POL*356*10 Description


Civil War & Violence in Africa


This course provides an analytical approach to the study of civil wars in post-independent sub-Sarahan Africa. The course divides into four parts. The first provides a broad overview of the challanges that Africa confronts. The second part of the course investigates the causes of civil wars; what conditions permit civil war? Why do dissidents or governments choose violence instead of peaceful means of resolving disputes? Is civil war politics by other means or a means of wealth acquisition? The third explores the processes of civil war: why do people join insurgencies? And why do some conflicts become more violent than others? We will conclude the course by examining mechanisms for resolving conflicts. We will explore why the international community intervenes to stop genocide in some wars but not in others' what takes it so long to act, if it acts at all; how the prospect of military intervention affects the military strategies of combatant parties in civil wars; and whether outsiders help or hinder the resolution of civil wars. Prerequisite(s): POL 104