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Syllabus Regions of Peace and Regions of War: Europe, Asia and the Middle East - 58385
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Last update 06-09-2016
HU Credits: 2

Degree/Cycle: 2nd degree (Master)

Responsible Department: international relations

Semester: 1st Semester

Teaching Languages: Hebrew

Campus: Mt. Scopus

Course/Module Coordinator: Korina Kagan

Coordinator Email:

Coordinator Office Hours:

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Korina Kagan

Course/Module description:
The course will deal with issues of war and peace in three key regions of the current international system: Europe, East Asia and the Middle East. These regions show great variance in their stability and propensity to war. The question that will guide us during the course is how we can explain such differences among various regions in the same period and under the same international system. For that purpose, we shall begin with reviewing a range of factors explaining regional war and peace, and then will apply them to the three regions in turn.

Course/Module aims:
The course aims to develop a good critical understanding of the major competing approaches and theories to studying regional war and peace, as well as the ability to apply them to analyzing processes and events in the three regions the course deals with, as well as other regions.

Learning outcomes - On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
To gain a good knowledge of the major approaches and theories in International Relations in the field of regional war and peace; to develop the ability to criticize the various approaches in the light of competing approaches; to apply the approaches to the analysis of the state of war and peace in different regions of the world; and to evaluate the relative success of the various theoretical approaches in explaining war and peace in the three regions the course deals with, as well as in other regions.

Attendance requirements(%):
80% of the classes

Teaching arrangement and method of instruction: Lecture

Course/Module Content:
The Course Plan:

1. Introduction:

• Regional security as a problem for study: What is a region? What is security? What is regional security, and why should we study it?
• The major competing theoretical approaches to the study of regional war and peace

2. Regional Security in Europe:

• The causes of peace in post-Cold War Europe
• Germany as the lynchpin of the European peace: has the tiger changed its spots?
• Extending to European zone of peace eastward after the end of the Cold War: the role of European institutions
• NATO and its extension to Eastern Europe: causes and repercussions for Europe-Russian relations
• Muslim immigrants in Europe: do they pose a security threat?

3. Regional security in East Asia:

• Causes of peace and tension in Asia after the Cold War
• The intentions of rising China: a moderate status-quo power or a future aggressor?
• Japan: still a pacifist “civilian” power?
• ASEAN: a budding security community or an unimportant and overhyped institution?
• Nuclear weapons in East Asia and South Asia: stabilizing or destabilizing? The cases of India-Pakistan and North Korea

4. Regional security in the Middle East

• Why is there so much conflict in the Middle East? Why does the region lag behind Europe and East Asia in this respect?
• The causes of Middle Eastern Islamic terrorism
• The prospect of Iranian nuclear weapons: how much should we be worried?
• The recent US interventions in the Middle East and the war in Iraq: why has the US found it so difficult to stabilize the region?
• Why did the Arab Spring fail?
• US – Israel relations: the debate over Mearsheimer and Walt’s “Israel Lobby” thesis

Required Reading:
The Reading List

Introduction: the concept and study of regions

Barry Buzan and Ole Weaver, Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Peter Katzenstein, A World of Regions: Asia and Europe in the American Imperium (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2005)

Amitav Acharya, “Review Article: The Emerging Regional Architecture of World Politics”, World Politics, vol. 59 (2007), pp. 629-652.

Andrew Hurrell, “One World? Many Worlds? The Place of Regions in the Study of International Society”, International Affairs, vol. 83 (2007).

Emanuel Adler, “Imagined (Security) Communities: Cognitive Regions in International Relations”, Millennium, vol. 26, no. 2 (1997).

Patrick Morgan, “Regional Security Complexes and Regional Orders”, in Regional Orders: Building Security in a New World, edited by David Lake and Patrick Morgan (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press), pp.20-42.

Theoretical approaches to studying regional war and peace:

Stephen Walt, “International Relations: One World, Many Theories”, Foreign Policy, no. 110 (1998), pp. 29-46.

Jack Snyder, “One World, Rival Theories”, Foreign Policy, no. 145 (2004), pp. 52-62.

Richard Betts, “Conflict or Cooperation? Three Visions Revisited”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 89, no. 6 (2010), pp. 186-194.

Benjamin Miller, “The Sources of Regional Transitions from War to Peace”, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 38 (2001), pp. 199-225.

Benjamin Miller, “When and How Regions Become Peaceful: Potential Theoretical Pathways to Peace”, International Studies Review, vol. 7 (2005), pp. 229-267.


Joseph Joffe, “Europe’s American Pacifier”, Foreign Policy, no. 54 (1984), pp. 64-82.
John Mearsheimer, “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe after the Cold War”, International Security, vol. 15, no. 1 (1990), pp. 5-56.

