Educational approaches and methodology for studying military-political crises
Assoc. Prof. Dr., Rakovski National Defense College, Sofia, Bulgaria, firstname.lastname@example.org
The paper argues that the development of Peace and Conflict Studies as a social science is particularly pertinent nowadays, when crisis-response and conflict-resolution studies are an important part of any education in International Relations and Political Science, as well as in other studies focusing on international security as a social phenomenon. The study of military-political crises as prelude to armed conflict is essential for crisis management and conflict prevention.
Therefore, the paper ventures to present some educational approaches and methodology for studying military-political crises, which aim to facilitate learning, encourage critical thinking and contribute to the knowledge about the tools for anticipating a forthcoming crisis or evaluating an already unfolding one.
One important educational approach is to put an emphasis upon the military-political situation (MPS) as an integral component of the security environment dynamics and provide an insight to its characteristics. For example, one such characteristic are the interrelationships between military-political entities operating at different security levels and their impact upon the MPS in regions prone to crisis or armed conflict. This approach would allow educators to position the upcoming or existing conflict in the wider context of security and teach students to make better assessments of its local, regional and global implications. Another educational approach is to explain the essence of pre-defined observable diagnostic indicators supporting crisis forecasts and early warning mechanisms. To this end, the paper encourages educators to combine the crises and conflict studies with methods for structured analysis, which would allow students to cultivate in-depth situational awareness and ability to explore viable response options. Finally, the paper recommends an emphasis on the systematic approach in teaching and studying military-political crises as an efficient way to explore their nature and social repercussions.
Keywords: Crisis, Conflict, Social Science, Studies
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