Twice in the first half of the last century, the great powers engaged in wars that killed nearly 70 million people, with the aftermath of each shaking the international political system, changing the maps of the world, and setting the scene for the next great conflict. And for most of the past 50 years, the Cold War dominated international politics. Is this the history we are condemned to repeat?
This series of eight lectures about international politics will hone your ability to approach that question with knowledge and insight. It reveals how concepts such as the balance of power and the international system interweave with and help shape history, showing you what actually happened in the great conflicts and why. The lectures will help you answer many of the key questions those concerned with creating a stable peace must answer every day; did the end of the Cold War bring peace and harmony or war and chaos? Does the United States play a dominant role in international affairs or is its role declining? Is military power still the key to world leadership, or has economic power become more important? Should the United States attempt to play the role of global police force, or should it withdraw from its overseas military commitments?