Political Science/International Studies 105
Bill Newmann, Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Office Hours: 218 Scherer Hall, Tuesday and Thursday 11-12:15; and by appointment;
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone Number: 828-8038
Newmann's home page with links to other course syllabi (http://www.people.vcu.edu/~wnewmann)
Important See the note on campus safety at the end of the syllabus
This course is intended to be an introduction to the concepts of international relations theory and the realities of world politics. Don't worry if you haven't taken any courses on international relations before. If you haven't this will get you up to speed on anything you might want to know about international politics. As a required course for the Political Science degree and a core course choice for the International Studies degree, this course is introductory by nature. If you have taken other international relations related courses this won't be boring: I try to make the discussions we have as relevant to the present world situation as possible. So much has changed within world politics over the past decade that scholars are still trying to understand what it all means. We'll join that discussion over the current state of world politics and the future of the international system.
The course will be broken up into three sections. The first section deals with some of the more theoretical aspects of international relations: the nature of the international system, the basic concepts of realism, idealism, and constructivism, the forces of nationalism and transnationalism, national power, and international law. These are mostly theoretical issues, but we need to get a firm grounding in some theory before we venture out into the world and its problems. Essentially, here we lay the groundwork for the substantive discussions to come.
The second section is more issue oriented, dealing with issues of international security. We’ll look at these issues on several levels. First, we’ll on states and why they often go to war and less often seem to find a way to prevent war. Second, we’ll look at non-state actors. We’ll look at intergovernmental organizations, the United Nations in particular, and we’ll look at organizations (such as al-Qaeda) or individuals ( and the issue of human rights).
The third section deals with several issues that have particular relevance to international politics after the Cold War. We will examine international political economy, trade, economic competition, the economics of both the industrialized North and underdeveloped South, the concept of interdependence, the struggle between globalization and regionalism (forces that are pulling nations together or pulling them apart), and international health and demographic issues.
We will also spend time examining current events, as they crop up from time to time. Though we certainly have a lot to do (the entire world in one semester), we can change the plan of the syllabus as needed. There's no better way to deal with these issues than to watch history happen and discuss its relevance to the issues we deal with in class and readings.
The internet has become an excellent resource for information on international affairs. In order to help you introduce you to international affairs resources on the web I will provide a brief run down on the types of websites that exist. From the syllabus on the web you can jump to a number of sites. Play around with this. You'll be surprised at what is out there now.
This course is a required course for new Political Science majors (and minors) and a core course for both the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness program and the International Studies major (and minor). It also satisfies College of Humanities and Sciences and University General Education requirements.
Required Texts: Available at Virginia Book Company and at the VCU Bookstore. In general, if you have questions or problems with getting the books or the material in the books, let me know. It is possible that Mearsheimer is only available at the Virginia Book Company. Friedman is on reserve at Cabell Library reserve room, room 301. See the course reserves.
· US Government, National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, November 2008; Available at http://www.dni.gov/nic/PDF_2025/2025_Global_Trends_Final_Report.pdf (This is not available at the bookstore or in the library. It is available on line for free through this link. So you can read it on line or download it or whatever.)
A note on the readings:
Lamy et al is an excellent introductory text on International Relations. I realize that sometimes textbooks can be dry and boring, but this one is a bit better than most. Let me know what you think of it and please feel free to ask questions. It is a lot of material is a compact space. Of course, one question people always ask with such a large book: how do we know what we have to know? First, the more you know the better (but that’s not very helpful because what you really want to know is what is most important. This book does a nice job of highlighting that. In the text, there are words or phrases in bold and short definitions of the key concepts running down the left and right side of the pages. As you finish each chapter’s reading or get ready for an exam, this material is what you should know very well.
Emmott’s book is a good look at one of the key issues in the future of the world. When the Cold War struggles between the US and USSR ended (1945-1990), the question scholars tried to answer was: what happens now? Everyone assumes that nation-states will still have rivalries, so what will be the shape of the next rivalry. Emmott’s book looks at one hypothesis: power in the world is shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific. For several hundred years, Europe dominated the globe and then the relationships between the US and European states shaped the 20th century. The 21st century may be the tale of the relationship between the US, China, India, and to a lesser extent Japan. This is not the only possibility, but it is a good place to start thinking about the 21st century.
US Government, National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World. Every five years the National Intelligence Council of the US Government (an advisory body to the Director of National Intelligence) puts together a report on what the world will be like over the next 15-25 years. It is based on US intelligence sources and academic experts. Its purpose is to speculate on trends and transformations in the world. It’s always fascinating.
Friedman has written a book on the globalization trend in the world -- the subtle yet transforming emergence of a global economy. His analysis looks at the social and political changes that accompany the global marketplace. He examines both the good and bad side of globalization, though he does lean toward the opinion that globalization is beneficial in the long run.
5% of the grade
30% of the grade
30% of the grade
Exam 3 (Final)
35% of the grade
How to calculate your grade: Use the percentages from the above table. So, if you received the following grades, you would calculate your grades in the following manner:
Congratulations, you got an A.
I give you this very detailed formula for a number of reasons. First, you should never be unaware of what your class average is. You can calculate it at any point in the semester. Second, there are nearly 400 people in this class, so I cannot calculate all your grades for you if you have questions. This way, I don't need to. Third, if your grade is not what you'd like it to be, you should know, and you should come see me about it. Please do not come to me after Exam 3 and say that you're having trouble in the class. It's too late at that point. But any time in the semester that you feel you are having trouble, or not doing as well as you feel you should, come talk to me. During my office hours and by appointment I am happy to talk to you about the class
Grading scale: I use a typical scale: A = 90-100; B = 80-89; C = 70-79; D = 55-69. Borderline grades are considered in the following manner.
· If your grade is 69.5, 79.5, or 89.5 or higher, then you may be a candidate for a round up to the higher grade (Notice those numbers in the sentence; do not ask for a higher grade if your average is a 68 or 78 or 88 or lower; those are not borderline averages).
· You may become a candidate if your grades are borderline and if your grades have been going up during the semester.
· That means that if you are borderline, but your last exam is lower than the previous exams (you are between a B and C, but your third exam is a C for example), you will probably get the lower grade.
· If you are borderline, and your last exam is higher than the previous exams (you are between a B and C, but your third exam is a B), you will probably get the higher grade.
· Another factor I consider is the typical grade you receive. Let’s say we have four grades for the class and three are grades of B and one is a C (bad day) and your average is a 79.6, you are a candidate for receiving a B
· There is no extra credit for this class. Please do not ask.
I will explain this the first day of class. For the instructions follow the link. Here you can find Printable Blank Maps to study from.
EXAMS: The exams will be multiple choice. Before the exam I will place a review sheet on line, linked to this syllabus, below this paragraph. This review sheet should be used as your study guide for the exam. The review sheet will include some terms that are from the readings only, so that you can go back and review those items from the readings. Once you have the review sheet, feel free to ask me questions about the terms. This is the best way to study for the exam. If you understand the terms on the review sheet, you can define each one and see how each one relates to the larger concepts and issues we've discussed in class, you should do just fine on the exam. After the grades are ready, they will be posted on blackboard.
The reviews will be right here when they are posted
COURSE AND RE
1. Do all readings before the assigned class period.
2. The PPT slides are not necessarily full of information. After the first day you’ll see what I mean. Most are illustrations, but some may contain info that can be used in class as a reference. Take a look at the PPT for the upcoming lecture before class and decide which slides might be useful to bring to class. If I think something is particularly useful, I will let you know.
Week 1: August 25: Introduction to the class
· Lamy, Chapter 1
· Links to general information on nation-states
Week 2, August 29- September 2: The Evolution of the International System
· Lamy, Chapters 2 and 5
Week 3, September 5-9: Realism, Idealism, Constructivism or Power, Law, Identity
· Lamy, Chapters 3, 4, and 8.
Week 4, September 12-16: Realism, Idealism, and Constructivism (continued)
· Map Quiz September 15
· Lamy, Chapter 7.
· US Government, National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, November 2008; Available at http://www.dni.gov/nic/PDF_2025/2025_Global_Trends_Final_Report.pdf; Executive Summary, Introduction and Chapters 1-3.
· Links on military power
· Links on International Law (also War Crimes Tribunals)
Week 5, September 19-23: Nationalism and Transnationalism
· US Government, National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, November 2008; Available at http://www.dni.gov/nic/PDF_2025/2025_Global_Trends_Final_Report.pdf; Chapters 4-7.
Week 6, September 26-30: Why States Go to War: Theories of War and Peace
· Exam 1: September 27
· Emmott, Chapter 1 (readings for Thursday of this week and the second exam)
· War and Peace.ppt (for second exam)
Week 7, October 3-7: Why States Go to War: Theories of War and Peace (continued)
· Emmott, Chapters 3-5
· Links to the United Nations System
· Links to UN Peacekeeping Operations
· Links to International Organizations that are not part of the UN System
· Links to Regional Organizations
Week 8, October 10-14: Non-State Actors: Inter-Governmental Organizations
· Lamy, Chapter 6
· Emmott, Chapters 6 and 7
Links to sources on Terrorism, homeland security, and emergency management
· Links to sources on Weapons of Mass Destruction
Week 9, October 17-21: Non-State Actors: The Good (Human Rights Watch) and Bad (Terrorists)
· Lamy, Chapter 9
· Emmott, Chapters 8 and 9
· No class on October 20: Reading Days
Week 10, October 24-28: Terrorism (continued) and Intro to International Political Economy
· Lamy, Chapters 11-12 (readings for Third Exam)
· Intro to International Political Economy PPT
Week 11, October 31--November 4: Intro to International Political Economy (continued)
· Exam 2: November 1
· November 4: Withdrawal Deadline
· Lamy, Chapter 13 (Readings for Thursday and the third exam)
Week 12, November 7-11: Leadership and the World Economy
· Friedman, Chapters 1 and 2 (51-93)
Week 13, November 14-18: The Developing World
· Friedman, Chapter 2 (93-199).
