Political Science/International Studies 105

International Relations

Summer 2014


Bill Newmann, Political Science program

Office Hours: 102 Moseley House, right after class and by appointment;

E-mail: wnewmann@vcu.edu; 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値l look at these issues on several levels. First, we値l on states and why they often go to war and less often seem to find a way to prevent war. Second, we値l look at non-state actors. We値l look at intergovernmental organizations, the United Nations in particular, and we値l 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..

This course is a required course for 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. Some of the books may be on reserve at Cabell Library room 301. As I get more info on this, I値l let you know.

         Henry Nau. Perspectives on International Relations, Fourth Edition (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2014 978-1-4522-4148-7 (if you want to use a used copy of the 3rd edition, that works too).

         National Intelligence Council (NIC), Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, December 2012 http://www.odni.gov/index.php/about/organization/national-intelligence-council-global-trends or http://www.odni.gov/files/documents/GlobalTrends_2030.pdf

         Robert D. Kaplan. Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific (New York: Random House 2014) 978-0812994322

         Thomas L. Friedman, The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (New York: Picador, Reprint edition 2007) 0312425074


A note on the readings:

Nau痴 book fits this course very well. In the first few days we値l be examining the three main theories of international relations: realism (a focus on power), idealism or liberalism (a focus on institutions and law), and constructivism (a focus on ideas). Nau痴 book uses this same approach, examining international issues such as war or trade or human rights from each of these perspectives. It is an excellent way of illustrating the complexity of the issues and the way different perspectives highlight different ways of thinking about the world.

The National Intelligence Council (NIC) is an advisory group for the Director of National Intelligence, the highest official in the US Intelligence Community. The NIC is responsible for writing intelligence analyses that go to the President of the US; its reports represent the Intelligence Community痴 official judgment of a given issue and are usually classified. However, the NIC also produces unclassified 組lobal trends reports every five years, which use scenario planning to make judgments on what the world will be like in 15-20 years. The analysis is based on input from all members of the Intelligence Community in the US, as well as academic, business, and foreign government contributions.

Kaplan痴 book examines what some are calling the 釘erlin of the Far East the place most likely to set off a major war between global powers. The South China Sea contains oil and natural gas and its sea lanes are the routes used by an increasing percentage world trade. An estimated that 50% of all world oil shipments pass through the South China Sea and some economists estimate that as much as 50% of all global trade depends on shipping through the South China Sea (either goods flowing through the region or energy resources). Almost all of China痴 trade depends on shipping that passes through the South China Sea. Here痴 where it gets messy. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea as its territory which puts it at odds with the international regime that defines the economic control of the oceans also puts its territorial claim in direct opposition to claims made by Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The US has been committed to freedom of the seas since its founding; it entered WW I and WW II because of freedom of navigation issues and rivalries over trade in East Asia. It also currently has deep trade relations and/or mutual defense treaties with just about all the nations whose ocean regions China has claimed.

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.






Map Quiz Instructions

Printable Blank Maps to study from

5% of the grade

June 26

Exam 1

30% of the grade

July 1

Exam 2

30% of the grade

July 14

Exam 3 (Final)

35% of the grade

July 24


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痴 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.




Map Quiz

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


Review I

Review II

Review III





1. Do all readings before the assigned class period.

2. The PPT slides are not necessarily full of information. After the first day you値l 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.


Day 1: June 23: Introduction: The Nature of the International System

         No Readings

         Nature of the International System PPT

         Links to general information on nation-states



Day 2, June 24: Realism, Idealism, Constructivism or Power, Law, Identity

         Nau, Chapter 1, pp. 37-71 and Chapter 2.

         Theories of International Relations PPT

         Links on military power

         Links on International Law (also War Crimes Tribunals)



Day 3, June 25: Realism, Idealism, Constructivism or Power, Law, Identity (continued)

         Nau, Chapters 3 and Chapter 4, pp. 149-182

         Balance of Power PPT



Day 4, June 26 The Evolution of the International System

         Map Quiz

         Nau, Chapter 4, pp. 182-196.

         NIC, pp. 1-58

         The Future of the international system?



Day 5, June 30: The Future of the International System?

         NIC, pp. 59-133.



