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Spring 2014 - 63505 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Humanitarian Intervention

Instructor(s): Green, Brendan
Unique Number: 63505
Day & Time: T 6:00 pm -9:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.216/219
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, social welfare policy, transportation policy, science and technology policy, international affairs, national security, urban and regional growth policy, and political campaigns.


Section Description

The purpose of this seminar is to undertake a rigorous and in-depth examination of the causes, character, and consequences of military intervention for humanitarian purposes. In
particular, the course studies cases of intervention and non-intervention after the end of the Cold War, when civil wars and their human costs became a primary agenda item for the international community. From a policy perspective, it is vital to understand what can and cannot be done to avert the tragedy of civil violence and how to provide aid and comfort to its victims. Some of the interventions studied went well, while some failed; various military tactics were more or less successful; and some actors and organizations may be better positioned to contribute to the relief of human suffering than others. Getting our prescriptions right for the future will have rewards than can be measured in human lives.

This seminar approaches the course material with a number of driving questions: What were the broad policy arguments in favor of or opposed to these interventions? Who were the principal players arguing for intervention? What contributions do non-state actors make to the environment of policy choice and the conduct of intervention? What is known, or believed, about the basic nature of these civil wars—their causes, dynamics, and implications? What military strategies have outside powers tried to employ to achieve specific results in these civil wars, and which ones have proven most effective? In each case, do we judge the intervention a success or failure, and how do we explain the success or failure?