Robert Art, “Why Western Europe Needs the United States and NATO”, Political Science Quarterly, vol. 111, no. 1 (1996), pp. 1-40.

John Mearsheimer, “Why Is Europe Peaceful Today?”, European Political Science, vol. 9 (2010), pp. 387-397.
Norrin Ripsman, “Two Stages of Transition from a Region of War to a Region of Peace: Realist Transition and Liberal Endurance”, International Studies Quarterly, vol. 49 (2005), pp. 669-693.

Hanns Maull, “Germany and Japan: The New Civilian Powers”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 69, no. 5 (1990/91), pp. 91-106.

John Duffield, “Political Culture and State Behavior: Why Germany Confounds Neorealism”, International Organization, vol. 53, no.4 (1999), pp. 765-804.

Frank Schimmelfennig, “International Socialization in the New Europe”, European Journal of International Relations, vol. 6, no. 1 (2000), pp. 109-140.

Frank Schimmelfennig, “NATO Enlargement: A Constructivist Explanation”, Security Studies, vol. 8, no. 2/3 (1998/99), pp. 198-23.

Kenneth Waltz, “NATO Expansion: A Realist’s View”, Contemporary Security Policy, vol. 21, no. 2 (2000), pp. 23-38.

Michael Mandelbaum, “Preserving the New Peace: The Case Against NATO Expansion”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 74, no. 3 (1995), pp. 9-13.

Michael Brown, “The Flawed Logic of NATO Expansion”, Survival, vol. 37, no. 1 (1995), pp. 7-33.

John Gaddis, “History, Grand Strategy, and NATO Enlargement”, Survival, vol. 40, no. 1 (1998), pp. 145-151.

Michael McGwire, “NATO Expansion: A Policy Error of Historic Importance”, Review of International Studies, vol. 24, no. 1 (1998), pp. 23-42.

John Mearsheimer, “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions that Provoked Putin”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 93, no. 5 (September-October 2014), pp. 77-89.

Justin Vaisse, “Eurabian Follies”, Foreign Policy, no. 177 (January-February 2010), pp. 86-88.

East Asia:

Etel Solingen, “Pax Asiatica versus Bella Levantina: The Foundations of War and Peace in East Asia and the Middle East”, American Political Science Review, vol. 101, no. 4 (2007), pp. 757-780.

Aaron Friedberg, “Ripe for Rivalry: Prospects for Peace in a Multipolar Asia”, International Security, vol. 18, no. 3 (1993/4), pp. 5-33.

Michael Klare, “The Next Great Arms Race”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 72, no. 3 (1993), pp. 136-152.

Thomas Berger, “Set for Stability? Prospects for Conflict and Cooperation in East Asia”, Review of International Studies, vol. 26, no. 3 (2000), pp. 405-428.

Aaron Friedberg, “Will Europe’s Past Be Asia’s Future?” Survival, vol. 42, no. 3 (2000), pp. 147-160.

Aaron Friedberg, “The Struggle for Mastery in Asia”, Commentary, vol. 110, no. 4 (2000), pp. 17-26.
John Mearsheimer, “The Gathering Storm: China’s Challenge to US Power in Asia”, Chinese Journal of International Politics, vol. 3 (2010), pp. 381-396.

Robert Kaplan, “The South China Sea Is the Future of Conflict”, Foreign Policy, no. 188 (September-October 2011), pp. 1-8.

Robert Kaplan, “The Geography of Chinese Power: How Far Can Beijing Reach on Land and at Sea?”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 89, no. 3 (2010), pp. 22-41.

Alastair Johnston, “Is China a Status Quo Power?” International Security, vol. 27, no. 4 (2003), pp. 5-56.

Chin-Yu Shih, “Breeding a Reluctant Dragon: Can China Rise into Partnership and Away from Antagonism?” Review of International Studies, vol. 31, no. 4 (2005), pp. 755-774.

Zheng Bijian, “China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’ to Great-Power Status”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 84, no. 5 (2005), pp. 18-24.

Hanns Maull, “Germany and Japan: The New Civilian Powers”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 69, no. 5 (1990/91), pp. 91-106.

Thomas Berger, “From Sword to Chrisanthemum: Japan’s Culture of Anti-Militarism”, International Security, vol. 17, no. 4 (1993), pp. 119-150.

Yasuhiro Izumikawa, “Explaining Japanese Antimilitarism: Normative and Realist Constraints on Japan's Security Policy”, International Security, vol. 35, no. 2 (2010), pp. 123–160.
Amitav Acharya, “A Regional Security Community in Southeast Asia”, Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 18, no. 3 (1995), pp. 175-200.

Or: Amitav Acharya, “Culture, Security, Multilateralism: The ‘Asian Way’ and Regional Order”, Contemporary Security Policy, vol. 19, no. 1 (1998), pp. 55-84.

