Why Sex Matters, pp. 3-56. Alan Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa, “10 Political Incorrect Truths about Human Nature,” Psychology Today, (July/August 2007), pp. 89-95. Thayer, Darwin and International Politics, pp. 22-59. Part Two: Evolution and Theory Session Two March 1: The Application of Evolutionary Theory to International Relations Theories Thayer, Darwin and International Politics, pp. 60-95. 2 Part Three: Evolution and International Politics Session Three March 2: Evolution and the Origins of War Low, Why Sex Matters, pp. 57-91, 181-244 Thayer, Darwin and International Politics, pp. 96-218. Dominic Johnson and Bradley A. Thayer, “Why Man Seeks Power,” The National Interest blog April 1, 2014, available at: Session Four March 3: Evolution and the Origins of Ethnic Conflict Thayer, Darwin and International Politics, pp. 219-265. Session Five March 4: Evolution and Nuclear Deterrence Simon Baron-Cohen, The Essential Difference: The Truth about the Male and Female Brain (New York: Basic Books, 2003), pp. 1-20, 29-60, 69-84, 117-154. Bradley A. Thayer “Thinking about Nuclear Deterrence,” Comparative Strategy, Vol. 26, No. 4 (July-September 2007), pp. 311-323. Session Six March 7: Evolution and Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorism Bradley A. Thayer and Valerie M. Hudson, ““Sex and the Shaheed: Insights from the Life Sciences on Islamic Suicide Terrorism,” International Security, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Spring 2010), pp. 37-62. Session Seven: March 8: Final Examination Required Books: Bobbi S. Low, Why Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human Behavior (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000). Bradley A. Thayer, Darwin and International Politics: On the Evolutionary Origins of War and Ethnic Conflict (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004).
    required literature
  • THAYER, Bradley A. Darwin and international relations : on the evolutionary origins of war and ethnic conflict. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004. xiv, 425. ISBN 0813123216. info
  • LOW, Bobbi S. Why sex matters : a darwinian look at human behavior. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000. xviii, 412. ISBN 0691089752. info
Teaching methods
Lectures, class discussion.
Assessment methods
Course Requirements: The course language is English. An examination will be given in class on Tuesday, March 8. This will count for 100% of the student’s grade.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught only once.
General note: March 12-16, 2018.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses

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