Analyzing Armed Actors in Civil War (Scharpf, Spring 2015)

Hauptseminar, Spring 2015: Ausgewählte Themen der internationalen Beziehungen: Militaries, Militias, and Rebels: Analyzing Armed Actors in Civil War

Instructor: Adam Scharpf

FSS 2015
SWS: 2


In this seminar we engage with contemporary research on armed and violent actors. The main goal of the course is to think critically about a set of substantive questions pertaining the behavior of state and non-state armed organizations during civil war. Why do some rebel groups attack civilians while others protect them? Why do some rebel groups fight each other while others build alliances? Why do some governments use militias while others rely only on their regular armed forces? Why are some militaries more successful in fighting insurgents than others? This course explores these questions. Exploiting different analytical angles that are used in the literature, we will focus on the factors that shape the strategies and choices of armed organizations and study their influence on the dynamics of civil conflict. This seminar will be taught in English.

Course requirements:

  • Regular attendance and active class participation (15%)
  • One presentations (20%)
  • One research note (20%)
  • One research paper (45%)

Office hours:

By appointment.
Parkring 47, Room 114

Dates and times:

Wednesday, 19:00–20:30 (weekly), Room: A5, 6, B–318