Political Science/International Studies 105

International Relations

Summer 2000

Bill Newmann

Office Hours: 211 Scherer Hall:

Thursday 4-5:30, or by appointment.

Phone: 828-8038

e-mail: wnewmann@saturn.vcu.edu

Newmann's home page: http://saturn.vcu.edu/~wnewmann/index.htm with links to other Newmann syllabi and the International and Area Studies Program description.



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 the core course for the International Studies Minor, 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 and idealism, 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. First we'll look at various theories on the causes of war and peace, the basic security dilemma, nuclear weapons, arms races, arms control, nuclear proliferation, international organizations, the role of the United Nations, the current problem of ethnic conflicts, 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 globalism and regionalism (forces that are pulling nations together or pulling them apart), and the global environment.

The internet has become an excellent resource for information on international affairs. Your simulation paper requires a bit of research and use of the internet in that research. In order to help you with that research and 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.

For example, there are web sites for most governments in the world, their parliaments (congresses, national assemblies), and embassies in the US. Military resources of many nations are available as well. The Federation of American Scientist (FAS) has a home page with links to all types of information on the military assets of many nations in the world. For general information on foreign nations the US State Department Country Reports and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook are useful. The Stockholm International Peace research Institute (SIPRI) is one of the best sources for information on military and political trends in the world.

Of course, following international events has been made easier with many newspapers now on line. There are also on-line services that report from all around the world. One of the best is the BBC World Service (British Broadcasting Corporation).

Specific issues are covered by many web sites. Human rights, international humanitarian disaster relief, and the war in the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia) are among them. The War Crimes Tribunals for both Yugoslavia and Rwanda are now on line. Information on global environmental problems, nuclear proliferation (the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) that is investigating the Iraqi nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs), international peacekeeping (including the United Nations Department on Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO)), international law, and conflict resolution is also available. There are also groups that monitor international crises on a daily basis. One such group is the International Crisis Group. Given the situation in the Balkans, the US State Department's Kosovo Update and the US Defense Department's page for "Operation Allied Force" (the official name of the operations against Yugoslavia) might be useful.

When most people think of international affairs they think of national governments; however, international organizations, as we will discuss, have become an important way for governments to organize for collective action. Most of those organizations have web sites. There are:

international organizations associated or part of the United Nations system, such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Court of Justice (ICJ), International Labor Organization (ILO), UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO), World International Property Organization WIPO (that protects copyrights for patents, books, films, and software), World Food Program (WFP), and UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO);

international organizations not part of the United Nations system (though they often work with the UN) such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), World Trade Organization (WTO), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, the wealthy countries' club), the Group of Seven (G-7, though it is sometimes eight, the richest nations' economic leadership forum), and the Group of 77 (G-77, a meeting group of developing nations that contains more than 77 nations);

 regional organizations such as Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC); Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, created to defend Western Europe and North America from the Soviet Union, but now conducting operations against Yugoslavia in Kosovo -- information on the operation will be available here); Organization of American States (OAS); European Union (EU). There is also the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a cartel of oil producing nations that spans several regions;

governments in exile, such as those who are attempting to free Tibet from Chinese rule or opposition groups in Burma working against the rule of an oppressive military.

In addition, we will discuss any major international events as they happen. 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.

This course is a required course for new Political Science majors and a core course for the International Studies Minor. If you have questions about this, please ask me.

This course will also include a role-playing simulation in the last three weeks of class. Please see the simulation instructions for more information.

Required Texts: Available at Carriage House Book Store on North Harrison Street, in between Franklin and Grace. Friedman is on reserve at Cabell Library circulation desk. You can charge out the book for two hours at a time and read it at the library. Rourke is not on reserve at the library, but if you have a problem getting the book, let me know. I have a copy and you can always use it during my office hours. In general, if you have questions or problems with getting the books or the material in the books, let me know.

Other readings will be on reserve at the Circulation desk of Cabell Library. These readings will be indicated by an (R).

A note on the readings:

Rourke is a basic text on international politics. This is the place to concentrate initially if you've never had any courses on international relations. Pay special attention to the readings here. I won't go over everything that is contained in this book, but you will be responsible for knowing the material. I don't like to teach straight from the book. Why have a lecture then? If you have any questions about the items in the book or how they relate to what we discuss in class (though this usually is pretty clear) ask me -- office hours or e-mail.

