The Evolution of Warfare: From Conventional to Asymmetric

Schools of Public Engagement: International Affairs

Non-Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Graduate Course

Degree Students

The Evolution of Warfare

Fall 2021

Taught By: Peter Hoffman

Section: A

CRN: 11099

Credits: 3

An ongoing shift from conventional wars predominated by large-scale professional armies to achieve the political interests of nation-states to a new breed of conflict featuring asymmetric warfare where profound power disparities between belligerents bring to the fore a wide range of ideas, discourses, behaviors, and outcomes in security and politics. This course analyzes changes from traditional approaches to contemporary perspectives that consider new strategies and tactics. The class begins by problematizing the strategy making process through a survey of classic works, and in particular spotlights the importance of technological change and challenges in military power. After this review of the historical foundations of strategic doctrine, the course examines modern security environments and positions students to assess themes of asymmetric warfare: weapons of mass destruction, economic warfare, counterinsurgency, counter-terrorism, netwar and cyber-warfare, and grand strategies of great powers. Beyond reflecting on concepts of change in Security Studies, notably the so-called “revolution in military affairs,” the class also draws on Critical Security Studies in assessing the significance of the social-political underpinnings and implications for the use of force in asymmetric warfare, such as the applicability of Just War theory and international humanitarian law, the role of strategic culture, and the relevance of civil-military relations.

This course is part of the Conflict & Security concentration in the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: International Affairs (NINT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: September 13, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 21, 2021 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:35am 10/22/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Wednesday

Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 615

Date Range: 9/1/2021 - 12/8/2021