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University of Tokyo

Conditions of War and Peace

University of Tokyo via Coursera

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Discourse on war and peace has gone through a remarkable transition during the two decades after the end of the Cold War. We do not have to worry of major nuclear wars, and then, no longer can we anticipate stability based on nuclear deterrence. We have no immediate threat emanating from a belligerent adversary equipped with a major arsenal, but we observe a number of small to medium military powers that are more belligerent than the days of the Soviet Union. We have more democracies in the world, and yet are far from the democratic peace that has been imagined by the students of international relations.

This course aims to nail down some of the basic issues that have been argued in the current research on peace and security. The questions are all deceptively simple enough, but then the answers will all be ambiguous at best. It is my hope that you will be able to provide better answers than those given in the course by developing your own analytical capacity.


The course is divided into four parts:

  • Week 1: "When is War Necessary?", raises the question of military intervention in light of theories of just war.
  • Week 2: "Power Transition and War", discusses the argument that global transitions in power distribution lead to hegemonic wars.
  • Week 3: "Democratic Peace, Democratic Wars", is a reappraisal of the democratic peace theory, and asks if democratization by force provides international security.
  • Week 4: "Conditions for Peace", is directed toward our new assessment of paths toward durable peace.

Taught by

Kiichi Fujiwara



4.4 rating, based on 8 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Conditions of War and Peace

  • Helga Maria Saboia Bezerra
    The University of Tokyo offers this course in English. In just four weeks (yes, it is a short course) the students have the opportunity of learning about important concepts of international relations like "just war", "balance of power", the cases in which wars are necessary and the conditions for peace, among others. Professor Kiichi Fujiwara, a very talented and calm scholar, talks about war and peace in a way I had never heard before, never forgeting to show various cases of historical and current conflicts around the world. An excellent course, which I higly recommend.
  • John Hunt
    Personally, I think the Professor attaches too much importance to international institutions and law, mixing up how the world should be and how it is. Other views, such as Power Transition theory, rather got the straw man treatment. Also, the historical overviews were rather sweeping, imho.

    It was enjoyable for me to do the course with so many Japanese students in the cohort - I think the real world and online course were well blended - so it really did feel like studying in Tokyo.
  • Anonymous
    The only criticism on this course is the short length. Only 4 weeks is insufficient to cover major IR theories. Anyway, I highly recommend this course.
  • Anonymous
    Terrific! To be certain, it's post grad stuff. Professor Fujiwara is the best! Took more than 100 pages of notes.

  • pssGuy
    Fairly dry.

    The marking system needs addressing

    Poor feedback from staff
  • Anonymous
    A good, comprehensive course on a difficult subject.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course, amazing professor, highly recommended.

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