International Security: War and Peace
I. Course Prefix/Number: PSC 250
Course Name: International Security: War and Peace
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course examines the causes and consequences of wars as well as strategies for peace in world politics. A variety of topics such as the nature and origins of war and peace, terrorism, ethnic and religious conflicts, intervention, globalization, and arms proliferation will be analyzed from a theoretical and historical perspective. Current world events relating to these topics will be discussed.
IV. Learning Objectives
- Identify and define the factors involved in the study of international security issues;
- Describe and explain the causes of wars and the conditions for peace in world politics;
- Analyze and interpret the causes and consequences of various historical and contemporary conflicts;
- Analyze the conditions for security, and evaluate the nature of threats in the world today;
- Evaluate and interpret alternatives to traditional international security arrangements.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
- Introduction to the Study of War and Peace.
- The Enduring Logic of Conflict in World Politics.
- Origins of the Great Twentieth-Century Conflicts.
- Balance of Power and World War I.
- The Failure of Collective Security and World War II.
- Conflict During the Cold War.
- Conflict in the Post-Cold War World.
- Intervention, Institutions, and Emerging International Norms.
- Regional, Ethnic, and Religious Conflicts.
- Globalization and Interdependence.
- The Information Revolution, Transnational Actors and the Diffusion of Power.
- A New World Order, or a New Disorder? Implications for U.S. National Security Strategy.
VII. Methods of Instruction
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
Students will be required to:
- Read a standard textbook and research materials.
- Write outside of class the equivalent of 12-14 double-spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
- Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.
IX. Instructional Materials
Textbooks and readers such as:
Baylis, Wirtz, Gray, and Cohen, Strategy in the Contemporary World
Colin S. Gray, War, Peace, and International Relations
Joseph S. Nye, Understanding International Conflicts.
Richard K. Betts, Conflict After the Cold War.
William M. Evan, War & Peace.
Robert J. Art and Kenneth N. Waltz, The Use of Force.
Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, International Politics.
Films and Documentaries such as:
The Battle of Algiers,
The Fog of War,
Why We Fight.
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in- and out-of-class assignments.
XI. Other Course Information
Support Services: Tutoring is available in the Learning Center.
Important Dates: *
|XX/XX:||Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record|
|XX/XX:||Last day to change to Audit|
|XX/XX:||Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester|
|XX/XX:||Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"|
*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.