Unique UC Davis “Terrorism and War” Class Aligned with Naval Postgraduate School
James R. Carey, the founder of the "Terrorism and War" course. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
DAVIS--A unique “Terrorism and War” spring course at the University of California, Davis, is partnering with the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, in a one-of-a-kind effort to provide students with a close look at world conflict through the eyes of U.S. defense strategists and policy makers.
“We’ll have big-picture lectures by the greatest minds in the field, and overview lectures on topics such as insurgency, genocide, cyberwar and diplomacy,” said course founder James R. Carey, professor in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and a member of the Science and Society Program faculty.
Topics will range from “World at War” and “How to Run the World” to “Religious Violence.”
Carey will teach the four-unit course with co-instructor John Arquilla, professor and chair of the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, the nation’s only school supported by the Department of Defense.
The "Terrorism and War" course, scheduled from April 3 through June 7 in the Social Sciences and Humanities Building, is also unique in that it is one of only 24 throughout the UC system selected to be part of the UC Online Instructional Pilot Project. Viewers will be able to access recorded lectures on demand on two websites: the UC Davis Department of Entomology and the Science and Society Program. Although offered only as a face-to-face course this coming quarter, an online version will be offered in the fall quarter and again in spring 2013.
The spring 2012 course is a general education, undergraduate course intended for freshmen and sophomores. It will be divided into three sections: terrorism, war, and statecraft, or the art of leading the country.
|John Arquilla, professor and chair of the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School, the nation’s only school supported by the Department of Defense.|
Several Department of Defense Analysis faculty will lecture: Arquilla will discuss “World Terrorism;” professor Leo Blanken, “World at War”; and professor Glenn Robinson, “After the Arab Spring.”
Among the other lecturers: Parag Khanna, senior fellow of the American Strategic Program, New American Foundation, New York City, “How to Run the World”; professor/director Mark Juergensmeyer, Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UC Santa Barbara, “Religious Violence”; distinguished professor Zeev Maoz, Department of Political Science, UC Davis, "Paradoxes of War"; graduate student Meghan Lynch, Department of Political Science, Yale University, “Mass Violence against Civilians in Africa”; and distinguished professor Murray Weidenbaum, Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Policy, Washington University, "Small Wars, Big Defense."
Carey launched the unparalleled “Terrorism and War” course in 2003 to “introduce students to critical thinking and important contemporary topics in science.” The entomologist initially focused on bioterrorism, but then expanded the content to include more overarching concepts concerned with national security.
Carey said that he and Arquilla believe that everyone should take this course. “National security strategy requires an informed public,” Carey said. “Although UC students will always be graduating into a world with many challenges, few are as fraught with peril, as complex and costly, and have such long-term geopolitical, economic and, indeed, personal consequences as those concerned with the broad concept of national security.”
Said co-instructor John Arquilla: "We are living in an era of perpetual conflict—most of it irregular, coming in complex new forms of terrorism and insurgency, but with looming shadows of larger-scale warfare as well.”
“Moreover, the problems posed by an era of complex new threats are compounded by deficiencies in and dysfunctions of the system of public discourse,” Arquilla declared. “This leads to Americans being routinely asked to endorse decisions to go to war, to incur staggering military expenditures, and to do so on the basis of incomplete or twisted information.”
Teaching concepts related to terrorism and warfare not entirely unfamiliar to Carey. After completing U.S. Army infantry, ranger, airborne, and jumpmaster schools during the Vietnam War, he spent a year as a patrolling instructor at the Army Mountain Ranger Camp in northern Georgia.
Expanding on the reasons for teaching the course, Carey said: “We believe that the university has an opportunity—if not an obligation—to educate the citizenry in the breadth, complexity and nuances of the emerging security environment, so that they are better able to cut through official groupthink, and instead be able to perform fully the civic duty of questioning authority closely and holding decision makers to account.”
Carey sees the online course as not only a way to “organize and frame the major issues involving national security” but as a way “to explore new ways to teach general education courses with the potential for large enrollments. If this online course attracts large numbers of students, this could have unprecedented potential for instructors interested in innovating new approaches to teaching.”
Carey envisions that the online course could also “serve as a model to evaluate teaching efficiencies involving economies of scale never before tried. These could then be used not only to develop other large-scale, online general education courses involving big-picture topics, such as global warming, energy policy and health care, but also for many of the UC gateway courses ranging from mathematics and biology to economics and language.”
The list speakers and topics for the Tuesday sessions are:
“World Terrorism--Overview and Update”: John Arquilla; professor, Department of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School
“World at War--Overview and Update”: Leo Blanken, assistant professor, Department of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School
“The Best Defense”: Abraham Sofaer, George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy and National Security Hoover Institute, Stanford University (tentative)
“After the Arab Spring”: Glenn Robinson, associate professor, Department of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School
“Paradoxes of War”: Zeev Maoz, Distinguished Professor, Department of Political Science, UC Davis
“Mass Violence Against Civilians in Africa”: Megan Lynch, pre-doctoral candidate, Department of Political Science, Yale University
“Religious Violence”: Mark Juergensmeyer, director, Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UC Santa Barbara
“Small Wars, Big Defense”: Murray Weidenbaum, Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor, Washington University
“Bend of History”: John Arquilla, professor, Department of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School
“How to Run the World”: Parag Khanna, New America Foundation, Washington, DC
Last year’s invited speakers included national security consultant Gary Hart, former U.S. senator from Colorado and a two-time presidential nominee. Topics ranged from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to “Liberation of Auschwitz.”
Carey, awarded a doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley, joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty in 1980. He is internationally known for his research on insect biodemography, that is, the marriage of biology and demography, with special emphasis on aging and lifespan. A former vice chair of his department, he is a fellow of the Entomological Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Gerontological Society of America, and the California Academy of Sciences. Carey chaired the systemwide UC Committee on Research Policy and served on the systemwide UC Academic Council.
Arquilla received a doctorate in international relations from Stanford in 1991. He worked several years for the RAND Corporation (Research ANd Development), a nonprofit global policy think tank formed to offer research and analysis to the U.S. Armed Forces, before joining the faculty of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1993. Arquilla has written many articles and books on the future of warfare and frequently offers expert opinion and commentary on PBS, NPR and C-SPAN. He was an advisor to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield.
The Naval Postgraduate School is a graduate-level research university offering masters and doctoral programs in more than 60 diverse fields of study, all aimed at improving national security.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology