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POLS 314     Civil Wars  (4)

This course examines the causes, patterns, and resolutions of civil wars and insurgency movements in comparative perspective, drawing on a diverse set of cases from Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. The course's introductory portion is dedicated to conceptualizing and categorizing civil wars by their intensity, types of violence, nature of combat, and types of combatants. A principal question driving the inquiry is why the level of violence -- measured by the number of casualties, refugees, and other victims of war -- is higher in some places than others within the same country or region. This question is addressed through critical assessment of the most prominent conventional and revisionist theories of civil wars, theories highlighting either local or national influences. Not open to new first-year students.