Timo Kivimaki, “The Long Peace of ASEAN”, Journal of Peace Research, vol. 38, no. 1 (2001), pp. 5-26.

David Jones and Michael Smith, “Making Process, Not Progress: ASEAN and the Evolving East Asian Regional Order”, International Security, vol. 32, no. 1 (2007), pp.148-184.

Scott Sagan and Kenneth Waltz, “India and Pakistani Nuclear Weapons: For Better or Worse?” in The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: A Debate Renewed, by Scott Sagan and Kenneth Waltz (New York and London: Norton, second edition, 2003), pp. 88-124.

Paul Kapur, “India and Pakistan’s Unstable Peace: Why Nuclear South Asia Is Not like Cold War Europe”, International Security, vol. 30, no. 2 (2005), pp. 127-152.

Sumit Ganguly, “Nuclear Stability in South Asia”, International Security, vol. 33, no. 2 (2008), pp.45-70.

Paul Kapur, “Ten Years of Instability in a Nuclear South Asia”, International Security, vol. 33, no. 2 (2008), pp.71-94.

Victor Cha, “North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction: Badges, Shields, or Swords?” Political Science Quarterly, vol. 117, no. 2 (2002), pp. 209-230.

The Middle East:

Etel Solingen, “Pax Asiatica versus Bella Levantina: The Foundations of War and Peace in East Asia and the Middle East”, American Political Science Review, vol. 101, no. 4 (2007), pp. 757-780.

Gregory Gause, “Systemic Approaches to Middle East International Relations”, International Studies Review, vol. 1, no. 1 (1999), pp. 11-31.

Mirjam Sorli et al., “Why Is There So Much Conflict in the Middle East?”, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 49, no. 1 (2005), pp. 141-165.

Benjamin Miller, “Balance of Power or the State-to-Nation Balance: Explaining Middle East War-Propensity”, Security Studies, vol. 15, no. 4 (2006), pp. 658-705.

Benjamin Miller, “When and How Regions Become Peaceful: Potential Theoretical Pathways to Peace”, International Studies Review, vol. 7 (2005), pp. 229-267.

Ephraim Karsh, “Cold War, Post-Cold War: Does It Make a Difference in the Middle East?” Review of International Studies, vol. 23, no. 3 (1997), pp. 271-291.

Samuel Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 72, no. 3 (summer 1993), pp. 22-49.

Bernard Lewis, “The Roots of Muslim Rage”, The Atlantic Monthly, vol. 266, no. 3 (September 1990), pp. 47-60.

Bernard Lewis, “What Went Wrong”, The Atlantic Monthly, vol. 289, no. 1 (January 1992), pp. 43-45.

Benjamin Barber, “Jihad vs. McWorld”, The Atlantic Monthly, March 1992, pp. 53-63.

Daniel Pipes, “God and Mammon: Does Poverty Cause Militant Islam?” The National Interest, winter 2001/2, pp. 14-21.

Ehud Sprinzak, “Rational Fanatics”, Foreign Policy, no. 120 (September-October 2000), pp. 60-73.

Robert Pape, “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism”, American Political Science Review, vol. 97, no. 3 (August 2003), pp. 343-361.

Mohammed Ayoob, “Challenging Hegemony: Political Islam and the North-South Divide”, International Studies Review, vol. 9 (2007), pp. 629-643.

Bradley Thayer and Valerie Hudson, “Sex and the Shaheed: Insights on Life Sciences on Islamic Suicide Terrorism”, International Security, vol. 34, no. 4 (spring 2010), pp. 37-62.

Scott Sagan, Kenneth Waltz and Richard Betts, “A Nuclear Iran: Promoting Stability or Courting Disaster?” Journal of International Affairs, vol. 60, no. 2 (2007), pp. 135-150.

Kenneth Waltz, “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb: Nuclear Balancing Would Mean Stability”, Foreign Affairs, Vol. 91, no. 4 (2012), pp. 2-5.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “The Israel Lobby”, London Review of Books, vol. 28, no. 6 (March 2006), pp. 3-12.

Or: John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”, Middle East Policy, vol. 13, no. 3 (September 2006), pp. 29-87.

Jerome Slater, “The Two Books of Mearsheimer and Walt”, Security Studies, vol. 18, no. 1 (2009), pp. 4-57.

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “Is It Love or the Lobby? Explaining America’s Special Relationship with Israel”, Security Studies, vol. 18, no. 1 (2009), pp. 58-78.

Additional Reading Material:

Course/Module evaluation:
End of year written/oral examination 0 %
Presentation 0 %
Participation in Tutorials 0 %
Project work 100 %
Assignments 0 %
Reports 0 %
Research project 0 %
Quizzes 0 %
Other 0 %

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