Week 14, November 21-25: Globalization and the Future of the World Economy
· Friedman , Chapter 3, 4, and 9.
· No class, November 24: Happy Thanksgiving; Watch Football
Week 15, November 28-December 2: Economic Development, the Environment, and Global Health
· Friedman, Chapters 10 and 12
· Lamy, Chapter 14
· Links to sources on the Global Environment
Week 16, December 5-9: Human Rights
· Friedman, Chapter 14-15.
· Lamy, Chapter 10
· Links to sources on Human Rights
· Links to sources on International Humanitarian Crises
Exam 3, December 15 at 1:00 --3:50, in the same room.
Where can you find information on international affairs?
This is the questions students always ask me: “Where do I find good information on international affairs? I’m looking for something unbiased and something that doesn’t always look at the world through American eyes (as in how do these developments affect the US).” Here’s the short answer:
For day by day coverage of events in the world:
World News Network: http://wn.com/ This is a site which covers day-by-day events by creating links to major news papers around the world. So if something is happening in Pakistan, for example, there will be several links to stories about the event from web-based sources in S. Asia, E. Asia, Europe, N. America… It also has links to regional windows with coverage that is more focused. It even has links to issue-specific compilations of links on various issues. For example, the science page has sections for stories on AIDS, Biotech, cloning…
On a weekly basis:
The Economist: This is a Britain-based weekly which covers world politics and world business. There really is nothing else like it in the comprehensive nature of its coverage. You can also buy it on the newsstand, but the web is free. It covers world politics very well.
Long Term Views of Crisis and Conflict:
International Crisis Group: This is the International Crisis Group, a non-profit organization that studies, analyzes, and makes recommendations about how to resolve various crises in the world. There is nothing better for the in-depth examination of current world events and the dilemmas of problem solving and peace making. It has reports (30-50 pages), briefings (10-30), and a weekly briefing (Crisis Watch), which you can get on the web site or sign up for e-mail delivery.
VCU Statement on Safety
What to know and do to be prepared for emergencies at VCU:
- Sign up to receive VCU text messaging alerts ( www.vcu.edu/alert/notify ). Keep your information up-to-date.
- Know the safe evacuation route from each of your classrooms. Emergency evacuation routes are posted in on-campus
- Listen for and follow instructions from VCU or other designated authorities.
- Know where to go for additional emergency information ( www.vcu.edu/alert ).
- Know the emergency phone number for the VCU Police (828-1234). Report suspicious activities and objects.
VCU Honor System
Virginia Commonwealth University recognizes that honesty, truth, and integrity are values central to its mission as an institution of higher education. The Honor System is built on the idea that a person’s honor is his/her most cherished attribute. A foundation of honor is essential to a community devoted to learning. Within this community, respect and harmony must coexist. The Honor System is the policy of VCU that defines the highest standards of conduct in academic affairs.
The Honor System states that faculty members are responsible for:
· Understanding the procedures whereby faculty handles suspected instances of academic dishonesty. Faculty are to report any infraction of the VCU Honor System according to the procedures outlined in our policy.
· Developing an instructional environment that reflects a commitment to maintaining and enforcing academic integrity. Faculty should discuss the VCU Honor System at the onset of each course and mention it in course syllabi.
· Handling every suspected or admitted instance of violation of the provisions of this policy in accordance with procedures set forth in the policy.
The Honor System in its
entirety can be reviewed on the Web at
http://www.provost.vcu.edu/pdfs/Honor_system_policy.pdf or it can be found in the 2011-12 VCU Insider at http://www.students.vcu.edu/insider.html
The Honor System must be upheld and enforced by each member of the Virginia Commonwealth University community. The fundamental attributes of our community are honor and integrity. We are privileged to operate with this Honor System.
Statement on Americans with Disabilities Act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 require Virginia Commonwealth University to provide an 'academic adjustment' and/or a 'reasonable accommodation' to any qualified individual with a physical or mental disability who self-identifies as having such. Students should contact the Disability Support Services office on the Monroe Park Campus (828-2253) or on the MCV Campus (828-9782) for appropriate academic adjustments or accommodations.
VCU Guidelines for Student Conduct
VCU faculty play a critical role in helping to build an environment that is conducive to the academic success of our students. As you know, VCU has policies and procedures designed to create an environment conducive to academic excellence. One of these policies and procedures can be found in a document entitled “Guidelines for Faculty Members Regarding Student Conduct in the Instructional Settings.” This document is available on the VCU Web at http://www.provost.vcu.edu/pdfs/FacultyGuideToStudentConductInInstructionalSettings.pdf or it can be found in the 2011-12 VCU Insider.
Understanding these guidelines will help you to encourage classroom behavior that does not detract from the quality of each student’s educational experience. Please read the document and think about your role in promoting a University culture based on mutual respect and civility.
As a reminder, both faculty and students should turn off cell phones and pagers while in the classroom.
Important dates for the Fall 2011 semester are available at:
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