Ryerson University – Department of Sociology
SOC 802 (Fall 2010)
Issues in War and Peace
Dr. Slobodan Drakulic
1. Write an essay on ONE of these sets of propositions, making sure to present, compare, and critically assess divergent arguments they list, in terms of their theoretical/logical and historical/empirical plausibility, as well as to show empathy for the viewpoint you disagree with. Use at least four excerpts from the reader; with at least two authors on each side; and from at least two sets (or chapters) of the reader plus at least one academic source other than the reader.
2. The essay is due in class, November 9 [Sec 1] and November 10 [Sec2] 2010.
3. See technical essay requirements in the course outline.
Please read carefully:
1. The occupation of Iraq is guided by rampant antagonism towards Islam in the West; by the American policies towards the Middle East; by both of those; or by something else.
2. The presence of women in governments and armed forces promotes gender equality and international peace; it does one of those but not both; or does neither, but has to do with something else.
3. Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel/Palestine and former Yugoslav republics support the ‘clash of civilizations’ theory; ‘conflict formations’ theory; or some other theory or theories.
4. Wars are avoidable and perpetual peace achievable; wars are not avoidable and peace is impermanent; wars cannot and/or should not be avoided because they invigorate human spirits, while peace leads to decadence.
5. There are profound differences between the soldiers, freedom fighters and terrorists; there are no profound differences between them; the whole issue is a mater of the observers’ viewpoint, or interests.
6. Pax Americana benefits most nations because it promotes more freedom, equality and democracy than its opponents; Pax Americana is detrimental for most nations because it causes wars and/or promotes capitalism.
7. Humanitarian interventions, such as in Afghanistan, Iraq or the former Yugoslav republics are justified because they end human suffering; they are not justified as they support one side in a conflict and cause human suffering.
8. Pro-Israeli arguments are more convincing than their critics; pro-Palestinian arguments are more convincing than their critics; both arguments are convincing; neither argument is convincing.
9. Arguments favouring one or both wars against Iraq are more convincing than their critics; arguments against one or both wars are more convincing; some of those arguments are more or less – or contrariwise.
10. Arguments for Western military intervention/s in Yugoslavia are more convincing than their critics; arguments against those interventions are more convincing; both arguments are convincing; neither argument is convincing.
11. The NATO occupation of Afghanistan is not justified and it will ultimately fail; this occupation is justified but will nonetheless likely fail; it may not be justified but it might nevertheless succeed.