POSC 2601 – Introduction to INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
“Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.” -Henry A. Kissinger MWF 10-10:50 Room: Wehr Life Sciences 111 Professor: Dr. Jeffrey Drope Office: Wehr Physics Bldg #409 Teaching Assistants: Ms. Molly Giese (firstname.lastname@example.org ) Ms. Kate Springsteen (email@example.com) Phone: 414-288-6840 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Office Hours: MW 11-12:30; F 11-12; or by appointment. Office (hrs): Wehr #449 (W & Th – 2-3:30) Office (hrs): Wehr #487 (M 9-10 & Th 9-10:30)
Course Description: The goal of this course is to introduce students to the basic theoretical tools used in the field of international relations and to apply these tools to different events and situations in the world today. We will use these tools as a class to seek to answer a number of questions including: How do nations interact? Why do wars occur? What is state power and how is it exercised? Which international institutions are important and how do they interact with states? How is so-called “globalization” affecting these interactions? And, how has the international system changed since September 11th? Course Requirements: 1) Early-term Exam (30%) In the fifth week of the semester, there will be an early-term exam consisting of a number of questions and short essays drawn from lectures, discussions, and readings. 2) Final Exam (35%) Similar to the midterm, there will be a series of questions and essays that will a) allow you to demonstrate your mastery of the concepts learned since the previous exam, and b) provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate how you can apply the many concepts that you have learned over the entire semester. 3) IR Current Issue Application Short Paper (20%) Each student will be asked to select from a list provided by the professor of current international relations “challenges.” For example, I could give the example of countries’ competition in caviar production in the Caspian Sea (but likely won’t!). Each student will need to research their given topic, identify and explain the challenge (briefly), articulate how we can use the theories we have explored to understand it, and, where possible, explain how these approaches might be helpful for resolving the issue (or not). The paper shall not exceed 4 pages (double-spaced, 12-pt font, and 1-inch margins). The paper topics will be given in three consecutive waves with a specific deadline for each wave (usually around 10-14 days after the topics are announced). Students can choose their preferred topic and the timing of the wave (only one wave; thus, one paper!) that best suit their schedule.
5) Quizzes (15%) First, a few words about “participation” generally: students are expected to attend classes and do the readings before class. In an abstract way, attendance does count because students who do not attend and read regularly will almost without exception do poorly. Because engagement with the complex material is such a significant part of this class, it is important that you do the readings before class. To encourage this dynamic, there will be four short pop quizzes during the course of the semester that will cover the readings for that day; your grade will be the best three of the four scores. Because “make-ups” are thus already built into the grading system, an actual makeup surprise quiz will only be given in the event of a legitimate and extraordinary medical or family emergency. I also strongly encourage participation in broad class discussions and demand participation in our small group exercises. More generally, in terms of specific learning “objectives,” these various assignments and activities will be used to assess: (1) your knowledge of the central concepts, theories, and methodologies in the study of international politics; (2) your ability to apply these concepts, theories, and methodologies to real world situations; (3) your ability to write and present effectively about the various topics we...
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