This course examines theories of violent political upheaval, and it assesses the empirical record of these theoretical approaches. Civil war has become the primary form of mass organized violence in the international system. Students will therefore seek to understand why civil wars occur, what consequences are wrought by them, and how the international community may respond in terms of conflict resolution. Furthermore, students will explore explanations of various phenomena associated with civil war and severe unrest including political violence. Thus, this course will seek to provide a rationale for extreme violence and atrocious behaviors that are common during periods of political instability. On these issues, this course seeks to reveal broad, general patterns of violent political behavior, across several countries and provide a theoretical framework by which students can understand the global historical record on civil conflict, with particular emphasis on conflicts in such places as Latin America, Africa, and Asia.