Peace, Conflict and International Politics: Lessons from the Mediterranean Region

Major Discipline(s):
Political Science & International Relations
Fall Semester
This course focuses on unfolding events in the regions of the eastern Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe (including Greece and Turkey) and issues of peace and conflict. During this critical juncture for Europe and the greater region of the Middle East and North Africa our course is also taking another dimension as it will be looking at the geopolitical dimensions of the economic crisis in Europe and the current turmoil in the Middle East.

The course’s chief concern is conflict analysis (causes and consequences) with an emphasis on conflict prevention, management and resolution. It examines the reasons that contribute to the emergence and endurance of a conflict as well as the implications for regional and international peace and security. Moreover, the course examines different threats and challenges to international security such as terrorism and religious extremism. Moreover, it presents the major debates in international relations theorizing as well as different approaches to conflict analysis in order to canvass the conceptual framework within which to analyze the case studies.

Assigned readings are designed to reflect alternative points of view permitting constructive synthesis based on a continuing in-class dialogue. Among the cases and conflicts to be considered are: (1) the challenges for European unification and Euro-atlantic relations, (2) the sources of terrorism and methods of counterterrorism, (3) the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the explosive situation in several countries of the Middle East, (4) the Greek-Turkish rivalry and the Cyprus problem (5) the energy sector and its influence on regional international security and (6) the integration of post-Milosevic Western Balkans into the European security architecture and the conflict over Kosovo.