Great power decisions in major crises of the 20th and 21st centuries determined whether the world faced or averted war. Two crises, in the years prior to First World War and during the mid to late 1930s, culminated in world war while the crisis over Iraq in 2002-03 resulted in a more limited war. However, in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis war was averted. Examining these crises can help us gain an understanding of the factors that determine the decisions great powers make during international crises and the ramifications of those decisions. As a result, we can gain greater insight into the vitally important issues of peace and war, not only for these crises but for our own times as well.
Upon completion of this course, successful students will be able to:
1. Identify factors that determine the decisions that leaders make during international crises.
2. Describe important issues of world peace and war.
3. Discuss major crises of the 20th and 21st centuries.