Summer 2003
Fully Enrolled

SOCS 617
War and Society


06/23/2003 - 08/05/2003
Tuesday & Thursday 09:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 422

Social existence involves both cooperation and conflict, and social conflict often spills over into physical violence. While most societies condemn physical violence between individuals, they condone and encourage collectively organized violence in the form of warfare. There is no modern society that has not taken part in warfare, so an understanding of war is clearly essential to any understanding of human existence.

We examine war as a social, political, and historical phenomenon, looking at the way wars have led to consolidation of political power, the acceleration of social change, and gender relations. Our focus is on the role played by technology in the interaction between war and society, studying examples including medieval Europe, the gunpowder revolution, colonial wars, the American Civil War, World War II, Vietnam and Iraq.

Peter Rutland (B.A. Oxford University; D. Phil. York University) is professor of government and author and editor of numerous books, including Business and State in Contemporary Russia (Westview, 2001); The Politics of Economic Stagnation in the Soviet Union: The Role of Local Party Organs in Economic Management (Cambridge University Press, 1993); and The Myth of the Plan: Lessons from Soviet Planning Experience (Open Court, 1985). Click here for more information about Peter Rutland.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

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