Political Science 361/International Studies 361
Issues in World Politics
Office Hours: 205 Scherer Hall: Monday 12-1:30; Wednesday 3:30-5:00. Or By Appointment
Phone: Office: 828-8038
Newmann's home page: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~wnewmann/index.htm with links to other Newmann syllabi and the International and Area Studies Program description.
This course will focus on two important topics that are currently at the heart of the post-cold war international political system. Each topic will be studied for about half the semester. For each topic we will look at the historical context, the changes brought about by the end of the cold war, the past ten years worth of post-cold war lessons, and the scholarly speculation on the future of the issue and how it will shape/reshape the world. The issues are as follows:
Are we witnessing the origins of the next cold war? Some people are absolutely sure that the US and the People's Republic of China (PRC) are moving toward a relationship similar to the US-Soviet relationship of the cold war. They look at China's potential, its rapid economic growth, its huge population, its huge increases in military spending and assume that China will behave as every other rising power has in the past - its wealth will lead to power and its power will lead to expansion. The specific disagreements may center around China's human rights record, its actions in the South China Sea, its one party Communist state, or its sales of missile and nuclear weapons technology to states such as Iran or Pakistan, but underneath it all is a struggle between the current superpower, the US, and a rising challenger, China.
Others feel US-PRC relations can go in any direction. The US and China can find common ground in their economic interests or growing hostility over their differences in ideology or their power rivalry. The issue of Taiwan, of course, often is the beginning and end of the discussion. While the US and the USSR fought the cold war with great intensity, they never had an issue such as Taiwan. To China, Taiwan has been seen as a renegade province that must be returned to mainland control to fulfill China's ambitions as a great power and to finally end the humiliation of China's colonial era. It is a matter of Chinese nationalism and a test of the Communist party's leadership and legitimacy. For the US, Taiwan is a Democratic ally that can't be abandoned to a dictatorship and a test of US reliability and willingness to remain a superpower in East Asia.
Of course, the US feels that none of this would be a problem if China would just become democratic. The US mission of spreading free trade and democracy throughout the world would be much closer to succeeding if China, 20% of the world's population, would accept the "inevitable" and become like the US. The acute problem for the US is how to protect Japan, S. Korea, and Southeast Asia from a potentially assertive, possibly aggressive China. China would like to take its place in the world as a major power. Chinese scholars like to remind the world that for the past 5000 years China was the most advanced place on the planet, except for the last 500. China wants to regain what it feels is its rightful status. It sees the US presence in East Asia as a bid to contain China and maintain US hegemony over the globe. China's foreign policy is based, in apart, on anti-hegemonism. It seeks greater power in East Asia and the world and a decline in US ability to run the planet.
In its relations with China the US has some larger issues to deal with. It is the world's sole superpower. Realist scholars of international relations will argue that unipolarity cannot last. Other nations will become powerful and create a new bipolarity or multipolarity. What is the US prepared to do to maintain its unipolarity or to guarantee a stable transition to a new bipolar or multipolar world? Of course, that means a specific question: How does the US deal with the rise of power in China? Idealist scholars of international relations might argue that multilateral institutions such as the UN or World Trade Organization (WTO) are just the recipe for smoothing over the rough spots in US-Chinese relations. The common interests that lead nations to join these organizations push them toward resolving their differences before those differences overwhelm the common interests.
For the US and China the common interest is economic growth. The US sees this as one of its basic missions. China needs economic growth to fulfill the promise of a generation of reform. If China's economy takes a nosedive, the Communist Party might not survive. People tolerate the lack of freedom and the existence of Communist Party dictatorship because they see it delivering a marked improvement in their standard of living. If that trend is reversed, the Party may face serious problems. Wouldn't it be embarrassing for the Communist party to be challenged by a worker’s revolt?
