PLSC 102: International Relations in an Age of Globalization
Course Title: International Relations in an Age of Globalization
Course Number: PLSC 102
Period: 2012 Fall Semester
Time: Two 1’20” sessions per week (Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:20-3:35 p.m.)
Classroom: Room TBA
Professor: Claudio Lodici (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Office hours: T. & Th. 3:45-5:00 p.m. (by appointment, room 103)
Required Text: W. Raymond Duncan, Barbara Jancar-Webster and Bob Switky, World Politics in the 21st Century. Student choice edition ( Boston and New York : Houghton Mifflin, 2009).
Course description: Broadly stated, politics is the struggle to define the rules and mechanisms by which the individual’s life is organized within a larger social group. Within the global context, confrontation inevitably arises around the goals and values of different societies. This power struggle is further compounded when social problems are global in nature, yet are beyond the scope of any particular domestic, institutional response. Through the world lens, therefore, the paramount question is how global society will establish, maintain, and/or change the dominant paradigm of rules that will dictate the individual’s life?
This class, International Relations in an Age of Globalization 102, both examines issues confronting the members of global society and requires a perspective recognizing the historical and cultural aspects of the shifting terrain of global power. More importantly, this course provides a sturdy foundation – the necessary background information and conceptual tools – upon which students may build an understanding of contemporary international relations.
There are two sections to this course. In the first section, we will survey the major philosophical contributions traditionally used in the study of international relations as well the history of the modern international system of politics and power. This includes a large spectrum of issues and methodological concepts in contemporary world politics, including international security, gendered forms of violence, international political economy and globalization, international organizations and law, the international development and global inequality, and environmental issues. We will study these issues by examining how they impact the relationship between the United States and particular areas in the world that have contemporary relevance, such as the Middle East, China, and Africa.
Class is complemented with discussions on current issues in world politics. Each Thursday will be a student-led discussion.
Please note: This syllabus is subject to change with advance notice.
Course procedure: Students are expected to have completed their reading before the end of the semester. Each student will write a review of approximately 600 words for a world politics book of their own choosing. They are also expected to actively participate in all sessions, and their participation will be taken into consideration. Some sessions are in seminar format.
Credits: Three credit hours
Evaluation: Class participation and daily readings. There are 80 points awarded at the discretion of the instructor for attendance, participation (it is not necessary to speak, but it is necessary to be "present"), and questions. Students will be expected to bring to class each Tuesday one question related to the chapter from the textbook for that week. As you read the chapter[s], there should be something that either is of interest to you or that is not clear to you. The success of this class depends upon the quality of the dialogue in class. It is expected that students will attend every class and that they will be fully prepared to discuss the material assigned for that day. Class participation grades will reflect their attendance record, the frequency of their contributions to class discussions, and the quality of their questions, observations, and conclusions.
There will be daily readings worth 40 points. Each of the students will report once on a short reading assignment on class days. Students are to read one or two chapter sections summarizing the most significant or revealing points in the day's readings.
There will be a term project worth 200 points Each student will also write a paper of approximately 3000 words (or about 12 double-spaced typewritten pages) analyzing one aspect of world politics. Students should choose their topic in consultation with the instructor. The completed paper will be due by November 25.
The following schedule will be strictly observed:
- Consultation with the instructor on your research idea (by October 5).
- A typed project proposal, including the central questions, a plan for research, and a preliminary bibliography (due October 21).
- A rough draft of the paper (due November 18).
- A final draft (due November 25).
Plagiarism: Students of this university are called upon to know, to respect, and to practice a high standard of personal honesty. Plagiarism is a serious for of violation of this standard. Plagiarism is the appropriation for gain of ideas, language, or work of another without sufficient public acknowledgement that the material is not one’s own. Plagiarism on the part of a student in academic work or dishonest examination behavior will result in failure and will be reported to the Office of the Director.
Examinations: There will be two examinations (Midterm: essay, with some choice--1 of 3, e.g.; Final: 10 short answer essays). The Midterm exam will be worth 200 points, the final will be worth 400 points.
The first exam will cover the first half of the class; the final exam will be cumulative.
Each student will write a book review of approximately 600 words. This will be submitted no later than November 11. Each review should include a brief synopsis, followed by the reader’s reaction. What was the author’s point. What did the editor provide. What do you think of the book. What did you learn. What did you like about the book. What didn’t you like about the book. How did the book relate to your understanding of democracy and government today. Why was the assignment worthwhile. Why wasn’t the assignment worthwhile. THIS ASSIGNMENT MUST BE WORD PROCESSED, SPELL CHECKED AND PROOF READ. Failure to follow these directions will result in either a lowered grade or having the assignment returned ungraded to be resubmitted. Late assignments (including those returned for resubmission) may have points deducted for each day late.
