SEST-602 Violent Non-State Actors in World Politics
Fall for 2016-2017
Violent Non-State Actors (VNSAs) have only recently become the subject of sustained scholarly interest because they are increasingly playing an important role in international affairs. This course teaches that insurgent groups, terrorist organizations, cartels, warlords, and modern-day private armies and mercenaries are different facets of a common strategic challenge: dealing with VNSAs in the 21st century. Neither VNSAs nor their tactics are new, of course—VNSAs are among the oldest challenges facing nation-states. But for the first time we are now seeing VNSAs capable of operating on a global scale due to rapid advances in technology. As a result, today’s VNSAs increasingly do not fit old models for understanding them. The course aims to provide students with a theoretical and practical understanding of how VNSAs function in today’s world, and proposes a framework of typologies and spectrums for examining and distinguishing VNSAs. The course will focus on specific VNSAs and conduct Case Studies of key thematic topics and regions affected by VNSAs. The course will also explore critical analytical and policy issues facing countries attempting to fashion a response to the emergence and challenges of VNSAs.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '16: Gartenstein-Ross D, Zenn J (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
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