A look at international relations from a strategic perspective. Topics covered include:
-conflict versus cooperation
-rationalist explanations for war
-the democratic peace theory
-the United Nations Security Council
-public goods provision
-terrorism and insurgency
Serves as the overview of the course.
- Conflict versus Cooperation
Can states cooperate despite competing interests?
- The Rationality of War
War is costly. So why do states fight against each other?
- International Trade
Why do states trade with one another? Why do trade disputes begin?
- The Democratic Peace Theory
Are democracies less war-prone than non-democracies?
- Principal-Agent Problems
How do leader incentives screw things up for the rest of us?
- The United Nations Security Council
The most manipulative political body in the world?
- Public Goods Provision
The obstacles of public goods provision and the solutions to collective action problems.
- Nuclear Proliferation
The causes and consequences of nuclear proliferation.
- Terrorism and Insurgency
What makes terrorist tick?
What have we learned here?
Have you been living somewhere in the world at some point in your life? Good--you are qualified to take this course.
Decent historical background knowledge won't hurt, but you can always read the Wikipedia page if I reference some event you aren't familiar with.
We will also be playing around with some simple game theoretical models. The math will be intentionally simplistic, so don't worry if you don't like algebra.
I have divided the course into ten units. Each unit contains 5-10 lectures that flesh out the topic. Lectures run an average of eight minutes.
All lectures are video-based and hosted on YouTube.
I wrote a textbook entitled "The Rationality of War" to match the third unit. It is available on Amazon for $.99:
You can also find mirrors of this course on YouTube and Udemy:
I am a PhD student in political science, specializing in formal modeling and international relations.