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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Andrew S Cockrell
POL S 430
Seattle Campus

Civil-Military Relations in Democracies

Explores issues of civil-military relations in the United States including debates about the garrison state hypothesis; military advice on the use of force; the civil-military "gap"; and issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation in the military.

Class description

Students will study debates about how democracies do manage (and should manage) the relationship between civilian government and the military. We will study classic topics like the use of force and conscription. And we will study contemporary topics in the US like 'the revolt of the generals', race in the military, gays and lesbians in the military, and women in the military.

Student learning goals

Describe major theoretical approaches to civil-military relations.

Use these theories to explain key questions in US civil-military relations.

Define key concepts in civil-military relations, and illustrate with examples from historical and current events.

Develop research, writing, and reasoning skills with a research paper project.

General method of instruction

Regular discussion of news from the NYTimes. Students will briefly present main texts and lead a discussion of reading questions they prepare in advance.

Recommended preparation

There are no prerequisites for the course, but Introduction to International Relations (Poli Sci 203) is strongly recommended.

Class assignments and grading

Two exams, one research paper, and participation in seminar discussions.


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 Andrew S Cockrell
Date: 05/11/2013