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Content: International Relations: Syllabus

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Although this course is introductory and does not assume prior coursework, it is not an easy class and sets high expectations. The reading is substantial, and many terms and concepts will be exposed to you for the first time. We will look at historical case studies to better help understand the ways in which the international system operates, but we will also thoroughly examine theoretical concepts and arguments throughout the semester. Class lectures are not solely based on assigned readings but will build on what we have read with new information provided by me. Needless to say, class attendance is not only recommended, it is strategic.


Grading Weights
Work Result Weight Due
One midterm examination 30% Session 7
One final examination 30% Session 15
One 2000 word analytical paper 30% Session 15
Participation 10% All sessions
Reading

While readings are assigned for a particular topic “bloc”, it is highly recommended you read the material as soon as possible rather than waiting for the last day of discussion. You will benefit most from the course by doing the readings in advance of each session.

Readings posted for class session dates are assigned in blocs according to the topic. For example, we will take two weeks to cover Realism. All readings assigned for that session are to be read within that time frame. You should start with the textbook, and then move to any additional articles if assigned. Recommended readings are not required but might help you for either your exams or your paper.

Due Dates

(text)

Midterm Examination

(text)

(text)

Final Examination

(text)

Analytical Paper

(questions will be provided)

Participation

In-class discussion and occasional quizzes. You will be awarded 1 point for every time you actively participate in class discussion and successfully answer in-class quizzes. Expect at least one quiz for every section. A maximum of 10 points can be accrued throughout the semester.


Provided Work Material

The following books can be purchased at the College Bookstore, or online.

All other readings are posted online.

Schedule
Session Content
Part I: Methodology and Concepts

Session 1

Course Introduction - Thinking About International Studies – What is IR?

Read the syllabus, buy the textbook, familiarize yourself with website

  • Jackson and Sorensen – Chapter 1 (skim) pp. 1-27
  • Jackson and Sorensen – Chapter 2 (skim) pp. 28 – 57
Session 2 - 3

Varieties of Realism

  • Jackson and Sorensen – Chapter 3, pp. 58 – 94
  • Thucydides – “The Melian Dialogue”, from, History of the Peloponnesian War. (Penguin Books, 1954), pp. 400 – 408
  • Niccolo Machiavelli – Selections from The Prince, pp. 46 – 65
  • John Mearscheimer – “Back to the Future: Instability in Europe After the Cold War”, International Security, vol. 15, no. 1 (1990), pp. 5 – 56
  • Robert Jervis – “Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma” World Politics,, vol. 30, no. 2 (1978), pp. 167 – 214 (recommended)

Session 4 - 5

Varieties of Liberalism

  • Jackson and Sorensen – Chapter 4, pp. 95 – 126
  • Michael Doyle – “Liberalism and World Politics”, American Political Science Review, vol. 80, no. 4 (1986), pp. 1151 – 1169
Session 6

Constructivism as Theory or Modifier?

  • Jackson and Sorensen – Chapter 6, pp. 159 – 180
  • Ted Hopf – “The Promise of Constructivism in International Relations Theory”, International Security, vol. 23, no. 1 (1998), pp. 171 – 200
  • Alexander Wendt – “Constructing International Politics”, International Security, vol. 20, no. 1 (1995), pp. 71 – 81
Session 7

***MIDTERM***

PART II: Applications of IR Theory in International Foreign Policy
Week 8

The Shortcomings of the League of Nations and the Failure of International Society: 1918 – 1939

  • A. LeRoy Bennett and James K. Oliver, “A Great Experiment: The League of Nations”, International Organizations, Principles and Issues (Prentice Hall, 2001), pp. 27 – 45
  • E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis – 1919 – 1939, Chapter 3, “The International Crisis”, pp. 22 – 40
  • Carr, chapter 5, “The Realist Critique”, pp. 63 - 88
Weeks 9 - 10

The Modern International Community - The Cold War’s Foreign Policies of Deterrence, Containment and Nuclear Diplomacy

  • Joseph S. Nye, Jr. – Chapter 5, “The Cold War”, Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation, 8th edition (New York: Longman Press, 2010, pp. 132 – 180
  • Nye – Chapter 6, “Postwar Conflict and Cooperation”, pp. 180 – 238
  • Edward Mansfield and Jack Snyder – “Democratization and the Dangers of War”, International Security, vol. 20, no. 1 (1995), pp. 5 – 38 (recommended)

Week 11 - 12

International Relations in the Post-Cold War World – Global Integration or Global Inequality?

  • Nye – Chapter 7, “Globalization and Interdependence”, pp. 239 – 267
  • Jackson and Sorensen – Chapter 10, pp. 260 – 274
  • Christopher Layne – “The Unipolar Illusion: Why New Great Powers Will Rise” International Security, vol. 17, no. 4 (1993), pp. 5 – 51
Weeks 12 - 14

International Relations and Contemporary Global Challenges

  • Jackson and Sorensen – Chapter 10, pp. 250 - 260
  • 9/11 Commission Report – Chapter 2: pp. 47 – 70
  • 9/11 Commission Report – Chapter 12, pp. 361 – 383
  • Michael Scheuer – Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, (Washington DC: Brassey’s Inc, 2004), Chapter 8, “The Way Ahead: A Few Suggestions for Debate”, pp. 237 – 263
Weeks 15

*** Concluding Remarks, Paper Due, and Course Evaluation ***

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