Day 6, July 1: The Causes of War and Peace

         Exam 1

         War and Peace.ppt (for second exam)

         No readings



Day 7, July 2: The Causes of War and Peace

         Nau, Chapter 5



Day 8, July 3: Nationalism and Transnationalism

         Nau, Chapter 6

         Nationalism PPT

         Transnationalism PPT



Day 9, July 7: Non-State Actors: IGOs

         Kaplan, Chapters 1-2

         International Organization PPT

         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



Day 10, July 8: Non-State Actors: NGOs: The Good:

         Nau, Chapter 7, pp. 289-314

         Kaplan, Chapters 3-4

         NGOs: The Good



Day 11, July 9: Non-State Actors: NGOs: The Bad: Terrorism

         Kaplan, Chapters 5-7

         NGOs The Bad

         Links to sources on Terrorism, homeland security, and emergency management

         Links to sources on Weapons of Mass Destruction



Day 12, July 10: South China Sea: Creating Rules and Trying to Enforce Them

         Kaplan, Chapter 8 and Epilogue

         South China Sea PPT



Day 13, July 14: Intro to International Political Economy

         Exam 2

         No Readings

         Intro to International Political Economy PPT (for third exam)



Day 14, July 15: Intro to International Political Economy (continued)

         Nau, Chapter 8

         Industrial Nations PPT



Day 15, July 16: Rich and Poor Nations

         Friedman , Chapter 1, Chapter 2, pp. 51-77.

         The Developing World PPT

         East Asian Strategy PPT



Day 16, July 17: The Developing World and Globalization

         Nau, Chapter 9, pp. 385-431.

         Friedman, Chapter 2, pp. 77-93



Day 17, July 21: Economic Development and the Environment

         Friedman, Chapter 2, pp. 93-167.

         International Environmental issues PPT

         Links to sources on the Global Environment



Day 18, July 22: Economic Development and Global Health

         Friedman, Chapter 2, pp. 167-199 and Chapter 3.

         Globalization PPT



Day 19, July 23: Human Rights

         Nau, Chapter 7, pp. 315-325

         Friedman, Chapter 4 and 15.

         Human Rights PPT

         Arab Uprising

         Links to sources on Human Rights

         Links to sources on International Humanitarian Crises



Exam 3, July 24.





Where can you find information on international affairs?

This is the questions students always ask me: 展here do I find good information on international affairs? I知 looking for something unbiased and something that doesn稚 always look at the world through American eyes (as in how do these developments affect the US). Here痴 the short answer:

For day by day coverage of events in the world:

BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/.On a day-by-day basis, no other news organization covers the world as well. It has separate pages for most regions, links to past stories, links to data bases, all kinds of information that will get you up to speed on anything.

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: www.economist.com. 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: www.crisisweb.org. 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 Policies


Email Policy

Electronic mail or "email" is considered an official method for communication at VCU because it delivers information in a convenient, timely, cost effective, and environmentally aware manner. This policy ensures that all students have access to this important form of communication. It ensures students can be reached through a standardized channel by faculty and other staff of the University as needed. Mail sent to the VCU email address may include notification of University-related actions, including disciplinary action. Please read the policy in its entirety: http://www.ts.vcu.edu/kb/3407.html


VCU Honor System: Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

The VCU honor system policy describes the responsibilities of students, faculty, and administration in upholding academic integrity, while at the same time respecting the rights of individuals to the due process offered by administrative hearings and appeals. According to his policy, "members of the academic community are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity." In addition, "All members of the VCU community are presumed to have an understanding of the VCU Honor System and are required to:

         Agree to be bound by the Honor System policy and its procedures;

         Report suspicion or knowledge of possible violations of the Honor System;

         Support an environment that reflects a commitment to academic integrity;

         Answer truthfully when called upon to do so regarding Honor System cases, and,

         Maintain confidentiality regarding specific information in Honor System cases.


Most importantly, "All VCU students are presumed upon enrollment to have acquainted themselves with and have an understanding of the Honor System." (The VCU INSIDER, VCU Honor System 131-132).


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

In this class, because coursework will be collaborative at times, particular issues of integrity arise. You should not copy or print another student's work without permission. Any material (this includes IDEAS and LANGUAGE) from another source must be credited, whether that material is quoted directly, summarized, or paraphrased. In other words, you should respect the work of others and in no way present it as their own.


