Seminar: Economics of Conflict and Conflict Resolution
| Tentative Syllabus | Summer 2018 | Page updated: 8 April 2018 |
| Faculty of Economics | EBA Program | Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand |

Course ID: 2952418 - Seminar: Economics of Conflict and Conflict Resolution: Managing a whole country is difficult. Internal factions of interest groups need to be dealt with. Revolts and uprisings can arise. Rebel groups threaten countries, as do terror organizations. Mass atrocities and genocides can and do occur, perhaps in neighboring countries whose refugees now stream to your country. Military alliances with other countries may need to be built and maintained, and general competition and cooperation with other countries occupy leaders' time. In the midst of peace and security challenges such as these, an economy has to be run, the well-being of the population has to be increased, and the natural environment to be protected. In a word, a lot of conflict potential needs to be managed and actual conflict resolved. What do economists know about the causes, conduct, and consequences of conflict? How can we help to make the world more peaceful?

Instead of providing lecture-style "answers," this seminar uses the "flipped" or "inverted" classroom method. This means that students read, present, discuss, and learn from each other while the teacher listens and intervenes only as necessary to keep the class on track toward the overall course goal, following a well-defined syllabus of readings. You will examine concepts, data, theory, and evidence to cover an extensive range of topics. You will use theory drawn from standard (neoclassical) economic theory, behavioral economics, social economics, and political economy, and you will examine associated statistical evidence.

You can expect to make at least one, and sometimes two, readings-based presentations each week to the other students, as assigned by the teacher. The presentations make up 50% of your course grade. The other students will grade the quality of your presentation, and you will grade the other students. If you do not teach each other, your grade will be low. Therefore, you should be highly confident that you can learn how to make compelling, informative presentations. Your spoken English need not be perfect, but your attitude to learning (more) English must be perfect. We will have sessions to discuss presentation criteria and how best to present. The other 50% of your course grade is based on 2 exams and 2 short papers you will research and write. Again, your written English need not be perfect but you should be able to express thoughts clearly, simply, and logically.

Note: Names of enrolled students who are not present on the first day of class will be deleted from the class list. All students are expected to be precisely on time for each day of class.

Seminar time/rooms: Mon & Wed 1-4pm (Mahit 711); Fri 1-4pm (Econ Bldg Rm 409/411)
Seminar size: The class size is limited to 25 students. There will be 12 students from 1-2:15pm and 13 students from 2:30-3:45pm.
Office room/hours: Mahit 310/1.1 (Mon & Wed 4-5pm) | Email: ajarn [dot] jurgen [at] gmail [dot] com.

Academic honesty, class attendance, and expected classroom behavior: Please refer to the relevant university policies. Academic dishonesty is not tolerated and results in expulsion from class, a failing grade, and reporting to the university authorities. This includes cheating, ghostwriting, plagiarism, or other forms of dishonesty on the exams or any other assigned work. Classroom behavior that permits unimpeded exchange of academically relevant ideas and views is expected. Turn off cell phones or other electronic devices and put them out of sight. I have only one rule: You cannot come late, you cannot leave early, and for the duration of class you must be 100% alert. I expect students' personal conduct to be courteous, professional, and business-like at all times.

Assignments and grading:
Papers (30%): Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see the details. The papers are due at the beginning of the midterm and final exam periods. You must hand in nicely printed, stapled copies of your papers, with your name, nickname, and Chula student ID stated on the front page.

Participation (50%) : One half of your course grade comes from class attendance, presentations, and critical thinking-oriented participation, 30 percentage points of which are based on two peer evaluations (15% each) of your contributions to the seminar (one at midterm, one at the final exam time period). The other 20 percentage points come from my evaluation of your contributions. "Class attendance and participation" means never to be late to class, never to leave early, never to play with your cell phone or other electronic devices, never to let your class mates down; it means to volunteer with eagerness to make class presentations, to share findings and information, to summarize the readings, and to think and rethink how the readings "hang together" so that you can build a mental map of the field of conflict and peace economics. [Copy of the Peer Evaluation Form here].

Midterm exam (10%)

Final exam (10%)

Grading scale: 90% = A; 85%+ = B+; 80% = B; 75%+ = C+; 70% = C; 65%+ = D+; 60% = D; <60% = F.
[At the end of the summer term, you can look up your grades here.]

