The last checkpoint before Salang Crossing. Image taken during the Soviet-Afghanistan conflict 1979-1986. (Image courtesy of the California National Guard.)
This graduate seminar introduces an emerging research program within International Relations on territorial conflict. While scholars have recognized that territory has been one of the most frequent issues over which states go to war, territorial conflicts have only recently become the subject of systematic study. This course will examine why territorial conflicts arise in the first place, why some of these conflicts escalate to high levels of violence and why other territorial disputes reach settlement, thereby reducing the likelihood of war. Readings in the course draw upon political geography and history as well as qualitative and quantitative approaches to political science.