Course #
PPHA 38741
Term
Winter 2022
Certificate Program
Global Conflict Studies

The goals of this course are to introduce students to key concepts in the study of conflict, and to develop the analytical skills needed to understand and assess key arguments advanced in this arena. It is ideal for students who want a deep understanding of the methodology used to produce key empirical findings. Effective policymakers need to be able to discern whether evidence is credible. This course is designed to create effective policymakers by focusing on the latest research findings around the causes and consequences of conflict, and by teaching the data science methods used to derive those findings. A major emphasis of the course will be learning how to think critically about empirical evidence, and learning the methods used in quantitative empirical analysis, such as the use of fixed effects, differences-in-differences research designs, and instrumental variables estimation. Previous coursework in statistics is a requirement to enroll in this course. This methodological emphasis will occur through the examination of fundamental topics in conflict. Drawing on economics, political science, and psychology, we will examine the role of economic shocks and ethnic divisions on civil war. We will discern whether similar factors explain the rise of terrorism. In addition, we will study the consequences of conflict on socio-economic development, and examine the role of foreign aid and post-conflict reconciliation in helping countries recover from conflict.