Prerequisite: None • Skills Advisory: Eligibility for English 1. This course surveys major analytical approaches to the study of international relations and analyzes contemporary issues in world politics. The class gives special emphasis to war and the emergence of new global problems (e.g., the world environment) and how these problems might transform world politics in the 21st century. Classes will be geared toward lecture and discussion.
Purpose and Objectives
This course is a broad introductory survey of international relations. It is designed to acquaint students with key theories, concepts, and historical events in international relations. The course will introduce different approaches to the study of international politics and discuss topics that incorporate both historical and current examples.
After completing this course the student should be able to explain the various theories of international relations, use the levels of analysis to assess international relations outcomes, and apply theories of international relation to contemporary events.
Recommended: Students are encouraged to keep up with current events by regularly monitoring the news in the daily newspapers like the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. Many of these newspapers are available online or can be found on the Internet, please check with the college library.
Course Materials and Readings
Karen A. Mingst, Essentials of International Relations, Fourth Edition, W.W. Norton,
Karen A. Mingst, Jack L. Snyder, Essentials of World Politics, Third Edition, W.W. Norton 2008.
Grading and Evaluation
Grades for the course will be based on 2 midterms and a final.
The midterms will contain multiple-choice questions and an essay question. The essay question will cover the major issues, concepts and examples covered in the relevant course sessions and assigned readings.
Final Exam: For the final exam you are required to integrate and apply the knowledge you have acquired throughout the course. It will contain a choice of two essay questions and multiple-choice questions.
GRADES WILL BE CALCULATED FROM THE THREE WRITTEN EXAMS EACH EXAM IS WORTH ONE THIRD OF THE TOTAL GRADE
Arrive on time for all exams or risk missing them. Any student arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time for the exam will not be permitted to take it. You may not leave the classroom unless your exam has been turned in. Please make sure that your have your own ‘bluebook’ scantron, pencils, pens etc before beginning the exam or quiz.
Finals week begins December 9th – 15th 2008. Please check the website for the scheduled exam time for your particular class.
Students are expected to take examinations at the regularly scheduled times. Prior permission (before the exam) from the instructor or certification of ill health by a physician, these are the only conditions under which a make-up examination will be given. Failure to take an examination results in a zero for that item.
MAKEUPS OR EARLY EXAMS ARE NOT NORMALLY GIVEN. PLEASE INFORM THE INSTRUCTOR AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE IF THERE ARE ANY SCHEDULING CONFLICTS
As with any class, regular attendance and reading the assigned materials before class is essential. Exams will cover both the assigned reading material as well as the lectures.
Any student arriving for class more than 10 minutes after the posted start time will not be permitted in class that session. I will give a grace period for this requirement for the first two weeks of the beginning of the semester.
You should come to class prepared and ready to ask questions or comment on the themes covered in a particular lecture.
NO CELL PHONES, TEXT MESSENGERS ETC AT ANY TIME WHILE CLASS IS IN SESSION– NO EXCEPTIONS. REPEAT OFFENDERS WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE CLASS.
The deadline for students who wish to drop this course and avoid receiving a “W” is September 14th 2008. The deadline for students wishing to drop this course and receive a guaranteed “W” is October 19st 2008.
Students are responsible for understanding the SMC withdrawal policy and applicable deadlines.
Web Site - http://www.smc.edu/admissions
Honor Code and Code of Academic Conduct
The SMC Honor Code and Code of Academic Integrity, printed in the General Catalog, remind students of their responsibility to behave honestly and ethically. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these codes. Please be extremely careful not engage in any behavior that could even be construed as cheating.
During an exam, talking to another student, looking at another student's paper, using cheat notes, cell phone, etc. is not permitted.
Student with Disabilities
I am happy to make academic adjustments for students with documented disabilities. Please contact the center for Students with Disabilities if this applies to you. The Center for Students with Disabilities is located in Room 101 of the Admission/Student Services Complex, located on the north side of the Main campus, next to Admissions. For more information, call (310) 434-4265.
Course Topics and Readings
A Theoretical Perspectives and Historical Background
1. Introduction and Course Overview August 25
• Minsgt, Ch1 pp 1-13
2. Historical Overview August 27
• Treaty of Westphalia
• Concert of Europe
• Introduction to IR Theories
• Mingst, Ch 2
• Snyder in M&S pp 4-11
3. World War I Sept 3
• Wilson in M&S, pp 26-27
4. World War II Sept 8
• Kennan in M&S, pp28-33
5. The Cold War Sept 10
6. Post-Cold War Sept 15
7. Theories of International Relations I Sept 17-22
• Realism and Neo-Realism
• Balance of Power
• Mingst, Ch. 3 pp 63-68
• Morgenthau in M&S, pp 56-58
• Mersheimer in M&S pp 60-74
8. Theories of International Relations II Sept 24
• Liberalism and Neo-Liberalism
• Collective Security
• Mingst, Ch. 3. pp. 55-63
• J, Ann Tickner in M&S pp 118-124
9. Theories of International Relations III Sept 29
• Radical Perspective
• Mingst, Ch. 3. pp. 68-78
B Power and Policy
10. Levels of Analysis I - State October 6-8
• The State and Nation
• The Power of States
• Measuring Power
• Challenges to State Power
• Mingst, Ch. 5. pp. 99-121
• Morgenthau in M&S, pp 131-137
• Mingst, Ch. 4. pp 81-98
• Robert Rothberg – (web page)
11. Level of Analysis II – The Individual
• Inside States: The Making of Foreign Policy October 13
• Rational Model
• Bureaucratic Model
• Pluralist Model
• Are Democracies More Peaceful?
• Mingst, Ch. 5. Pp 122-136
12. Levels of Analysis III - Systemic October 15
• Mingst, Ch. 4.
C Security Relations – Explaining Interstate War
13. Systemic Explanations October 20
• Distribution of Power
• Systemic Explanations of Three Wars
• Von Clausewitz in M&S pp 334-337
14. State Explanations October 22
• Type of Economy
• Types of Governments
• State Explanations for Three Wars
• Mingst, Ch. 5. Pp 108-135
15. Decision-Making Explanations of War October 27
• Mingst, Ch. 6.
16. Efforts to Avoid War Oct 29-Nov 3
• Arms and Arms Control
• Nuclear Weapons
• Mingst, Ch. 8
17. International Organizations and International Law Nov 12
• Mingst, Ch. 7.
16. War, Armed Conflict and Terrorism Nov 17-19
• Mingst, Ch. 8. 198-217
• Pape in M&S, pp. 398-415
17. Deterrence and Arms Races Nov 24-26
• Mingst, Ch. 8. 218-231
18. International Political Economy December 1
• Mingst, Ch. 9. pp. 235-243
FINAL EXAM CHECK THE EXAM SCHEDULE
* Note that the course outline and/or Exam schedule may be altered. Any changes will be announced in class.