This page contains link to the lectures I give throughout the semester. Clicking the title of the week’s lecture will go to a PDF, embedded in the user’s browser, by default. The bottom right icons link to the Github directory for the lecture (), the R Markdown document for the lecture (), and a PDF, embedded on Github, for the lecture ().
Syllabus Day (i.e. Welcome)
tl;dr: This lecture discusses the syllabus and outlines course expectations for the rest of the semester.
What Shaped Our World? A Historical Introduction
tl;dr: Here's a history of the world, from 1492 to the present, summarizing major themes in international politics (and war) along the way.
Understanding Interests, Interactions, and Institutions
tl;dr: Identifying decision-makers, their strategic behavior, and their institutional frameworks, will help us understand international politics.
Why Are There Wars?
tl;dr: Wars may be mostly fought over territory, but war is conceptually a failed bargain. Here's a simple model to emphasize that.
Why Bargaining Breaks Down
tl;dr: Wars happens (i.e. bargaining breaks down) because of uncertainty, issue indivisibility, and commitment problems.
Domestic Politics and War
tl;dr: Leader incentives and institutions may explain bargaining failure (i.e. war) even as war is something that makes everyone worse off.
Alliances and Bargaining
tl;dr: Alliances are institutions to coordinate security policies and influence bargaining between two sides.
Collective Security as Public Good
tl;dr: Collective security organizations (e.g. UN, African Union) ideally prevent/end war, but with varying degrees of success.
Why Civil Wars Happen, and What We Can Do About Them
tl;dr: The same tools that explain inter-state war can explain civil war. It's just that the nature of one of the adversaries is different.
The Strategic Dilemma(s) of Terrorism
tl;dr: Terrorists are goal-oriented, purposive, and strategic (if weak) actors and the threat of terrorism will always exist.
Why Trade? And Why Do We Put Up Barriers to Trade?
tl;dr: Free trade creates abundance and is good for peace. Let's describe it and explain why we limit this good thing.
Trade As Strategic Problem
tl;dr: Trade resembles a prisoner's dilemma, but small numbers, information, repeated interaction, and linkage politics help it happen.