Scheda insegnamento

Anno Accademico 2017/2018

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

The course aims to provide students with the historical and theoretical knowledge which can help them evaluate the use of force in international politics. At the end of the course students are able to understand the relationship between society and military power, the different ways force has been used in various international systems, the main strategies involving the use of force


The course will analyze the evolution of the ways force has been used from antiquity to today. Several views on war will be discussed and a special attention will be given to its transformation through history (from antiquity to the cold war) and to the main strategic war-related theories, with particular reference to that of Clausewitz. The different ways in which military power has been developed by various types of political units will be analysed, including the Greek city-states, the Roman Empire, Medioeval feudalism, absolute states, maritime empires, nations states, modern democracies and dictatorships, nuclear superpowers and post decolonization states. Classes will then focus on contemporary international issues, starting from the debate on the nature of international system after 1989, new threats (such as civil wars, international terrorism, failed states and nuclear proliferation) and strategic implications for great powers and for the international community.


Class notes.

Howard, M. (1976) War in European History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, trad. it. La guerra e le armi nella storia, Bari: Laterza, 1978.

Andreatta, F. (2015) Military Power and the Art of War, Potere militare e arte della guerra, Fbk Press.

Paret P., Craig, G. e Gilbert, F. (1986) Makers of Modern Strategy. From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, Oxford: Clarendon Press (not for Erasmus students).

For non-attending students also: Gray, C. (2007) War, Peace and International Relations, London_ Routledge

Further reading (optional)

1. Violence and the social sciences
Bowles, S. (2008) «Conflict: Altruism Midwife», Nature, (456), pp. 326-327.
Collins, R. (2008) Violence. A micro-sociological theory. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Diamond, J. (1997) Guns, germs and steel. The fates of human societies, New York: Norton.
Freud, S. (1968) «Why War?» In Bramson, L. e Goethals, G. W. (a cura di) War, rev. ed. New York: Basic Books, pp. 71-80.
North, D., Wallis, J. e Weingast, B. (2009) «Violence and the Rise of Open-Access Orders», Journal of Democracy, 20 (1), pp. 55-68.
Olson Jr, M. (1993) «Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development», American Political Science Review, 87 (3), pp. 567-576.
Pinker, S. (2011) The better angels of our nature. Why violence has declined, New York, Viking, Trad. it. Il declino della violenza, Milano: Mondadori, 2013, [capp. 1-6].

Freedman, L. (2013) Strategy: A History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, [capp. 1-17].

2. War and its causes
Betts, R. (1999) «Must War Find a Way?: A Review Essay», International Security, 24 (2), pp. 166-198.
Blainey, G. (1973) The Causes of War, New York: The Free Press.
Brighi, E. e Chiaruzzi, M. (2009) «Per un lessico della politica: Pace e guerra», Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica, 34 (1), pp. 113-146.
Fearon, J. (1995) «Rationalist Explanations for War», International Organization, 49 (3), pp. 379-414.
Gilpin, R. (1988) «The Theory of Hegemonic War» Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 18 (4), pp. 591-613.
Howard, M. (1983) The Causes of War and Other Essays, 2nd ed., Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Jervis, R. (1988) «War and Misperception», Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 18 (4), pp. 675-700.
Levy, J. S. e Thompson, W. R. (2010) Causes of War, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Mearsheimer, J. J. (2001) The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, New York: W.W. Norton, Trad. it. La logica di potenza. L'America, le guerre, il controllo del mondo, Milano: Bocconi, 2008.
Waltz, K. (1988) «The Origins of War in Neorealist Theory», Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 18 (4) pp. 615-628.

