Topic outline

  • Course Description

    The seminar (CRIP), a corrolary to JPM689 lectures, will familiarise and engage students with critical perspectives on several key contemporary phenomena: warfare, (counter-)terror, violent rebellion and ‘hybridity’. A special session will be dedicated to feminist perspectives on violence in international relations. The readings around which class discussions will be organised are drawn from a diversity of disciplinary fields including political and international relations theory, military history, international political sociology and critical security studies. 

    All sessions are foreseen to take place in Pekařská and streamed through Teams. (If attending online, connect to the session here.) Please follow the university's current pandemic regulation for any changes.

    The deadline for exam paper submissions (for more information, see below) is January 16, 2023.

  • 1. Conceptual Introduction (October 6, 2022)

    • (A) Benjamin, Walter. 1978. The Critique of Violence. Reflections, Essays, Aphorisms and Autobiographical Writings. New York: Harcourt Brace (pp. 277-300).

      (B) J. Peter Burgess. 2019. The Insecurity of Critique. Security Dialogue 50 (1).

  • 2. Warfare: Past and Future (October 20, 2022)

    • (A) Tilly, Charles. 1985. War Making and State Making as Organized Crime. Peter B. Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer and Theda Skocpol, eds. Bringing the State Back In. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

            (Ax1) Hobson, John. 2000. The State and International Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (pp. 174-191).

            (Ax2) Sharman, J.C. 2018. Myths of Military Revolution: European Expansion and Eurocentrism. European Journal of International Relations 24(3).

            (Ax3) Grzymala-Busse. 2020. Beyond War and Contracts: The Medieval and Religious Roots of the European State. Annual Review of Political Science 23(1): 19-36.

      (B) Der Derian, James. 2000. Virtual War / Virtual Theory. International Affairs 76(1).

            (Bx1) Bousquet, Antoine. 2017. Lethal Visions: The Eye as Function of the Weapon. Critical Studies on Security 5(1).

    • Receive a grade

      A brief test on the assigned reading. Please complete the test by 10 p.m. on Oc. 19, 2022. (The test will be available for completion from 12 a.m.)

  • 3. (Counter-)Terror (November 3, 2022)

    • (A) Ditrych, Ondrej. 2013. From Discourse to Dispositif: States and Terrorism between Marseille and 9/11. Security Dialogue 44(3).

           (Ax1) Duyvesteyn, Isabelle. 2004. How New is the New Terrorism. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 27(5).

           (Ax2) Stampnitzky, Lisa. 2013. Disciplining Terror: How Experts Invented ‘Terrorism’. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (pp. 21-48).

           (Ax3) Molin Friis, Simone. 2015. ‘Beyond Anything We Have Ever Seen’: Beheading Videos and the Visibility of Violence in the War against ISIS. International Affairs 91(4).

      (B) Reid, Julian. 2005. The Biopolitics of the War on Terror: A Critique of the ‘Return of Imperialism’ Thesis in International Relations. Third World Quaterly 26(2).

           (Bx1) Debrix, Francois and Alexander D. Barder. 2009. Nothing to Fear but Fear: Governmentality and the Biopolitical Production of Terror. International Political Sociology 3(4).

           (Bx2) Wilcox, Lauren. 2017. Embodying Algorithmic War: Gender, Race and the Posthuman in Drone Warfare. Security Dialogue 48(1).

           (Bx3) Grayson, Kyle and Jocelyn Mawdsley. Scopic Regimes and the Visual Turn in International Relations Seeing World Politics Through the Drone. European Journal of International Relations (online first).

    • Receive a grade

      A brief test on the assigned reading. Please complete the test by 10 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2022. (The test will be available for completion from 12 a.m.)

  • 4. Feminist Perspective on Violence (December 1, 2022)

    • (A) Cohn, Carol and Cynthia Enloe. 2003. A Conversation with Cynthia Enloe: Feminists Look at Masculinity and the Men Who Wage War. SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 28(4).

           (Ax1) Coe, Kevin et al. 2007. Masculinity as Political Strategy: George W. Bush, the “War on Terrorism,” and an Echoing Press. Journal of Women, Politics and Policy 29(1).

           (Ax2) Hansen, Lene. 2001. Gender, Nation, Rape: Bosnia and the Construction of Security. International Feminist Journal of Politics 3(1).