Student Conduct in the Classroom

According to the VCU Resource Guide, "The instructional program at VCU is based upon the premise that students enrolled in a class are entitled to receive instruction free from interference by other students. Accordingly, in classrooms, laboratories, studies, and other learning areas, students are expected to conduct themselves in an orderly and cooperative manner so that the faculty member can proceed with their [sic] customary instruction. Faculty members (including graduate teaching assistants) may set reasonable standards for classroom behavior in order to serve these objectives. If a student believes that the behavior of another student is disruptive, the instructor should be informed." Among other things, cell phones and beepers should be turned off while in the classroom. Also, the University Rules and Procedures prohibit anyone from having ".in his possession any firearm, other weapon, or explosive, regardless of whether a license to possess the same has been issued, without the written authorization of the President of the university..." See http://www.students.vcu.edu/rg/policies/rg7conductguide.html and the VCU Resource Guide for more information: http://www.students.vcu.edu/insider.html


Certainly the expectation in this course is that students will attend class with punctuality, proper decorum, required course material, and studious involvement.


The VCU Resource Guide contains additional important information about a number of other policies with which students should be familiar, including Guidelines on Prohibition of Sexual Harassment, Grade Review Procedure, and Ethics Policy on Computing. It also contains maps, phone numbers, and information about resources available to VCU students. The VCU Resource Guide is available online at the link above or through the Division of Student Affairs.


Students with Disabilities

SECTION 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 require that VCU provide an "academic adjustment" and/or a "reasonable accommodation" to any individual who advises us of a physical and/or mental disability. To receive accommodations, students must declare their need for disability-related accommodations with the Disability Support Services Office (DSS). The DSS office is located in the Student Commons, Room 102. The office phone number is 828-2253. The Director of Disability Support Services is Joyce Knight. More information is available at the Disability Support Services webpage: http://www.students.vcu.edu/dss/


If you have a physical or mental impairment that requires an academic adjustment or accommodation, arrange a meeting with me at your earliest convenience. Additionally, if your coursework requires you to work in a lab environment, you should advise me or department chairperson of any concerns you may have regarding safety issues related to your limitation(s). This statement applies not only to this course but also to every other course in this University.


Statement on Military Short-Term Training or Deployment
Military students may receive orders for short-term training or deployment. These students are asked to inform and present their orders to their professor(s). For further information on policies and procedures contact Military Services at 828-5993 or access the corresponding policies at http://www.pubapps.vcu.edu/bulletins/about/?Default.aspx?uid=10096&iid=30704 and http://www.pubapps.vcu.edu/BULLETINS/undergraduate/?uid=10096&iid=30773.

Excused Absences for Students Representing the University
Please be aware that students who represent the university (athletes and others) do not choose their schedules. Student athletes are required to attend games and/or meets. All student athletes will give you their schedule in the beginning of the semester. The Intercollegiate Athletic Council (IAC) strongly encourages you to treat missed classes or exams (because of a scheduling conflict) as excused absences and urges you to work with the students to make up the work or exam.

Campus Emergency information

1.      What to Know and Do To Be Prepared for Emergencies at VCU: Sign up to receive VCU text messaging alerts (http://www.vcu.edu/alert/notify). Keep your information up-to-date. Within the classroom, the professor will keep her phone on to receive any emergency transmissions.

2.      Know the safe evacuation route from each of your classrooms. Emergency evacuation routes are posted in on-campus classrooms.

3.      Listen for and follow instructions from VCU or other designated authorities. Within the classroom, follow your professor's instructions.

4.      Know where to go for additional emergency information (http://www.vcu.edu/alert).

5.      Know the emergency phone number for the VCU Police (828-1234). Report suspicious activities and objects.


VCU Mobile

The VCU Mobile application is a valuable tool to get the latest VCU information on the go. The application contains helpful information including the VCU directory, events, course schedules, campus maps, athletics and general VCU news, emergency information, library resources, Blackboard and more. To download the application on your smart phone or for more information, please visit http://m.vcu.edu/http://m.vcu.edu/.


Class registration required for attendance
Please remember that students may only attend those classes for which they have registered. Faculty may not add students to class rosters. Therefore, if students are attending a class for which they have not registered, they must stop attending.