PIM71-Origins and Causes of War

Module Provider: Graduate Institute for Politics and Internat Studs
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught:
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Beatrice Heuser

Email: d.b.g.heuser@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Aims:
• To give students a cursory introduction to the way in which different disciplines – from biology and paleo-anthropology to anthropology and psychology and finally to historiography and political science – have approached the causation of war;
• To introduce students to patterns of origins of war in human history
• To introduce them to the main academic debates surrounding the subject;
• To enable them to apply key theories to historical data;
• To enable them to transfer this knowledge and the analytical skills to future careers requiring such skills.

Assessable learning outcomes:
• Very basic proficiency in the terminology of biology, paleo-anthropology, anthropology, psychology, sociology, and political science in tackling the origins and causes of warfare;
• Understanding of some of the basic theories with regard to the causation of war developed in these disciplines;
• A relation of these to actual historical cases.
• Proficient research, analysis, and writing skills

Additional outcomes:
• Good skills in oral presentations, including Powerpoint, of researched topics
• Acquisition of new competences or enhancement of existing competences in this area.
• Achievement of career-enhancing analytical skills.

Outline content:
• Approaches of biology and psychology
• Evidence furnished by paleo-anthropology and archaeology.
• Genocide studies
• Political science explanations: balances of power; imperialist expansionism; state formation and state disintegration, etc.
• Sociological explanations: clash of civilisations
• Economic explanations: wars over scarce resources

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course is taught mainly by two-hour seminars. The seminars will comprise structured discussion of core themes following student presentations. Students are expected to read widely, which means at least all works on the handout that are asterisked, and all works listed (whether asterisked or not) under the heading on which they are to give presentations. Familiarity of all asterisked works is taken for granted for the exams and essays.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study 100 80
       
Total hours by term 120.00 80.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
1 summative essay of 3,000 words including footnotes and references but excluding the bibliography which will contribute towards 50% of the overall mark.

Formative assessment methods:
Students giving presentations will receive feedback from the module convenor and via seminar discussion. The seminar discussions provide important opportunities for students to test their views and receive tutor and peer feedback. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the module convenor’s office hours to request further one-to-one feedback on their presentations, seminar contributions, and essay plans

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
2 hours

Requirements for a pass:
50

Reassessment arrangements:
RE-sit examination stake place in September of the same year, or in April/May of the following year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: Anja Hartmann &Beatrice Heuser (eds): War, Peace, and world orders in European History (London: Routlede, 2001) £ 36.99

Azar Gat: War in Human Civilisation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) ppb £ 26.99

2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

Things to do now