Fall 2016

Drones, Satellites, Cyberwar: Technology and National Security

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-420


Stephen E. Laizer (Section 01)
Eleonora Mattiacci (Section 01)


[G] How does technology change the ways in which we fight wars? Can innovations such as computerized systems, drones, or even social media make wars less deadly? Or do these technologies increase instead the probability that states will fight? To tackle these questions, this class will adopt a chronological structure and we will study some of the major military innovations in the past seventy years. Topics include important moments such as the aerial power revolution, nuclear weapons and the MAD strategy, the “CNN Revolution” in the 1990s, the spread of social media as a tool of public diplomacy for insurgents, the drones’ “war of precision,” and also the recent debate over cybersecurity. Throughout the class, we will parse out two types of technology advancements: those that change the most fundamental aspects of war (such as leaders’ objectives in the conflict and their cost/benefit calculations on whether to become involved or not) and those that merely alter the way the war is fought.

Limited to 20 students. Fall semester. Visiting Professor Mattiacci.

If Overenrolled: Preference will be given to Seniors and Political Science majors.

Cost: 11.00 Copyright Fee ?


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2019