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New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2022

GOVT 85.45 The Psychology of International Security

This course provides an in-depth engagement with the political psychology of international security. The course consists of three parts. We first take up fundamental political questions – like “what is power?” and “what is war?” – and engage the diverse answers that psychological IR scholarship currently provides. Noting that war is the most destructive invention in human history, we then use these lenses to critically engage the value-add of psychological theories for why states fight, which necessarily entails an examination of why states don’t fight. The final third of the course uses all of this theoretical and empirical knowledge to examine security and war in our lifetime, beginning with the emergence of “terrorism” as a security issue in the post-Cold War world and looking forward to questions like China’s reemergence and environmental security. Introductory-level knowledge of international relations (e.g., GOV 5) is recommended but not a required prerequisite.

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:INT or SOC

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.