In the end, we have to remember a few things. The US and China operate in different timeframes. In the US we seems to base everything on the 24 hour news cycle. Today China is not a democracy. By the time tomorrow morning's paper arrives at the house, we become frustrated because China is still not a democracy. We forget that by the standards of 2001 the US did not become a real democracy until the 1964 Civil Rights and 1965 Voting Rights Acts were passed. It took the US just under 200 years to become a full democracy. China has a much longer timetable. Even Deng Xiaoping said China would become a democracy, in 100 years or so. But China has over 4000 years of unified political history with essentially the same political culture it has today. It is willing to bide its time. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the US should ignore the lack of political freedoms in China, however. We just have to understand some of the reasons why the Communist Party refuses to change. This helps the US understand the limits of its influence.
We will examine this issue, by looking at the basic principles of both US and Chinese foreign policy and the interests of both nations in East Asia. We will consider both economic and political aspects of those interests. We will also look at the domestic politics of US-China relations. Key events from the past 30 years of relations will be highlighted, but most of our attention will be focused on US-Chinese relations since 1989.
Terrorism and the Current War
September 11, 2001 was a day that transformed the world. We measure time and our lives these days as a before and after reference to September 11. We know where we were when we first heard about the attacks, where we were when we saw the Trade Centers collapse or the smoke rising from the Pentagon, and who we first talked to as we tried to comprehend the incomprehensible. Just as December 7, 1941 before it, September 11 was the first day of a new era.
The second half of this class will serve as a primer for this new era. We will start from the basics. What is terrorism? How long has it been with us? Why do people become terrorists? The answers may be a bit surprising. Watching the American media deal with the attacks has only clouded the issue. Too many people have decided that they are experts in international relations and terrorism because they saw the Trade Centers fall. Terrorism has a long history going back at least to Jewish resistance against Roman occupation of the Middle East. The British considered the founding fathers of this nation to be terrorists. The finest novel about terrorism was written by Joseph Conrad in 1905 (The Secret Agent). Terrorism is not new. The broadest definition is still the most accurate: the use of dramatic acts of violence against non-combatant forces to further a political cause. The violence may be aimed at an enemy’s military forces while they are not engaged in active operations, government facilities, or as in September 11, symbols of the enemy’s power. The direct targeting of non-combatants/average citizens is often a purposeful strategy. The goal is to cause pain and fear in a nation’s public in hope that the public will urge a government to change its policies. The dynamic is simple – inflict pain and wait for the enemy to turn and run, twist an arm until someone cries "Uncle."
We will examine terrorism in terms of both state-sponsored actions (Iran, Afghanistan) and non-state actors (al-Qaeda, Hamas). We will also look at the targeting of the US – its purpose and history. In particular, we will focus on the misconceptions regarding the relationship between Islam and terrorism. Islam is a peaceful religion; terrorist organizations have political motives and pervert the meaning of Islam to justify their violence and gather recruits from a candidate pool of the poor, the criminal, the ignorant, and the lost. Many look at the regional centers of terrorism and remark that they are all nations with populations that are mostly Muslim. The struggle for political control of Islam is a crucial part of what is happening in this time period of history. However, a better way to look at where terrorism originates is perhaps to notice that these nations are also in the region with the fewest number of Democratic states and perhaps the greatest gap between the wealth of the elite few and the poverty of the many. To understand the complexity of all this we will look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the potential (or reality) f a US invasion of Iraq, and the transformation of Iran.
Finally, we will take a look into the nightmare scenarios of biological, chemical, nuclear, and ballistic missile attacks. This may be the horror story of the future. Understanding these threats is the first way we can begin to design strategies to stop them.
Of course, the war on terrorism is not only an academic subject. We will be discussing current events as they happen. So stay on top of the situation. Read The New York Times or Washington Post for the best coverage on a day by day basis and check out all the websites I have listed below to learn more.
Links that may be of interest
Links to sources on US-China-Taiwan relations
Links to sources on Biological and Chemical weapons
Links to sources on Terrorism
Links to sources on nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and missile defense
You need to read them; you don't need to buy them. The books are available at the Carriage House Bookstore on North Harrison Street, in between Grace and Franklin. They may also be available on reserve at the Cabell Library room 301. If anyone has problems getting access to the texts, for any reason, let me know as soon as possible so you don't get too far behind in the reading.