3. The limitations on war
Betts, R. (1992) «Systems for Peace or Causes of War? Collective Security, Arms Control, and the New Europe», International Security, 17 (1), pp. 5-43.
Hinsley, F.S. (1963) Power and the Pursuit of Peace: Theory and Practice in the History of Relations between States, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Howard, M. (2001) The Invention of Peace. Reflections on Peace and International Order, London: Profile Books, trad. it. L'invenzione della pace: guerra e relazioni internazionali, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2002.
Howard, M., Andreopoulos G. e Shulman, M. (1994) The Laws of War: Constraints on Warfare in the Western World, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Kaysen, C. (1990) «Is War Obsolete?: A Review Essay», International Security, 14 (4) pp. 42-64
Kupchan, C e Kupchan, C. (1991) «Concerts, Collective Security, and the Future of Europe», International Security, 16 (1), pp. 114-161.
Luard, E. (1987) War in International Society: A Study in International Sociology, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Luttwak E. (1999) «Give War a Chance», Foreign Affairs, 78 (4), pp. 36-44.
Mueller, J. (1989) Retreat from Doomsday, The Obsolescence of Major War, New York: Basic Books.

4. Strategy
Aron, R. (1983) Clausewitz: Philosopher of War [1976], London: Routledge.
Betts, R. (2000) «Is Strategy an Illusion?», International Security, 25 (2), pp. 5-50.
Beyerchen, A. (1992) «Clausewitz, Nonlinearity and the Unpredictability of War», International Security, 17 (3), pp. 59-90. Brodie, B. (1973): War and Politics, New York: MacMillan.
Clausewitz, C. von (1976) On War [1831] a cura di Howard, M. Paret, P. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Heuser, B. (2010) The Evolution of Strategy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Howard, M. (1979) «The Forgotten Dimensions of Strategy», Foreign Affairs, 57 (5), pp. 975-986.
Liddell Hart, B. H. (1967) Strategy: The Indirect Approach, London: Faber.
Luttwak, E. (1987) Strategy. The logic of war and peace, Cambridge: Bellknap, Trad. it. Strategia. La logica dela guerra e della pace, Milano: Rizzoli, 2013.
Schelling, T. (1960) The Strategy of Conflict, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Trad. it. La strategia del conflitto, Milano: Bruno Mondadori, 2008.

5.1 War and domestic politics
Beckley, M. (2010) «Economic Development and Military Effectiveness», Journal of Strategic Studies, 33 (1) pp. 43-79
Bobbit, Philip (2002) The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History, New York: Albert Knopf.
Brawley, M. (1994) Liberal Leadership, Great Powers and their Challengers in Peace and War, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Chua, A. (2007) Day of Empire. How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance, and How They Fall, New York: Doubleday.
Downing, B. (1989) «Medieval Origins of Constitutional Government in the West», Theory and Society, 18 (2), pp. 213-247.
Finer, S. (1999): The history of government since the earliest times. 3 voll, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Luttwak, E. (1995) «Toward Post-Heroic Warfare», Foreign Affairs, 74 (3) pp. 109-122.
Obinger, H. e Schmitt, C. (2011) «Guns and Butter? Regime Competition and the Welfare State during the Cold War», World Politics, 63 (02), pp. 246-270.
Rosecrance, R. e Stein, A. (1993) The Domestic Bases of Grand Strategy, Cornell University Press.

5.2 War and democracy
Biddle, S. e Long S. (2004) «Democracy and Military Effectiveness: A Deeper Look», Journal of Conflict Resolution, 48 (4), pp. 525-546.
Desch, M. (2002) «Democracy and victory: Why regime type hardly matters», International Security, 27 (2), pp. 5-47.
Downes, A. (2009) «How Smart and Tough Are Democracies? Reassessing Theories of Democratic Victory in War», International Security, 33 (4), pp. 9-51.
Doyle, M. (1986) «Liberalism and World Politics», American Political Science Review, 80 (4), pp. 1151-1169.
Joffe, J. (1988) «Tocqueville Revisited: Are Good Democracies Bad Players in the Game of Nations?», The Washington Quarterly, 11 (1). pp. 161-172.
Krebs, R. (2009) «In the Shadow of War: The Effects of Conflict on Liberal Democracy», International Organization, 63 (1), pp. 177-210.
Lake D. (1992) «Powerful Pacifists: Democratic States and War», American Political Science Review, 86 (1), pp. 24-37.
Reiter, D. e Stam, A. (2002) «Understanding Victory: Why Political Institutions Matter», International Security, 28 (1), pp. 168-179.
Scheve, K. e Stasavage, D. (2012) «Democracy, War, and Wealth: Lessons from Two Centuries of Inheritance Taxation», American Political Science Review, 106 (01), pp. 81-102.

