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POLS217 War and Politics

The role of war in world politics since 1945.

War and its spectre, has been a recurring feature of world politics since antiquity. By way of introduction to this topic, this paper surveys, in broad terms, the role of war in international politics since 1945.

Paper title War and Politics
Paper code POLS217
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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One 100-level POLS paper or 72 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
Teaching staff
Dr Nicholas Khoo
Paper Structure

The paper is divided into two sections. Section one covers the major theoretical perspectives on this topic. Section two deals with the trajectory of war in the international system since 1945. Topics covered include: the Korean and Vietnam wars, the intra-Communist bloc wars, and the various crises (nuclear and non-nuclear) involving the U.S, the Soviet Union and, where relevant, China, Korea, Vietnam and Cuba. For the post-Cold War era, the paper covers the dynamics of the U.S. Liberal Order, US-China Relations, China’s Rise, Russia's military intervention in its periphery, and nuclear proliferation, with reference to the North Korean Case.


eReserve on Blackboard.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Critical thinking.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
On completion of POLS 217, students will have acquired the following:
  • an understanding of the major theoretical approaches to the study of war and politics
  • detailed empirical knowledge of selected major wars and war-related crises since 1945.
  • an ability to critically evaluate the relevant literature on the relationship between war and politics in international relations since 1945.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 09:00-10:50 28-34, 37-40


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 13:00-13:50 29-32, 38-39
A2 Wednesday 10:00-10:50 29-32, 38-39