War and Peace in Northern Ireland
The three-decade long civil conflict in Northern Ireland known widely as the “Troubles” formally ended in 1998 with a peace agreement often lauded as the most successful of its kind in modern history. But both the conflict and the peace have been messier than most outside observers have realized. This course relies on both theoretical and empirical literature to examine a host of questions about the insurgency, counterinsurgency, and uneasy peace in Northern Ireland in an advanced, discussion-based seminar. In particular, we examine: history and legacies of nationalism/sectarianism; the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland; Irish Republican and Loyalist armed groups; state violence and collusion; the Republican Hunger Strikes and the political “transformation” of the insurgency; the peace process and Good Friday Agreement; post-conflict problems with paramilitaries and policing; segregation and sectarianism; questions of trauma, healing, and reconciliation; drugs, social problems, and extra-institutional justice; and issues raised by Brexit. Readings and discussion are supplemented with guest speakers and qualitative interviews conducted collectively by the students. Students are expected to be extremely active in class discussion.
Terrorism, a violent tactic with a long history of use, has been a central security concern and political issue in recent years. This course relies on both theoretical and empirical literature to examine a host of questions about terrorism in an advanced, discussion-based undergraduate seminar. In particular, we investigate the definition(s) of terrorism, the application of the term to individuals and groups, various potential causes of terrorism, dynamics within groups that use terrorism, terrorism and peace processes, and a range of counterterrorism strategies and tactics. Theoretical readings are supplemented by case studies, including right-wing terrorism in the United States. Students are expected to be extremely active in class discussion.