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Code POLS 563
Term 201502
Title Political Violence in the Post-Cold War Era
Faculty Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Subject Political Science(POLS)
SU Credit 3
ECTS Credit 10.00
Instructor(s) Arzu ?lhan K?br?s,
Detailed Syllabus
Language of Instruction English
Level of Course Doctoral
Type of Course Click here to view.
(only for SU students)
Mode of Delivery Formal lecture,Interactive lecture,Seminar
Planned Learning Activities Communicative,Discussion based learning,Case Study

This is a course on political violence in contemporary era, as such it mainly deals with global issues like terrorism, civil war, ethnic conflict, and weapons of mass destruction. The objective of the course is first to define these problems, then to explore the causes, and the proposed solutions to them. While doing so, the course touches upon concepts like religion, nationalism, and ethnicity, and examines how these concepts can turn into major driving forces of conflict by studying some of the recent conflicts in different parts of the world. The discussion on possible solutions includes domestic policy alternatives as well as international intervention and the role of international organizations.


The objective of the course is first to define political violence and its various forms, then to explore the causes, and the proposed solutions to them.

Learning Outcome

At the end of the module students will be able to demonstrate through seminar participation, appropriate performance in the exam and in the written reports the capability to:
a) Define basic concepts in the literature
b) Describe a range of important theories in the study of political violence
c) Differentiate between various types of political violence
c) Identify and evaluate the major issues associated with various conflicts, struggles and instances of political violence around the world. ?
d) Form informed expectations about the dynamics of political violence
e) Identify the social, political, and economic consequences of different types of political violence
e) Formulate appropriate policy responses to political violence
f) Recognize different research methods used in the study of political violence

Programme Outcomes
Common Outcomes For All Programs
1 Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 5
2 Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 5
3 Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 5
4 Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 3
5 Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 4
6 Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 2
7 Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 4
8 Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 1
9 Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 1
10 Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. 1
11 Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 1
12 Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 1
13 Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 5
14 Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 1
15 Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 1
16 Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 2
Common Outcomes For All Programs
1 Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 5
2 Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 4
3 Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 4
4 Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 3
5 Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 4
6 Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 4
Common Outcomes ForFaculty of Arts & Social Sci.
1 Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 5
2 Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 4
3 Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 2
1 Design and model engineering systems and processes and solve engineering problems with an innovative approach.
2 Establish experimental setups, conduct experiments and/or simulations.
3 Analytically acquire and interpret data.
Political Science (with thesis) Program Outcomes Core Electives
1 Begin to grasp historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics. 3
Conflict Analysis and Resolution (with thesis) Program Outcomes Core Electives
1 Analyze current and persistent conflict situations with an emphasis on perceptual and cultural aspects of social conflicts. 5
2 Conduct research in sources of conflicts and possible conflict resolution methods such as negotiation, third-party intervention, cooperative decision making, peace building, track-two and citizens? diplomacy applied to various social contexts. 1
3 Design and implement conflict resolution process to policy issues related to disputes in or among identity groups, governments, organizations, civil society or corporations. 1
4 Develop and sustain arguments in a variety of forms, formulating appropriate questions and utilizing evidence. 5
Assessment Methods and Criteria
  Percentage (%)
Exam 35
Participation 30
Written Report 35
Recommended or Required Reading