Textbook/readings: By permission of Professor Charles H. Anderton and Professor John R. Carter, we may read, free of charge, draft chapters of the 2nd edition of their textbook, Principles of Conflict Economics (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press). We will complement the draft chapters with readings of original articles. A username and password for the readings will be provided in class. All materials are copyright protected. As a courtesy to you, you may use them for study in this class but you may not distribute any of the files to anybody else. You are expected to respect copyright law. You are expected to respect the authors' and publishers' work.

Tentative class schedule and syllabus: See details below. Always check to see if there are updated a/o new materials posted.

Course evaluation: At the conclusion of the course, use your Chula usn/pws to log in to and complete the course evaluation for this seminar course (course code: 2952418).

Special note: No EBA student is excluded from the course. However, your English language skills (including and especially your spoken English) should be (well) above the average for EBA students. The reason for this is that this course revolves around speaking in class.

Mon 4 June (Mahit 711)

- Overview: The multiple purposes of the course
- Peer evaluation form [here]
- Discussion: Economics and conflict
- Readings: Summarize (a form of condensed repetition/rehearsal for an exam question), contextualize (compare) and evaluate
- Assignment: Two papers, one processing data, the other applying conflict and peace economics to a real-world situation (scroll down to see details)

Wed 6 June (Mahit 711)
- Discussion: How to present, and with what purpose
-- Passive learning: (1) content (intellectual); (2) delivery (emotional)
-- Active learning: (3) learner must do something (presenting; Q&A; small "assignments")
- Presentation criteria; presentation skills list [here]; duties of the audience
- Demonstration (ch. 10.1 & 10.2) [20 min.]
- Sign-up/select presentation/speaking slots for the summer term

Fri 8 June (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Economics of conflict
- Textbook: Ch. 1 (definitions, data, etc.) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 2 (interdependencies) [20 min.]
- Paper: Brauer (2017) [20 min.]

Mon 11 June (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Macro- and microeconomics
- Textbook: Ch. 4 (Macroecon: PPF and econ growth) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 5 (Microecon: demand and supply; include section 5.4) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Chs. 4 & 5: Create/find your own application/s [20 min.]

Wed 13 June (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, and discussion: Rational choice, constrained optimization model
- Textbook: Ch. 6.1 & 6.2 (background theory) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 6.3 (3 + 1 applications; 3 in the text plus one you invent) [40 min.]

Mon 18 June (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Classic game theory
- Textbook: Ch. 7.1 & 7.2 [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 7.3 & 7.4 [20 min.]
- Paper: Verwimp (2004) [20 min.]

Wed 20 June 2017 (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Behavioral and identity economics
- Textbook: Ch. 8.1 & 8.2 (behavioral econ) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 8.3 & 8.4 (identity econ) [20 min.]
- Paper: Glaeser (2005) [20 min.]

Mon 25 June (Econ 409)
Midterm exam period (time limit: 1pm - 3pm)
- Peer evaluation #1
- Midterm exam: Surprise question/s [hint: the question/s have to do with the application of concepts and theories]

Wed 27 June (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Social network analysis
- Textbook: Ch. 9.1 & 9.2 [15 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 9.3 & 9.4 [15 min.]
- Paper: Anderton and Brauer (2018) [15 min.]
- Paper: Koenig, et al. (2017) [15 min.]

Mon 2 July (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Bargaining theory of war and peace
- Textbook: Ch. 12.1 & 12.2 (the bargaining model, setup) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 12.3 & 12.4 (rationalist and nonrationalist sources of violence) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 12.5 (sources of peace in the bargaining model) [20 min.]

Wed 4 July (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Inter- and intrastate war
- Textbook: Ch. 13 [30 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 14 [30 min.]

Mon 9 July (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Terrorism
- Textbook: Ch. 15.1 & 15.2 (definitions & data) [15 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 15.3 (3 models, RCM, GT, and network models) [45 min.]
- [include 15.4 & 15.5 (empirical studies) as necessary or desired]

Wed 11 July (Econ 411)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Mass atrocities (incl. genocides)
- Textbook: Ch. 16.1, 16.2, & 16.3 (definition, data, actors) [15 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 16.4 (RCM and behavioral econ applications) [15 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 16.5 (CGT and EGT applications) [15 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 16.6 (network models applications) [15 min.]

Mon 16 July (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Arms rivalry and security alliances
- Textbook: Ch. 17.3 (Richardson model) [spreadsheet for ch. 17.3 [here]) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 17.4 (Intriligator-Brito model) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 18.3 (Olson-Zeckhauser model) [20 min.]

