Wells College

International Studies 385

Violence and Refugee Problems in the World

Spring 2003



Instructor: Tukumbi Lumumba-Kasongo


108 Cleveland Hall

Office Hours:

Monday, 11:00AM.-12:00 Noon

Tuesday, 11:00A.M.-12:00 Noon

Thursday, 2:00P.M.-5: 00 P.M.


Required Books


Fanon,  Frantz, The Wretched of the Earth,  New York, Grove Weidenfed, 1991.


Kriesberg, Louis, Constructive Conflicts: from Escalation to Resolution (second edition) Lanham,Boulder, New York and Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003.


Mishal, Saul, Avraham Sela, The Palestinian Hamas: Vision, Violence, and Co-Existence, New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.


Gil Loesche, Beyond Charity: International Cooperation and the Global Refugee Crisis in Search for Solutions, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. (on reserve in the Library)


Mansbach, Richard, Edward Rhodes, Global Politics in a Changing World, Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin: 2000, chapters 2 and 13, section 13.1 (on reserve in the Library).


Walzer, Michael, Just and Unjust Wars, (Third Edition), Basic Books, 2000.


Course Description


What is violence? How does it manifest itself? What forms does it take in various cultures, and social and political systems? Why do institutions, people, and various social classes use violence to achieve certain specific goals? What does violence produce in a given state, society, or social group? What are its socio-economic and political implications, individually and collectively? Are, for instance, all wars morally bad? Can or should also any violent destruction lead to re-construction using the dialectics of Hegel and his reformist disciples, Marx and Engels?

The 20th century produced some of the most disastrous wars and/or war-like conditions in the world.  However, the worsening of political and social conditions in the world after the end of Cold War era and the September 11, 2001's tragic event when terrorists attacked the United States' source of the military might and the center and the symbol of the international capitalism with an extraordinary sophistication and an extraordinary violence, people start re-thinking differently about the nature of the world politics. This single event is making some people think that the 21st century is likely to be the most violent century. Thus, from this general background, we will discuss the causes of wars and forms of violence associated with them. Whether it is violence of the state, political party, or violence of the society, or violence of individuals against the state or certain social groups, human violence is directly linked to the phenomenon of refugees.  War and refugee problems are directly and dialectically linked with one another. However, both phenomena can produce themselves independently from their interactions but at the same time, each of them can reproduce the another.


In this course, we will explore theories of violence, their social and political implications and their consequences and how they engender and/or how they relate to refugee problems. We will develop arguments related to the dynamics of refugees as they affect world politics and the international political economy.




-Student’s active participation in all discussions of the class (10% of the total grade);


-For each unjustified absence, 10 points will be deduced from the student’s total grade.


-A late work without justification will be penalized (-10 points if the work is turned in within 48 hours and –20 points if it is turned in within 72 hours). After this period, that specific work loses all points.


Assignment number 1


Each student will write a critical review on “Theory of Aggression” of Michael Walzer in his book, Just and Unjust Wars, chapters 4 and 7, one of the required books in this class. This review is 4-5 double-spaced pages. In this work, the student will identify the issues concerning the different theoretical elements related to the origins of aggression, how it manifests itself, the different forms it takes, and the main arguments of the author. The main objective of this review is to help students understand the complexity of the notion of aggression and the nature of the arguments used to understand this complexity. The paper is due on March 13, 2003. This review will count for 15% of the final grade.


Assignment number 2


Each student will write a paper on “How the violence against either females (of any ages) or the violence against children (age 0-18/19) has been perpetrated and dealt with in the public sector (government, economy and the market, public administration, political realm, rural setting, and educational area). This is a comparative study in which students will examine violence in two countries, which were not systematically dealt with in this class. One of the countries has to be located in the less industrial world and the other country has to be in industrial world.  Students can select countries, which were touched on or mentioned in the class but were not discussed sufficiently. The length of this paper is between 6 and 8 pages, typed and double-spaced, including footnotes and bibliography. Each student needs to have between 5 and 10 references. The paper is due on April 14, 2002. The paper will count for 20% of the final grade.



Assignment number 3 (Class Presentations)


Each student will conduct a research to be presented on the status of refugees and its implications for security and peace in a selected region or subregion of the world. The presentation is about 25-30 minutes. Students will make a choice from the following regions and sub-regions: Central and South America (“Latin America”), the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, the Pacific Region, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa, and Former Eastern Europe. The presentations will be held between April 28 and May 5, 2003. The presentation will count for 25% of the final grade.


In this research paper, students will have to identify the following issues:


(1)   The origins of refugees or where they have come from?

(2)   Who the refugees are; their ethnicity, social class, their religion, gender, etc.,

(3)   The population of refugees in that region;

(4)   Social, health, educational and economic conditions of refugees;

(5)   Political conditions in that country sub-region or region.


Assignment number 4 (Final Paper)


Each student will write the final research paper on "A Critic of Franz Fanon's Concept of Violence as articulated in his book (pages 35-106): The Wretched of the Earth using concrete illustrations to refute, support, disagree, or challenge his perspective." These illustrations should be based on historical, sociological and political experiences in less industrial world and industrial countries.


The length of the paper is between 15 and 18 pages, (typed and double-spaced) including footnotes and bibliography. The number of references to be used should be between 8 and 12 (books, articles, etc.). In your research, you have to take into account the questions listed below into your analysis:


(1) What are the implications of violence in the search for peace and promotion of social programs?

(2) How to eradicate violence?

(3) What should be the role of the state and this of private corporations in finding solutions that you have proposed?


The final paper will count for 30% of the total grade. It is due on May 9, 2003.




1/27-A General Introduction: Objectives, issues, and Requirements

Beyond Charity, pp. 1-10.


2/3-Perceptions, Causes, and Consequences of the Refugees

Beyond Charity, chapter 1.


2/10-Bases of Social Conflicts

Constructive Conflicts, chapter 2.


2/17-International Refugee Problem as a Contemporary Political Phenomenon

Beyond Charity, chapter 2.


2/24-Emerging Conflicts: Issues and Arguments

Constructive Conflicts, chapter 3.


3/3-The Cold War and the Creation of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees

Beyond Charity, chapter 4.


3/10-Refugees and Search for Peace

Beyond Charity, chapter 3.


Spring Break March 15-23



Just and Unjust Wars, chapter 12 and Global Politics, chapter 2, section 2.3. And Global Politics, chapter 2 sections 2. 2 and 2.3, pp, 39-48.


3/31-The Case Study of Hamas as a Popular Movement:  A Controlled Violence

The Palestinian Hamas, chapter 3.


4/7-Continuation on the Case of Hamas

The Palestinian Hamas, chapter 4.


4/14-Women, the State, and War: A Feminist Perspective

Global Politics, chapter 13.1, pp. 385-395.


4/21-Settling Conflicts


Constructive Conflicts, chapter 9.


4/28 Resolving the Refugee Problem: Policies, Management, and Political Perspectives

Beyond Charity, chapters 7 and 8.


5/ 5 Class Presentations