If you have any problems getting the readings for any reason, talk to me as soon as possible so you don't get behind in the reading. A guideline for the readings: I've tried to pick reading that are fair minded and balanced. There are a lot of books and articles out there that border on hysteria on all these issues. That doesn't mean that these books don't have a point of view. They do. You do not have to agree with the authors. I may or may not agree with them. The point is that you need to read critically. Don't believe everything you read. Use your own logic and knowledge and insight to decide what you think about the issues.
Grading System: Grades will be determined through the following:
5% of the grade
35% of the grade
30% of the grade
May 5, 1-3:50 (regular classroom)
30 % of the grade
How do you 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:
I give you this very detailed formula for a number of reasons. You should never be unaware of what your class average is. You can calculate it at any point in the semester. If your grade is not what you'd like it to be, you should know, and you should come see me about it. 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, then you are a candidate for a round up to the higher grade IF your grades have been going up during the semester. That means that if you are borderline, but your third exam is lower than the previous exams (you are between a B and C, but your third exam is a C), you will probably get the lower grade. If you are between a B and C, but your third exam is a B, you will probably get the B.
The exams will be short answer and essay. One week 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. The exams will consist of short answer/identifications and one essay. I will give more details on the exams in class as we approach the first exam.
The paper is due February 19 AT THE START OF CLASS. The last day for turning in rough drafts that I will review is February 10. Up until that day I will review outlines, rough drafts, whatever. The paper should be 8-10 pages of text, with footnotes/endnotes and a bibliography. On January 29 you should turn in a one-paragraph (at least) outline of your chosen topic. It should include the following:
The purpose of this is to let me know what you are working on. This way I can help steer you in the right direction, warn you about troubles you may encounter, and generally deal with any questions you might have.
Of course, the big question is: what is the assignment? You've got a lot of leeway here. What I want is a paper that focuses on an international political, social, or economic issue that is of growing importance. I have chosen US-Chinese relations, and the war on terrorism for this class. You need to pick some other issue and analyze the current debate on the issue. When I say analyze the debate what I mean is look at the different perspectives on a given issue, examine their strong and weak points, and then present your analysis of the issue. For example, if you choose a topic like globalization: You'll need to define it. You'll need to present the various views of it: it will lead to prosperity and democracy for all; it wll lead to prosperity, but maybe not democracy for all; it will lead to poverty for poor nations and a growing gap between rich and poor; it is inevitable, has some good and bad effects and the world has to figure out a way to lessen the bad ones and spread the good ones. There are a huge number of issues: universal morality vs. cultural relativism; international war crimes tribunals or the International Criminal Court; the threat of biological or chemical weapons; the conflict on the Korean peninsula; India and Pakistan nuclear weapons or their rivalry; the Arab-Israeli conflict; the Congo crisis; AIDS around the world; international health as a security issue; demographic crisis; energy needs; food scarcity; refugees and internally displaced people...the list goes on and on. The only thing you can't choose is one of the topics we are discussing in class.
Source requirements: You must use at least 10 sources. At least two of those sources must be from the Internet. One source must be from a journal that you found in the library, or on the internet. If you have questions, talk to me sooner rather than later.
I don't think I need to tell you much about the internet. In college I wrote papers on a manual typewriter and I took my SATs on stone tablets. But if you do have any questions about it let me know. An important note about internet sites: what is crucial about any webpage is that you and I know who is the source of the information. All information on the web is not equal. Before you trust any information on the web you must know who runs the websites. Who is the source of the information? The US Nazi Party has many websites. Their information is probably not a source you want to use for research on Israeli foreign policy, for example. Also, if you find a website that deals with human rights in China, you need to know if it is run by the Chinese government; its views will be a bit biased. So you need to know who runs the site, and you need to tell me that in the notation. For example, if you're doing research on Japanese electoral politics and you pull an article from the Daily Yomiuri you must tell me that that is where you found the information. In your bibliography you must cite internet information properly!!!! Do not simply provide me with the web address. You must include the following: author (if identified); title of article, essay, database, document; organization that sponsors the posting of the information; web address (use this form: Available at http://whatever); and date accessed (because information of the internet is updated and frequently reedited or eliminated). If you have questions about this, ask me. But if you don’t ask me and you simply give me the web address, I will mark you down for it.
