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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Joshua C. Eastin
POL S 337
Seattle Campus

Collective Violence and the State

Comparative study of how and why genocides have occurred in modern times. Examines how ethnic, religious, and nationalist conflicts have sometimes led to violent conflict, and how political leaders and governments have mitigated or exacerbated them, sometimes engaging in state sponsored mass killing. Offered: jointly with JSIS B 337.

Class description

This course examines the relationship between various types of collective violence and the state. We will analyze violence in ethnic conflict, revolution, riots, organized crime, and genocide. We will evaluate the relative value of psychological and structural theories in explaining collective violence. In doing so, we will examine the role that individuals, the state and state agents, non-state groups, and international forces play in moderating or encouraging its occurrence. We will then apply these theories to understand both historical and contemporary cases. Violence, aggression, and, brutality permeate every corner of our world. In this course, we will examine the causes and consequences of collective violence to develop a deeper understanding of why and how it transpires, and a richer appreciation for those who have endured it.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture, discussion, and writing.

Recommended preparation

Completion of POLS 203 and 204 is helpful but not required.

Class assignments and grading

Two exams and weekly writing assignments.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Joshua C. Eastin
Date: 04/25/2011