           (Ax3) Eichler, Maya. 2011. Militarizing Men: Gender, Conscription, and War in Post-Soviet Russia. Stanford: Stanford University Press (pp. 1-14).

           (Ax4) Wilcox, Lauren. 2009. Gendering the Cult of the Offensive. Security Studies 18(2).

    • Receive a grade

      A brief test on the assigned reading. Please complete the test by 10 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2022. (The test will be available for completion from 12 a.m.)

  • 5. Rebellion (December 15, 2022)

    • (A) Martínez, José Ciro and Brent Eng. 2018. Stifling Stateness: The Assad Regime’s Campaign Against Rebel Governance. Security Dialogue 49(4): 235-253.

            (Ax1) Cronin, Audrey Kurth. 2015. ISIS is Not a Terrorist State. Foreign Affairs 94(2).

            (Ax2) Lyall, Jason. 2009. Does Indiscriminate Violence Incite Insurgent Attacks? Journal of Conflict Resolution 53(3).

      (B) Mundy, Jacob. 2011. Deconstructing Civil Wars. Security Dialogue 42(3).

            (Bx1) Kalyvas, Stathis. 2015. Is ISIS a Revolutionary Group and if Yes, What Are the Implications? Perspectives on Terrorism 9(4).

            (Bx2) Armitage, David. Every Great Revolution is a Civil War. In Keith Baker and David Edelstein. Scripting Revolution. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015 (pp. 57-68).

    • Receive a grade

      A brief test on the assigned reading. Please complete the test by 10 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2022. (The test will be available for completion from 12 a.m.)

  • 6. Hybrids (January 12, 2023)

    • (A) Galleotti, Mark. 2016. Hybrid, Ambiguous, and Non-Linear? How New is Russia’s ‘New Way of War’? Small Wars and Insurgencies 27(2).

           (Ax1) Kurowska, Xymena and Anatoly Reshetnikov. 2018. Neutrollization: Industrialized Trolling as a pro-Kremlin Strategy of Desecuritization. Security Dialogue (first online).

           (Ax2) Murray, Williamson and Peter Mansoor, eds. 2012. Hybrid Warfare: Fighting Complex Opponents from the Ancient World to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (pp. 1-17, 199-224).

      (B) Kraidy, Marwan. 2018. Terror, Territoriality, Temporality: Hypermedia Events in the Age of Islamic State. Television and New Media 19(2).

            (Bx1) Mbembe, Achille. 2003. Necropolitics. Public Culture 15(1).

    • Receive a grade

      A brief test on the assigned reading. Please complete the test by 10 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2023. (The test will be available for completion from 12 a.m.)

  • Requirements and Assessment

    The final grade shall be a composite of preparatory activity (10%), class participation (10%), presentation (30%) and final exam (50%). Preparatory activity shall consist in the successful completion of brief tests on reading assigned to the entire class (A and/or B). These tests must be completed by the due date indicated in the Moodle. Presentation (10 minutes) shall consist of a critical overview of one other piece of reading (Ax or Bx) and linking it to the argument of the reading to which it is linked in the syllabus. The assignment of presentations to be prepared by students shall be done during the introductory session. (No presentations are scheduled for this session.) Handouts (1 page) are to be prepared and sent to by the presenting student by email at least one day in advance. The final exam will take the form of a submitted research paper (2,000 words, excluding references). Students are expected to use relevant secondary literature to support their argument and follow all standards of academic writing when preparing their paper. They may choose one of the following topics and submit the paper by January 16, 2023:

    1)         Explore the subject of hybrid forms of war from a critical perspective. What is (not) new about it, and how is the presumed novelty of the threat framed in securitisation narratives?

    2)         How is terrorism different today from twenty years ago? Explore the evolution of the phenomenon from the critical perspectives.

    3)         Provide a comparative analysis of two cases of rebel governance and state’s responses to it, drawing on current literature on the subject.


    In line with Opatření děkanky 17/2018, the following grading scale is used:

    91% and more                        A

    81-90%                                   B

    71-80%                                   C

    61-70%                                   D

    51-60%                                   E

    0-50%                                     F

    Attendance is mandatory, but allowance is made for absence of no more than two sessions, one of which must be the introductory session. Students who miss the introductory session are requested to contact the lecturer without delay at to arrange the distribution of class assignments. Students are furthermore requested to report their absence in the other sessions in advance.