Essay, Political Science

| July 16, 2016

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An important theme in World Politics is the INSTITUTION of WAR. For most scholars and students of international relations, the challenges in understanding armed conflicts in the World System are really not the frequency of war itself. It is obvious enough that War as an institution is inevitable and a part of the systemic set up of the International Society. A famous quotation by Leon Trotsky captures this well: “you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you'. Rather, what scholars and students struggle with are the philosophical underpinnings of why humans organize and go to war, and with the clear intention of inflicting maximum pain, losses, and the destruction of and on the 'other'. To understand the phenomenon of War, international relations scholars focus on the concise definitions of war, the nature of war, the incidence and intensity of war, and the aftermath of inter-state or/and intra-state (civil) wars. War, generally then is a constant. Although, the incidence of WAR must not be considered as human 'destiny,' War is seen an extension of foreign policy; and war is a choice political leaders make. Over the course of time and in recorded history, scholars have counted 14,400 armed conflicts between and among nation-states. These wars have taken the lives of approximately 3.5 billion people. As stunning as these numbers are it is also a fact that the incidence of war between/among nation-states is on the decline. To understand the nature of War, to find out why they are part and parcel of the system, and why they are in decline since the end of the Cold War — despite the constant footages of carnage we see on our television screens — we will undertake three tasks. One, we will read Chapters 5 and 8; two, we will complete an assignment on Glossary of Concepts and Terms; three, we will have an Analytical Exercise on two Films (Age of Terroris and Inside North Korea).

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