6. Military culture, technology and organization
Andreski, S. (1954) Military Organization and Society, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Glaser, C. and Kaufmann, C. (1998) «What is the Offense-Defense Balance and Can We Measure it?», International Security, 22 (4), pp. 44-82.
Huntington, S. (1957) The soldier and the state: The theory and politics of civil-military relations, Cambridge: Bellknap.
Huntington, S. (1968) Political order in changing societies, New Haven: Yale University Press, Trad. it. Ordine politico e cambiamento sociale, Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino, 2012.
Janowitz, M. (1971) The Professional Soldier: A Social and Political Portrait, New York: Free Press.
Jervis, R. (1978) «Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma», World Politics, 30 (2), pp. 167-214.
Johnston, A. I. (1995) «Thinking about Strategic Culture», International Security, 19 (4) pp. 32-64
Kier, E.  (1995) «Culture and Military Doctrine: France between the Wars», International Security, 19 (4), pp. 65-93.
Krepinevich, A. (1994) «Cavalry to computer; the pattern of military revolutions», The National Interest, 37, pp. 30-42.
Rosen, S. (1995) «Military Effectiveness: Why Society Matters», International Security, 19 (4), pp. 5-31.
Van Evera, S. (1984) «The Cult of the Offensive and the Origins of the First World War», International Security, 9 (1), pp. 58-107.
Wilson, P. (2008) «Defining Military Culture», Journal of Military History, 72 (1), pp. 11-41.

7. From antiquity to modernity
Cipolla, C. M. (1965) Guns and Sails in the Early Phase of European Expansion, London: Collins and Sons; trad. it. Vele e cannoni, Bologna: Il Mulino, 1983.
Contamine, P. (1986) La guerra nel Medioevo [1980], Bologna: Il Mulino.
Delbrück, H. (1990): History of the art of war [1923] 4 voll. (trad. Walter J. Renfroe), Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Findlay, R. e O'Rourke, K. (2007) Power and Plenty. Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Hanson, V.D. (1994) The Western Way of Warfare: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece, Berkeley: University of California Press, Trad. it. L'arte occidentale della guerra. Descrizione di una battaglia nella Grecia classica, Milano: Garzanti, 2009.
Luttwak, E. (1976) The grand strategy of the Roman Empire, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, Trad. it. La grande strategia dell'Impero romano, Milano: Rizzoli, 2013.
Mallett, M. (2009) Mercenaries and their masters. Warfare in Renaissance Italy [1974], London: Pen and Sword, Trad. it. Signori e mercenari. La guerra nell'Italia del rinascimento, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2013.
McNeill, W. H. (1983) The pursuit of power, Oxford: Blackwell.
Parker, G. (1988) The Military Revolution. Military Innovation and the Ruse of the West, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, trad. it. La rivoluzione militare. Le innovazioni militari e il sorgere dell'Occidente, Bologna: Il Mulino, 1990.

8. The evolution of strategy
Bond, B. (1996) The pursuit of victory. From Napoleon to Saddam Hussein, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kennedy P. (1991), Grand Strategies in War and Peace, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.
Murray, W., Knox, M. e Berstein, A. (1994), The Making of Strategy. Rulers, States and War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Murray, W. e Knox, M. (2001), The Dynamics of Military Revolution (1300-2050), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 35-56.
Posen, Barry (1993) «Nationalism, the mass army and military power», International Security, 18 (2), pp. 80-124.
Strachan, H. (1983) European Armies and the Conduct of War, London: Routledge.
Van Creveld, M. (1977) Supplying War. Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