Wed 18 July (Mahit 711)
Readings, presentations, discussion: Peace economics
- Textbook: Ch. 19.3 (bargaining models of peace) [20 min.]
- Textbook: Ch. 19.4 (postwar reconstruction) [20 min.]
- Paper: Brauer and Dunne (ch. 5: Minimal conditions for stable peace) (2012) [20 min.]

Thu 19 July (Econ Bldg Rm 410)
Final exam period
- Peer evaluation form #2
- Second paper due
- Final exam with surprise questions


FIRST PAPER: The first paper is data-based. Identify a conflict/peace-related topic, access relevant data from one or more web sites, download the data, and then organize and descriptively analyze the data. For examples see the many databased charts and tables in the textbook and also Sandler and George (2016). In the Sandler and George (2016) piece, note the many charts and tables and note that the text is primarily descriptive, not analytical (little to no theory). Similarly, I want you to focus on creating charts and tables like these and then add your descriptive observations. Do not write a whole article. I am interested here in your ability to access, process, and comment (making observations) on the data. Whatever you do write, however, must, of course, be well-written. Apart from sources listed in the Anderton/Carter textbook, here are some dataset web sites: Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED), Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Political Instability Task Force (PITF), Center for Systemic Peace (CSP), Global Terrorism Database (GTD), Correlates of War (COW), Global Peace Index and Positive Peace Index (GPI). You are most welcome to search for and make use of additional data sites (including, of course, the Penn World Table, World Bank, IMF, and UN for general economic data). Note how carefully charts and tables are constructed in the Anderton/Carter text and in the Sandler/George article: there are headings and subheadings, units of measurement, and source identification for example as well as careful definitions in the text material. They are well-formated and presented. Do not copy/paste other people's charts or tables. The point of the exercise is for you to construct charts and tables yourself and then comment on what you observe. Format: 3 pages (first half of page: a table or graph you constructed; second half of page: comments or observations). This will be graded pass (A/B) or fail (C/D/F), with an automatic fail if the graphs/tables are not properly labeled and sourced (see textbook for complete examples).

SECOND PAPER: The second paper is an application of conflict and peace economics to a topic of your choice, one that is not in the textbook or readings. In the past, students have examined topics as diverse as a comparison of differences in the northern and southern violent conflicts in Thailand, the connection between violent conflict in Israel/Palestine and the Israeli housing market, and the degree to which concepts of peace economics apply to the case of the United States between independence in 1776 and its civil war of 1861-65. So long as your paper in on conflict/peace and economics (not politics, for instance), it will be on target. (If you are unsure, discuss your intended topic with Aj. Jurgen for approval.) Format: typed, double-spaced with 1 inch margins, 12-type font (Times New Roman), no extra spacing between paragraphs. Length: 2-3,000 words of text. You should have a list of references of between 5 to 10 items, following a proper citation format. (An example of a style sheet to follow is [here].) The paper length requirement is exclusive of title page, figure(s), tables (if any), and list of references. Order: title page, text, endnotes (if any), references, figure(s) and tables (if any), and appendices (if any). For background literature, the following web sites may be helpful: EPSJ, RePEc, NBER, SSRN, HiCN ( and EconLit if you have access). Quote (or paraphrase) and cite. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE (which, in scholarship, is a deadly sin and results in a course grade of "F").

Paper structure: Structure your paper approximately as follows:
- 10%: Introduction [overview, context, main thesis, main findings]
- 80%: Main text
- 10%: Conclusion [note that a conclusion is NOT a summary]

Paper assessment: Your paper will be graded on content (e.g., literature collection, sound analysis) and on how well it is written (e.g., concise statements, logical constructions, no misspellings, no grammatical errors, etc.).

When writing your paper you may find it useful to ask the following questions:

1. Do the opening paragraphs contain a clear description of what the paper is focusing on and do they contain a clearly stated research question?
2. Does each paragraph have a main point that justifies the paragraph’s presence in the paper?
3. Do the paragraphs follow in a logical order?
4. Does the conclusion follow from the material presented in the paper?
5. Are your arguments supported by examples, graphs, and/or data or are you offering weakly supported opinions?
6. Does your use of economic concepts and models strengthen the paper or is it used just for the sake of including a model?
7. Is the paper marred by misspellings, errors in syntax, poorly chosen words, or excessive quotations?
8. Are references presented in a proper and consistent format?
9. Does the paper show clear insight and careful thought?
10. Has the paper gone through multiple drafts and has the final draft been proofread?

Thank you to Prof. Charles H. Anderton for this set of questions.

Writing resources: The Economist Styleguide | Strunk & White's Elements of Style

(c) Stone Garden Economics