Hauptseminar: Ausgewählte Themen der Internationalen Beziehungen: Political Violence and Armed Conflict (IB) (HWS 2013)

Instructor: Professorin Dr. Sabine Carey


In this course, we will engage with contemporary research on various forms of intra-state political violence, including civil war, ethnic conflict and repression. The main goal of the course is to think critically about a set of substantive questions about political violence. Why have some states been more peaceful than others? What explains the onset, duration and termination of civil wars? Why do governments repress their own citizens and how can this be prevented? How can a country attempt to deal with the aftermath of political violence? This course explores these questions. In the last decades, both scholars and policy makers have increasingly paid attention to conflicts going on within, rather than between, states. The course introduces students to theoretical debates and empirical trends on intrastate conflicts and political violence.


Walter, Barbara F. 2009. ”Bargaining Failures and Civil War.” Annual Review of Political

Science 2012(1): 243-261.

Blattman, C., and E. Miguel. 2010. ”Civil War.” Journal of Economic Literature 48 (1): 3-57.

Pinker, Steven. 2011. The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence in History

And Its Causes. London: Penguin Books. Chapter 6 The New Peace.

Course requirements

Course requirements include regular attendance, active class participation, incl. a class presentation, a short literature critiques and acting as a discussant, and a research paper.

Office hours: By appointment

Dates and Times:  Tuesdays 12:00-13:30 (weekly), Room: A 5, 6 Bauteil B – B 143