There are excellent journal articles that are much more useful than what you find on the internet. Use the Public Affairs Information Service or ABC POL SCI indexes. Look up either a country or an issue and you will find excellent lists of articles. Ask a reference librarian to help you find these indexes.
Use a book, really. The internet is nice, but it includes information, not knowledge. The difference is simple. Information is up to the minute data, piles and piles of facts and figures. Knowledge is data plus perspective, plus analysis. What does the data mean in the context of history, of theories about the issue you are studying, of the developments in that nation and the world? The internet does not contain books yet, and therefore it will tell you what happened yesterday, but not if what happened yesterday is typical, unusual, or explained very well in a book or two here, or a journal article there.
IMPORTANT: On reserve and available on line is a RESEARCH MANUAL!!!! (I believe it is on reserve for POLI 363 under my name). It will tell you everything you need to know about a research paper. Please read it!!! Dr. Twigg and I worked on it for a long time. It tells you a lot of important things you can use for any research paper, in any class. It also tells you what I expect. Use it and I guarantee that you will get a much better grade on your paper, and more importantly you will learn how to do research and write an organized paper. In particular, pay special attention to the section on sources (bibliographies and footnotes/endnotes). If you choose to ignore the research manual you do so at your own peril and risk everlasting doom. (Am I being subtle enough?)
Tips on writing the paper:
Papers should be double-spaced, with one inch margins, and reasonable size font. Shorter papers with wide margins and large print size font will be penalized.
Use proper footnote or endnote style when you cite material. Since you are using two books, you need to reference specific ideas from each book. For example, one author says "blah, blah, blah." You need to cite the page number of the book. You don't need to quote the authors, however, just paraphrase the idea in your own words and cite the page/pages where the idea is discussed. If you have questions about style see Kate Turabian, A Manual for Writers, the Modern Language Association guidelines or any recognized standard format. This should answer all the questions. Now, since I've told you where to find the answer (in any case you can ask me), I will take points off the grade if you do not use proper style. Why will I do that? It's simple. Since you know where to get the answer to your question on style format, if you don't use proper style it means you wrote the paper at the last minute (that's bad) or you didn't care enough to even bother looking for the answer (that's worse). And you need to get used to doing things the proper way. In college I will take points off if you do something the wrong way or don't try to find out the proper way to do something. In the business world your boss will simply fire you. This is particularly true about finding information. In the business world you will be judged on the quality of your knowledge, the information that you can provide to potential clients or your boss. Everyone needs to be able to judge the quality of your information and they can only do that if they know the source of the information. Get used to this.
Do not include long quotes!!!! You can quote actual participants in an event, but do this sparingly if you feel it is necessary. You can use lots of quotes if you are examining candidate rhetoric for example, but then your paper must be longer than 8-10 pages. I'm looking for 8-10 pages of your work.
Make a copy of the paper for yourself before you hand it in to me. There are two reasons for this. If you have a copy, you don't have to worry about me losing a copy. I have never lost anyone's paper, but just in case you should always make sure that you have a copy of your paper with you, in any class, not just this one.
WHEN YOU TYPE YOUR PAPER ON A COMPUTER MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP DISK WITH THE PAPER ON IT. AS YOU TYPE THE PAPER SAVE THE FILE TO THE BACKUP DISK EVERY TEN MINUTES OR SO. This is especially important if you type on the university computers. Putting your paper on the hard drive in the computer lab is useless if they sweep the hard drives of files at night. Keep a backup copy for yourself. I have several backup copies of anything I write. You don't ever want to lose work because you didn't back it up.
Make sure you have a subject and verb in every sentence. (You would be surprised how many important journals and books allow non-sentence sentences). This is non-fiction, not fiction. So you need to observe the basic rules of grammar.
