Strategic Studies

A.Y. 2019/2020
6
Max ECTS
40
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/04
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course of Strategic Studies has the goal of providing the necessary elements to understand the nature and logic of war as a permanent phenomenon of international politics. In the first place, the course will focus on the fundamental concepts of strategy, understood as the "link" between the political interests of players on the international stage and the use of military force. More specifically, the course will define the "spectre" of the use of military force (the deterrence/compellence/war), the levels of application of military force (tactical, operational, strategic) and its principal strategic aspects (technological, logistic, social, operative). Secondly, the course will retrace the dialectics between military practice and strategic theory in the modern age, by analyzing the reciprocal influences between the theoretical field and that of military action from the Napoleonic wars up to our time. Thirdly, the essential lines of the evolution of strategic theory and practice after the end of the Cold War will be examined (with special attention given to the debate over the so-called "Revolution in Military Affairs", to the rebirth of the doctrine of independent air power, to nuclear proliferation, and to the re-emergence of irregular forms of strategy such as guerrilla warfare and terrorism).
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course students will be able to understand the logic behind the strategic actions of political actors, whether they be states or political groups of another nature, active in international politics. Students will be able to identify the different levels of use of military force (tactical and strategic), to identify the salient features of warfare (logistics, operational, technological, social), to focus on the interactions between the different geographical arenas in strategy (land, sea, air), and grasp the specific nature of regular and irregular warfare (guerrilla, revolutionary war). Both the understanding of military history acquired during the course, and the knowledge of the classics of strategic thought (from Clausewitz to Liddell Hart and to the great "masters" of revolutionary war), in addition to the analysis of the fundamental concepts of strategy, will put students in the position to continue on their own and in greater depth the study of warfare, and more generally, that of the use of military force in world politics.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Third trimester
Course syllabus
- Fundamental concepts of strategy
- The relationship between war and politics
- The levels of application of military force (tactical, operational, strategic), the principal dimensions of warfare (technological, logistic, social, operative), and the "spectre" of the use of military force (war proper-compellence-deterrence).
- Napoleon and birth of modern strategy
- Napoleon and the evolution of military thought: Jomini and Clausewitz
- First World War and the crisis of the Napoleonic paradigm
- Liddell Hart and the indirect approach
- Naval Strategy
- Air Strategy
- Nuclear Strategy
- Irregular Warfare
- Strategic thought and military practice after the End of the Cold War
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of International Relations and Contemporary history is presumed
Teaching methods
Lectures
Teaching Resources
Attending students:
P. Paret (a cura di), Guerra e strategia nell'età contemporanea, Marietti, Genova-Milano, 1992

Lecture notes

Two texts of student's choice among the following:
- K. Von Clausewitz, Della guerra (ed.ridotta), Einaudi, Torino, 2000
- B. Liddell Hart, Paride o il futuro della guerra, Libreria Editrice Goriziana, Gorizia, 2007
- G. Douhet, Il dominio dell'aria, in Il domino dell'aria e altri saggi, Aeronautica Militare, Ufficio Storico, Roma, 2002, pp.5-171

Or one book of students' choice among the following:
- C. Stefanachi, 'Guerra indolore'. Dottrine, illusioni e retoriche della guerra limitata, Vita e Pensiero, Milano, 2011
- G. Breccia, L'arte della guerriglia, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2013

Not attending students:

P. Paret (a cura di), Guerra e strategia nell'età contemporanea, Marietti, Genova-Milano, 1992

C. Stefanachi, 'Guerra indolore'. Dottrine, illusioni e retoriche della guerra limitata, Vita e Pensiero, Milano, 2011

One text of students' choice among the following:
- K. Von Clausewitz, Della guerra (ed.ridotta), Einaudi, Torino, 2000
- B. Liddell Hart, Paride o il futuro della guerra, Libreria Editrice Goriziana, Gorizia, 2007
- G. Douhet, Il dominio dell'aria, in Il domino dell'aria e altri saggi, Aeronautica Militare, Ufficio Storico, Roma, 2002, pp.5-171
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final evaluation is based on an oral examination to test the students' ability to present the fundamental concepts of strategy, their knowledge of the classics of strategic thought and of military history. The examination consist of an interview based on 3-4 questions.
Unità didattica 1
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unità didattica 2
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
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