- Jackman, Mary. 2002. Violence in Social Life. Annual Review of Sociology. 28: 387-414.
- Vittorio Bufacchi. 2005. Two Concepts of Violence. Political Studies Review. 3:193-204.
- Hedges, Chris. 2003. War is a force that gives us meaning. New York: Anchor Press.
- Human Security Report Project. Human Security Report 2005, Part 1-The Changing Face of Violence. pp:1-46.
- Kalyvas, Stathis. 2001. ?New? and ?Old? Civil Wars: A Valid Distinction? World Politics. 54: 99-118.
- Melander, Erik and Magnus Oberg and Jonathan Hall. 2009. Are ?New Wars? More Atrocious? Battle Severity, Civilians Killed and Forced Migration Before and After the End of the Cold War. European Journal of International Relations. 15(3): 505-536.
- Malesvic, Sinisa. 2008. The Sociology of New Wars? Assessing the Causes and Objectives of Contemporary Violent Conflicts. International Political Sociology, 2: 97-112.
- Brubaker, Rogers and David D. Laitin. 1998. Ethnic and Nationalist Violence. Annual Review of Sociology. 24: 423?427
- Kalyvas, Stathis. 2006. The Logic of Violence in Civil War. Cambridge. pp:1-5, 16-51.
- Sambanis, Nicholas. 2004. What is Civil War? Conceptual and Empirical Complexities of an Operational Definition. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 48(6).
- Collier, P., L. Elliot, H. Hegre, A. Hoeffler, M. Reynal-Querol and N. Sambanis. 2003. Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy. World Bank Policy Research Report.
- Collier, Paul and Anke Hoeffler. 2009. Civil War.
- Kalyvas, Stathis. 2003. The Ontology of ?Political Violence?: Action and Identity in Civil Wars. Perspectives on Politics. 1(3): 475-494.
- Center For European Studies, UNC Chapel Hill. ?What Happened to Yugoslavia? The War, The Peace and The Future?.
- Brown, Michael. 1996/1997. The Causes of Internal Conflict in Brown et al., eds., Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict. Cambridge: MIT Press.
- David, Steven R. 1997. Internal War: Causes and Cures. World Politics. 49(4).
- Fearon, James and David Laitin. 2003. Ethnicity, Insurgency and Civil War. American Political Science Review. 97(1): 75-89.
- Humphreys, Macartan and Jeremy M. Weinstein. 2008. Who Fights? The Determinants of Participation in Civil War. American Journal of Political Science. 52(2): 436?455.
- Sambanis, Nicholas. 2001. Do Ethnic and Nonethnic Civil Wars Have The Same Causes. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 45(3): 259-282.
- Reynal-Querol, Marta. 2002. Ethnicity, Political Systems, and Civil Wars. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 46(1): 29-54.
- Ross, M. L..2004. How Does Natural Resource Wealth Influence Civil Wars? Evidence from Thirteen Cases. International Organization. Winter issue.
- Thyne, Clayton. 2006. ABCs, 123s, and the Golden Rule: The Pacifying Effect of Education on Civil War. International Studies Quarterly. 50(4):733-754.
- Collier, Paul and Anke Hoeffler. 2004. Greed and Grievance in Civil War. Oxford Economic Papers. 56(4): 563?595.
- Fearon, James. 2004. Why do Some Civil Wars Last so Much Longer Than Others?. Journal of Peace Research. 41(3):275-288.
- Kydd, Andrew and Barbara Walter. 2002. Sabotaging Peace: The Politics of Extremist Violence. International Organization. 56(2): 263?296.
- Humphreys, Macartan and Jeremy Weinstein. 2006. Handling and Manhandling Civilians in Civil War. American Political Science Review. 100(3):429?447.
- Kalyvas, Stathis and Matthew Adam Kocher. 2009. The Dynamics of Violence in Vietnam: An Analysis of the Hamlet Evaluation System. Journal of Peace Research. 46(3): 335?355.
- Wood, Elisabeth J. 2006. Variation in Sexual Violence During War. Politics & Society. 34 (3): 307-341.
- United Human Rights Council, ?Genocide in Rwanda?.
- Yanagizawa?Drott, David. 2012. Propaganda and Conflict: Theory and Evidence from the Rwandan Genocide. Working paper. Kennedy School of Government.
- Desforges, Alison. 1999. Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda. Human Rights Watch Report.