A long sentence is not necessarily a better sentence -- each sentence should express only one thought. Don't be afraid to break up a long sentence into two or three shorter ones. It will usually flow better that way.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that the reader of your paper knows: (1) your topic; (2) what is your theme or argument; (3) how you are going to go about supporting that theme or argument -- all within the first couple of paragraphs of the paper. In other words, the first paragraph should provide your reader with a "road map" that explains exactly what you will say during the paper. This is not as difficult as it sounds. Basically, what you need to do is write the outline you have for your paper in sentences in the first few paragraphs of the paper.
Your opening paragraph (or couple of opening paragraphs) should also give the reader some reason to be interested in your topic and in your argument. Tell the reader why this subject is important. Here is an overly simplified example of an opening paragraph: (I'll use an example that won't overlap with anyone's potential topic; it is irrelevant to this class)
The attempted right-wing coup in the former Soviet Union captured the world's attention in August 1991. (There's the topic) Its aftermath constituted the final stage in the transformation of the U.S.-Soviet, now Russian, relationship from one of confrontation to one of cooperation. It would be prudent, however, for world leaders to remain fixated on Moscow. It seems inevitable that conservative forces will try to take control once again within the next several months, perhaps jeopardizing the much-heralded resolution of the Cold War. (There's the general argument you are trying to make and why it is important) This paper will argue that Boris Yeltsin's leadership is in severe jeopardy for a variety of reasons: (1) the failure of recent attempts at economic reform, (2) the resurgence of Russian nationalist political forces, and (3) discontent among Russian military personnel. (There's the specific argument and the conclusion of your research--Yeltsin's in trouble--and the organization of your evidence to prove your point.)
So, this paragraph tells me what you think (that Yeltsin is in big trouble), summarizes why you think that is true (because of failed economic reform, resurgent nationalists, and a discontented military), and why I should care (because of the jeopardy to the U.S.-Russian relationship). The paper might then proceed to give a meatier introduction with a bit of history on the coup attempt, its aftermath, and Western reactions. The bulk of the paper will give detail on the support for the argument that Yeltsin's on his way out. Again, the three arguments given in that opening paragraph provide the organization; a concluding section might once again summarize the main argument, and perhaps speculate a bit on the implications of the argument.
You can use lots of topic headings and subheadings to correspond to the points on your "road map" -- they'll help you organize your thoughts, and they'll help your reader clearly identify where he is on the "road map." The above paper might have five main sections:
As you make the points that support your argument, you'll probably be aware of the places in which your argument is controversial or in which a reasonable person might disagree with you. Preempt those controversies in your text. Point out what those opposing arguments might be, and why you think your point of view is more accurate or reasonable. Going back to the above example, a good paper would point out that some people think that the Russian economic reform is showing signs of success, explain why those people think that's the case, and show why the author thinks they're wrong.
The VCU honor system covers plagiarism. It is not a fine line. Either ideas are yours, or they are not. But just because someone else has already written an idea that you agree with 100% doesn't mean you can't discuss it in your paper. Just point out whose idea it is; paraphrase it in your own words, cite the source of the idea, and expand upon it. Generally, that is how Political Science works. 90% of all Political Science articles and books do the following:
There are various explanations for the Moscow coup in August 1991. Stan, in his article, "What Happened During the Coup," says the military instigated the overthrow. Kyle, in his book, The Coup That Never Was, disagreed, saying the military prevented the coup from being successful. Cartman, in his article, "The Gang that Couldn't Plot Straight," says the coup failed because its leaders were inept. I think that the three of them are wrong; the coup really failed because of the Russian people's yearning for Democracy.
The article would then outline the theories of Stan, Kyle, and Cartman, criticize each one, and then develop the fourth theory. There is no problem as long as Stan, Kyle, and Cartman get credited with developing their theories, and the fourth theory is new. If the fourth theory belongs to a fourth author (Kenny?), the reader must be told that the fourth theory is Kenny's and your article will show why his theory is superior to the other three.
As always, ask me questions, early and often.