9. Nuclear strategy
Andreatta, F. (2008) La proliferazione nucleare dopo la fine della guerra fredda:prevenzione,contenimento e controproliferazione, «Quaderni di relazioni internazionali», (26), pp. 84-96.
Gaddis, J. L. (1986) «The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System», International Security, 10 (4) pp. 99-142.
Jervis, R. (1986) «The Nuclear Revolution and the Common Defense», Political Science Quarterly, 101 (5), pp. 689-703.
Sagan, S. (1996) Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?: Three Models in Search of a Bomb, International Security, 21 (3), pp. 54-86.
Sagan, S. (1994) The Perils of Proliferation: Organization Theory, Deterrence Theory, and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons, International Security, 18 (4), pp. 66-107.
Waltz, K. (1990) «Nuclear Myths and Political Realities», American Politcal Science Review, 84 (3) pp. 731-745.
Windsor, P. (2002) Strategic Thinking. An Introduction and Farewell, Boulder: Lynne Rienner.

10.1 Contemporary conflicts
Biddle, S. (2004) Military Power: Explaining Victory and Defeat in Modern Battle, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Gray, C. (2005) Another Bloody Century: Future Warfare, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Kaldor, M. (1999) New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era, Oxford, Polity Press; trad. it., Le nuove guerre: La violenza organizzata nell'era globale, Roma, Carocci, 1999.
Mack, A. J. R. (1975) «Why big nations lose small wars. The politics of asymmetric conflict», World Politics, 27 (2), pp. 175-200.
Paul, T. V. (1994) Asymmetric conflicts. War initiation by weaker powers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Posen, B. (2003) «Command of the Commons: The Military Foundation of U.S. Hegemony», International Security, 28 (1), pp. 5-46.
Smith, R. (2005) The utility of force. The art of war in the modern world, London: Vintage, Trad. it. L'arte della guerra nel mondo contemporaneo, Bologna: Il Mulino, 2009.
Van Creveld, M. (1991) The transformation of war, New York: Free Press.

10.2 Terrorism, insurgencies and civil wars

Abrahams, M. (2006) «Why Terrorism Does Not Work», International Security, 31 (2) pp. 42-78
Arreguin-Toft, I. (2001) «How the weak win wars. A theory of asymmetric conflict», International Security, 26 (1), pp. 93-128.
Callwell, C. E. (1990) Small Wars. A Tactical Textbook for Imperial Soldiers [1896], London: Greenhill Books, Trad. it. Small wars. Teoria e prassi dal XIX secolo all'Afganistan, Gorizia: Libreria Editrice Goriziana, 2012.
Cronin, A. K. (2006) «How al-Qaida Ends», International Security, 31 (1), pp. 7-48.
Fearon, J. e Laitin, D. (2003) «Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War», American Political Science Review, 97 (1), pp. 75-90.
Fitzsimmons, M. (2008) «Hard Hearts and Open Minds? Governance, Identity and the Intellectual Foundations of Counterinsurgency Strategy», Journal of Strategic Studies, 31 (3) pp. 337-365.
Kilcullen, D. (2006) «Counterinsurgency Redux», Survival, 48 (4), pp. 110-130.
Kydd, A. e Walter, B. (2006) «The Strategies of Terrorism», International Security, 31 (1), pp. 49-79.
Lyall, J. e Wilson, I. (2009) «Rage Against the Machines: Explaining Outcomes in Counterinsurgency Wars», International Organization, 63 (1), pp. 67-106.
Pape, R. (2003) «The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism», American Political Science Review, 97 (3), pp. 343-361.
Zambernardi, L. (2010) «Counterinsurgency's Impossible Trilemma», Washington Quarterly, 33 (3), pp. 21-34.

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Written examination. Three answers out of seven questions are required in 45 minutes. Attending students can sit a mid term exam on November 8th (on the first 4 chapters of the Howard book, the first 4 chapters of the Paret book and the whole Andreatta handout) and a final on December 13th (on the last two chapters of Howard's book and on the rest of the Paret book).

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Filippo Andreatta