- Straus, Scott. 2004. How Many Perpetrators Were There in the Rwandan Genocide? An Estimate. Journal of Genocide Research. 6(1): 85?98.
- Kibris, Arzu. forthcoming. The Conflict Trap Revisited. Journal of Conflict Resolution.
- Ghobarah, Hazem Adam, Paul Huth and Bruce Russett. 2003. Civil Wars Kill and Maim People Long After the Shooting Stops. American Political Science Review. 97(2):189-202
- Carlton-Ford, Steve and Danielle Boop. 2010. Civil War and Life Chances : A Multinational Study. International Sociology. 25(1):75-97.
- Gates, Scott et al..2012. Development Consequences of Armed Conflict. World Development. 40(9):1713-1722.
- Hoeffler, Anke and Marta Reynal-Querol. 2003. Measuring the Costs of Conflict.
- Shemyakina, Olga. 2011. The effect of armed conflict on accumulation of schooling: Results from Tajikistan. Journal of Development Economics. 95:186-200.
- Kaufmann, Chaim. 1996. Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Civil Wars. International Security. 20(4):136-175.
- Sambanis, Nicholas. 2000. Partition as a Solution to Ethnic War: An Empirical Critique of the Theoretical Literature. World Politics. 52:437-382.
- Walter, Barbara. 2004. Does Conflict Beget Conflict? Explaining Recurring Civil War. Journal of Peace Research. 41: 371-388.
- Walter, Barbara. 1997. The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement. International Organization. 51(3):335-364.
- Brown, Michael and Chantal de Jonge Oudraat. 2001. Internal Conflict and International Action in Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict edited by Michael Brown et al.. The MIT Press. pp:163-192.
- Harff, Barbara. 2003. No Lessons Learned from the Holocaust? Assessing Risks of Genocide and Political Mass Murder since 1955. American Political Science Review. 97(1): 57-73.
- BBC News, Special Reports, A History of Conflict,
- History of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict, PBS, available at
- Moghadam, Assaf. 2003. Palestinian Suicide Terrorism in the Second Intifada: Motivations and Organizational Aspects. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 26(2): 65-92.
- Berrebi, Claude and Esteban F. Klor. 2008. Are Voters Sensitive to Terrorism. American Political Science Review. 102(3).
- The 9/11 Commission Report. 2011. W.W. Norton and Company.
- Hoffman, Bruce. 2006. Inside Terrorism. Columbia University Press.
- Victoroff, Jeff. 2005. The Mind of the Terrorist: A Review and Critique of Psychological Approaches. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 49(1): 3-42.
- Kydd, Andrew H. and Barbara F. Walter. 2006. The Strategies of Terrorism. International Terrorism. 31(1): 49-79.
- Garton Ash, Timothy. Is There a Good Terrorist? New York Review of Books. November 29, 2001.
- Abadie, Albert. 2006. Poverty, Political Freedom and the Roots of Terrorism. American Economic Review. 96(2).
- Krueger, Alan B. and Jitka Maleckova. 2002. Education, Poverty, Political Violence, and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?
- Hassan, Nasra. 19 November 2001. An Arsenal of Believers, Talking to the Human Bombs. The New Yorker.
- Pape, Robert A. 2003. The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. American Political Science Review. 97(3): 343-61.
- Crenshaw, Martha. 1981. The Causes of Terrorism. Comparative Politics. 13(4): 379-399.
- Blair, Graeme C., Christine Fair, Neil Malhotra and Jacob Shapiro. 2012. Poverty and Support for Militant Politics: Evidence from Pakistan. Forthcoming American Journal of PoliticalScience.
- Crenshaw, Martha. 1999. How Terrorism Ends. Washington D.C.: United States Institute for Peace.
- Bueno de Mesquita, Ethan. 2003. Conciliation, Counter-Terrorism, and Patterns of Terrorist Violence: A Comparative Study of Four Cases. pp:1-28.
- Talbott, Strobe. 2001. The Other Evil: The War on Terrorism Won?t Succeed without a War on Poverty. Foreign Policy.
- Fair, Christine and Bryan Shepherd. 2006. Who Supports Terrorism? Evidence from Fourteen Muslim Countries. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. 29(1):51-74.