Reviews are worth a possible 80 points.
Added together, the total number of points is 1,000.
Please note that there is often, although not always, a positive correlation between class attendance and "participation" and the student's ability to earn a better than average grade.
The grading scale:
A 4.00 Excellent 950 or more points
A- 3.67 920-940 points
B+ 3.33 880-919 points
B 3.00 Good 840-879 points
B- 2.67 800-839 points
C+ 2.33 770-799 points
C 2.00 Satisfactory 730-769 points
C- 1.67 700-729 points
D+ 1.33 650-699 points
D 1.00 Poor 600-649
F 0.00 Failure 599 and below
P 0.00 Pass with credit.
The minimum passing grade for a course taken under the Pass/Fail option will be C minus (C-)
WF Withdrawal Failure
C- will be the minimum acceptable grade for university undergraduate requirements, such as the University Core Curriculum and the Values Across the Curriculum requirements.
Class participation 80 points
Reading assignments 40 points
Book review 80 points
Midterm exam 200 points
Tem project 200 points
Final exam 400 points
Added together, the total number of points is 1,000.
Please note that there is often, although not always, a positive correlation between class attendance and participation and the student's ability to earn a better than average grade.
A Excellent. Indicates the highest level of achievement in the subject and an outstanding level of intellectual initiative.
B Good. Indicates a good level of achievement, intelligent understanding and application of subject matter.
C Satisfactory. Indicates academic work of an acceptable quality and an understanding of the subject matter.
D Poor. Minimum credit. Indicates the lowest passing grade, unsatisfactory work and only the minimum understanding and application.
F Failure. Indicates the lack of even the minimum understanding and application.
Disagreement: Political attitudes and opinions tend to reflect one's social background and self interest, and since we all have different backgrounds and interests there is no reason why we should be expected to agree. A student does not have to agree with the professor to get a grade in this class. It is both legitimate and desirable for you to disagree with me and independently and critically evaluate the material. I will exercise my academic freedom and say what I think is accurate about politics; you have the same right. Political Science is a way of thinking about politics, not a set of right answers and airing your disagreements is an excellent way to learn how to think. So please, if you feel I am wrong, challenge me. Former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn had two bits of advice for the new members: "Learn to disagree without being disagreeable", and "Don't turn political differences into personal differences".
Behavior: Civility and toleration are essential for an academic atmosphere conducive to learning. Incivility in the classroom will not be tolerated. Students should make sure to turn off cellular phones and other electronic devices before class. Students are not allowed to eat, drink, or smoke in the classrooms.
Honor Code: Lying, cheating, attempted cheating, and plagiarism are violations of our Honor Code that, when identified, are investigated. Each incident will be examined to determine the degree of deception involved.
Course outline and reading assignments:
September 4-6: The Foundation of World Politics.
Duncan et al.: Chapters 1,2 (pages 2-61)
September 11-13: Analyzing World Politics.
Duncan et al.: Chapter 3 (pages 62-95)
September 18-20: Power in World Politics.
Duncan et al.: Chapter 4 (pages 96-129)
September 25-27: Foreign Policy Formation and Execution
Duncan et al.: Chapter 5 (pages 130-159)
October 2-4: Intergovernmental Actors
Duncan et al.: Chapter 6 (pages 160-199)
October 9-11: Non-State Actors
Duncan et al.: Chapter 7 (pages 200-229)
October 16: Political Geography
Duncan et al.: Chapter 8 (pages 230-261)
October 18: Midterm examination
Fall semester break
October 30-November 1: Nationalism's Power in World Politics
Duncan et al.: Chapter 9 (pages 262-289)
November 6-8: Global Violence: Wars, Weapons, Terrorism
Duncan et al.: Chapter 10 (pages 290-327)
November 13-15: Global Violence: Wars, Weapons, Terrorism
Duncan et al.: Chapter 10 (pages 290-327)
November 20: Global Rights, Women, and Global Justice
Duncan et al.: Chapter 11 (pages 328-367)
November 21-25: Thanksgiving recess
November 27-29: International Political Economy and Developed Countries
Duncan et al.: Chapter 12 (pages 368-399)
December 4-6: The Politics of Development; The Global Environment
Duncan et. al.: Chapter 13, 14 (pages 400-473)