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. The Friedman readings will be weeks ahead of when we will discuss them. However, there's a good reason for this. There's a lot in the book to digest and not as much time as we need over the summer to get to it all. But once you start reading the book, I think you'll wind up wanting to read ahead. It's not a textbook like Rourke. Actually, it's good beach reading. This is not the type of book where I expect you to memorize all the terms and anecdotes. There will be some specific items from the book that will show up on your review sheets and therefore the exam. Overall, however, itís the concepts that I'm interested in. It is a book designed to give you an impression of the changes going on the world and a feel for how remarkable those changes are.


Exams and Papers:



% of the final grade

Map Quiz

June 29

5% of the grade

Exam 1

July 11

20% of the grade

Exam 2

July 25

25% of the grade

Simulation Paper

August 3

20% of the grade

Exam 3

August 10

30% of the grade


Map Quiz: I will explain this the first day of class. For the instructions follow the link.

EXAMS: I will discuss the format of the exams as they come up. 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.





SIMULATION: The simulation will take place on the following dates:

The paper assignment will be due August 3 at the beginning of class. For all the details see the Simulation Instructions webpage. Don't wait to print this out. READ THIS NOW. AS WE GET CLOSE TO THE SIMULATION, YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE READ THIS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE WILL BE DOING IN CLASS.

 Simulation Summary Day 3




1.Do all readings before the assigned class period.

2.Make sure you read the syllabus so you know what we will be discussing next. Several times during the semester the syllabus will ask that you download a chart or brief article from the web that you need to bring to class with you. If you don't stay on top of this, we will be referring in lectures to documents that you do not have. An easy way to do this may be to simply print them all now then bring them to class all the time.


Day 1: June 20: Introduction: The Nature of the International System:

No readings


Day 2: June 22: The Evolution of the International System:



Day 3: June 27:Realism and Idealism/Power and Law:



Day 4: June 29: National/International Interests:

Map Quiz: June 29




Day 5: July 6: Theories of War and Peace:

Rourke: (These readings will be on the second exam; I'm delaying the exam one class period so you won't have to study over the holiday).


Day 6: July 11: Nuclear Weapons and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction:

Exam 1

Friedman: pages xi-xxii, 3-28. (The Friedman readings are weeks ahead of when we will discuss them. However, there's a good reason for this. There's a lot in the book to digest and not as much time as we need over the summer to get to it all. But once you start reading the book, I think you'll wind up wanting to read ahead. It's not a textbook like Rourke. Actually, it's good beach reading.)


Day 7: July 13: Weapons of Mass Destruction (continued) and Background to the Kashmir Crisis:

Friedman: pages 29-100.

Today you will receive your roles for the simulation. You should begin researching and reading about the Kashmir Crisis and your role in the simulation. See above for more information on the simulation. The Simulation Instructions are linked to the syllabus here.


Day 8: July 18: The United Nations System: Collective Security and Peacekeeping:


Friedman: pages 101-142.

Read the chart: Characteristics of UN Peace Operations (access it by clicking here)

Check out the United Nations home page: Read Chapter 6 and 7 of the United Nations Charter. (You get to it by clicking on "About the UN" on the UN homepage.) We will be discussing Chapter 6 and 7 in class.



Day 9: July 20: Sovereignty, Intervention, and Human Rights:


Check out the Universal Declaration on Human Rights

Friedman: pages 145-193.



Day 10: July 25: Introduction to International Political Economy

Exam 2 (Rourke Chapter 14 is NOT on the second exam; Neither are any of the Friedman readings from any of the previous weeks)


Friedman: pages 194-211.

Bring in: Economic History of the World (a chart you can access by clicking here)


Day 11: July 27: The Industrialized World: Trade Tensions, Hegemony, and the Era of Free Trade:



Friedman: pages 212-247.



Day 12: August 1: The Developing World: Modernization, Nationalism, Socialism, and the East Asian Model:


Friedman: pages 248-305.

Bring in the chart: Regional Economic Blocs (access the chart by clicking here)


Day 13: August 3: The Future of the World Economy

Simulation Paper Due

Simulation Day One

Friedman: pages 306-326.


Day 14: August 8: Introduction to the Global Environment

Simulation Day Two


Friedman: pages 327-364.


Day 15: August 10

Exam 3

Simulation Day Three (following the exam)