LATE PAPERS: I will mark late papers down ONE GRADE for each day late. That means that an almost perfect paper -- one that I would give 98 points to -- becomes an 88 if one day late, 78 if two days late, etc,... all the way down to 8 points if nine days late, and zero points if ten days late. Talk to me if you are having some family or personal problems. If there is a serious need to get an extension on the paper, I will give you an extension. I do realize that there are more important things in life than this class and this assignment. So if you run into a problem, talk to me. Computer problems do not count as a problem that warrants an extension. If you are writing your paper at the last minute and you have a problem, the moral of the story is that you should not have been writing your paper at the last minute. If you have a printer problem, no problem, give me your disk and I will print up the paper, or come to my office hours and we'll print up the paper at my office. If you have some kind of computer problem, and you are not writing your paper at the last minute, let me know. Maybe I can help.
COURSE AND READING SCHEDULE:
(Note: The readings may or may not always conform to the lectures. The books are big and broad and impressionistic and the lectures will be much more focused on specific aspects of the issues we discuss. That doesn't mean you can get behind in the readings. By the time you finish reading the book and the lectures are done it will all fit together into a seamless educational experience that is both uplifting and transforming. No, really.)
Week 1: January 13-17: Introduction
Introduction and Chapter 1, pp. 1-63.
Week 2: January 20-24: The US and China: Why the relationship is important
No class January 20
Chapter 2, pp. 64-110.
Week 3: January 27-31: US and Chinese Foreign Relations Basics
Map Quiz: January 27
Paper Topic Due: January 29
Chapter 3, pp. 111-155.
Week 4: February 3-7: The Making of US-Chinese Foreign Relations
Chapters 4 and 5 (part), pp. 159-232.
Week 5: February 10-14: The Cold War and After
Last day for turning in rough drafts: February 10
Chapter 5 (continued) and 6, pp. 232- 279.
Week 6: February17-21: Human Rights and Trade
Paper due: February 19
Chapter 7, pp. 279-312.
Week 7: February 24-28: Taiwan and the Future of US-PRC-ROC Relations
Chapter 8, pp. 313-355.
Week 8: March 3-7:
Exam 1: March 5
Chapter 9, pp. 356-378
March 14: Spring Break
Week 9: March 17-21: The Meaning of September 11: War and A New Kind of Vulnerability
Howard and Sawyer (H&S):
Ch. 1.1, Hoffman
Ch. 1.2, Pillar
Ch. 2.1, Crenshaw
Appendix B (skim to get a sense of the number of terrorist incidents and the damage they cause)
Week 10: March 24-28: Terrorism vs. The US
Ch. 2.2, Richardson
Ch. 3.1, Hoffman
Ch. 3.2, Arquilla, Ronfeldt, and Zanini
Ch. 6.1, McCaffrey and Basso
Week 11: March 31-April 4: The Middle East, Central Asia, and Terrorism: Politics Not Religion
Ch. 1.3, Ahmad and Barsimian
Ch. 4.1, Ranstorp
Ch. 4.2, Jurgensmeyer
Ch. 8.2, Robbins
Appendix A (skim this to get a sense of the nature of the terrorist organizations)
Week 12: April 7-11: Iran, Iraq, North Korea
Ch. 5.1, Stern
Ch. 5.2, Chyba
Ch. 5.3, Moodie
Ch. 7.4, Roberts
Week 13: April 14-18: CBRN, Missile Proliferation, Missile Defense, and Other Delivery Methods
Ch. 6.2, Rattray
Ch. 6.3, Pate and Cameron
Ch. 9.2, Howard
Week 14: April 21-25: US National Security and Homeland Security
Ch. 7.1, Donohue
Ch. 7.2, Hoffman
Ch. 9.1, Carter
Ch. 9.3, Betts
Ch. 9.4, Crenshaw
Appendix D, George W. Bush
Week 15: April 28: The Current War
Ch. 8.1, Betts
Ch. 8.3, Shultz and Vogt
Ch. 9.5, Malvesti
Ch. 10.2, de Wijk
Exam 2: May 5, 1-3:50 in the regular classroom.