Great Power Military Intervention

Three military vehicles pass alongside walking villagers on a narrow road.

A convoy of American military vehicles brings fresh water to Rwandan refugees at Camp Kimbumba, Zaire (1994). (This image is in the public domain. Source: Wikimedia Commons.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2013



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Description

This course examines systematically, and comparatively, great and middle power military interventions, and candidate military interventions, into civil wars from the 1990s to the present. These civil wars did not easily fit into the traditional category of vital interest. These interventions may therefore tell us something about broad trends in international politics including the nature of unipolarity, the erosion of sovereignty, the security implications of globalization, and the nature of modern western military power.

Other OCW Versions

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Roger Petersen, and Barry Posen. 17.478 Great Power Military Intervention, Fall 2013. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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