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Explaining Wartime Violence

Subject code


Course Number




Department/Program Faculty

Course Long Title

Explaining Wartime Violence


Genocide, torture, civilian killing, mass rape: Why do people do such terrible things to each other? Are these acts senseless, or do they have their own chilling logic? Are they the work of crazed ideologues or ordinary people? Each topic contains more puzzles: Why have democracies developed a particular style of torture? Why are civilians targeted in some wars but not others? Finally, how optimistic should we be? Should we despair, or are there sound reasons to believe that wartime conduct has improved? Can such behavior be prevented, and if so, how? Recommended background: one social science course.

Modes of Inquiry

Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit


Departmental Course Attributes - Major/Minor Requirements

(PLTC: Political Economy), (PLTC: Security,Conflict,Coop)

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