Welcome. This class examines
theoretical foundations and current issues in international relations. The title of the course is something of
an historical relic, referring specifically to political relations between states. "IR" today attends to political
relations between states, but also acknowledges aspects of post-Westphalian
global politics, as well as the expansion from "political" to
political, economic, cultural, technological and other issues among states and
Joseph S. Nye, Jr. and Daniel Welch, Understanding
Global Conflict and Cooperation, (8th edition) - you should be able to get
the 8th edition used online for under $10. You do not need the 9th edition.
Art and Jervis, International Politics - 9th edition.
You should get this online - you can find it used for less than $10 on bn.com
and amazon.com. You should get the 9th edition. Later editions cost $100 or more.
Rory Stewart, The Prince of the Marshes
(any edition incl ebooks).
Online subscription to foreignpolicy.com.
The course has five
required purchases. Nye and
Welch's Understanding Global Conflict and
Cooperation (8th edition) will serve as our textbook. Art and Jervis' International Politics (9th edition) will serve as our
reader. You can find these recent editions used online for $10 or less. We will read parts of Saima Wahab's In My Father's Country (any edition) and
Rory Stewart's The Prince of the
Marshes (any edition) toward the end of the semester (both widely available online). Fourth, you are to subscribe to
foreignpolicy.com. If you
subscribe with your .edu email, the cost is $2.49 per month; you can cancel
anytime (after the semester).
readings will be available on blackboard (https://blackboard.cua.edu/).
responsible for all of the specific readings assigned below, whether we discuss
them in class or not, and everything we discuss in class, whether it relates to
a particular reading or not.
The goals of this course are for you to develop a basic foundation in
the concepts and issues in international relations, in preparation for the rest
of your MAIA courses. The method
is by combining an introduction to key ideas of the past century with analysis
of current issues. Your full, active, attentive, inquisitive approach to this
course should broaden and deepen your understanding of a wide range a political
science topics and policy issues.
secondary goal of the course is to acquire an increased sense of
"international relations" as an applied field of political
science. Washington offers one of
the world's best places to do this. You will be responsible for at least one
short report/reflection on an event on the practice of international
relations. We will discuss this in
particular note on this course is that it does not require higher
mathematics. I urge you, however,
to take at least one statistics course during your college coursework.
ask me also about the three numbers you should always know, and why they
Course requirements. This course is designed to help you complete one of the two seminar
papers required in the MAIA program.
You may, however, choose a seminar or non-seminar option.
If you choose the non-seminar option, your written
assignments will include: two
significant papers (30% and 30% of your course grade); two-page weekly analyses
of the readings (weeks 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12, for 25%); two-page short analyses
(two total) of a current/news example of international relations (5%). You will attend (at least) one
off-campus event on the subject of international relations, with a very brief
For your primary
research paper for the semester, you may choose any theme, case study or
comparison as your topic. Your
paper itself will answer a question that you have developed (with my
consultation). You can
expect it to be approximately 4,000 words, plus a summary cover sheet that we
will discuss. Second is the final
exam, approx. 2,500 words, which we will discuss in advance. You will be asked to post on Blackboard
your thoughts on the readings for the next day, in approx. 250-300 words. Thoughtful, intelligent participation
in class may add up to 10% to your grade.
If you choose the seminar option, instead of two
significant papers, you will write one seminar-length paper in accordance with
the standards set forth by the Politics department for fulfillment of one of
the two the seminar papers required before you are permitted to take your comprehensive
examinations. Seminar option: Your seminar paper will total
approximately 6500-7000 words (50 percent of grade); you will outline but not
write your final exam (10 percent).
Other assignments are the same.
We will discuss all of these requirements, including specific paper
requirements, throughout the semester.
"suggestions."You are expected to complement your study of
globalization with an increased awareness of current events. You are
specifically directed to the Washington Post (washingtonpost.com) and the
international edition of the New York Times, global.nytimes.com. You are encouraged also to see the Wall
Street Journal, Financial Times, the Economist and others. We will
discuss good approaches to each of these.
include class attendance, thorough reading of the assignments
before class, and class
participation. You are responsible for all the reading material
regardless of whether we
discuss it in class, and for all class discussions regardless of
whether the material
relates to an assigned reading. Attendance is not optional; you need
discuss any absences,
before class. More than one unexcused absence will count against your grade.
Additionally, there may be required attendance for guest lecturers at times
other than the normal class schedule.