INTL 3200 Introduction to International Relations
Office: 307 Candler Hall
This class is intended to lay the analytic foundation for a study of international politics. The course is anchored to questions like Why war? What are the goals of states? When is international cooperation possible? What is the role of governments in shaping the global economy? Together we will explore proposed answers to these questions (and many others). With a critical eye, we will compare and contrast competing explanations.
The course will also include a foreign policy simulation on the topic of cyber security. The goal of the simulation is to help students integrate course concepts. Details for this project will be distributed in class.
- Exams: There will be three (3) unannounced in-class examinations. Each exam will be worth 100 points and will cover readings and lecture material, using essay (lecture material) and multiple choice (readings) formats.
- Simulation Character Sheets: Students will research and write a 2-3 page “character sheet” providing biographical information for one of the members in President Obama’s National Security Council (50 pts).
- Reflection Paper: A 2-3 page reflection paper critically evaluating the results of the simulation will be due at the end of the semester (50 pts).
- Cyber Security Document Research: Students will compile a set of documents describing the state of cyber security threats in the first year of the Obama Administration (50 pts).
- Cyber Memo Proposals: Initial proposals for NSC deliberations (25 pts ) via small group committees.
- Crisis Response Memo: Initial proposals for NSC deliberations (25 pts) via small group committees.
- There will be no make-up quizzes without medical documentation explaining the absence.
- There is no attendance policy for this class. However note, again, that exams will not be announced in advance.
Cheating or plagiarism constitutes grounds for course failure.
B 86- 83
F 59 and below
Important Note:Please review the reading list weekly. As the simulation unfolds we may add or remove readings or assignments to facilitate your deliberations in the simulation. In a few instances there are no reading assignments. This is to make time for work related to the simulation.
There is one text for this class: International Relations by Jon C.W. Pevehouse & Joshua S. Goldstein.While a standard introductory text in most respects, it is unique in that the focus is upon the relationship between a state’s strategic environment and its ability to pursue foreign policy objectives. It thus serves as a good complement to material presented in class. To purchase the current version of the text, you will receive an email invitation to register for the course from the publisher (Pearson) and can purchase the text (digital or paper) via the website.
There are also a number of official government documents archived online that support the in-class simulation.
Below outlines a timetable for the completion of the assigned readings. Please have the material read before the class date identified below. The reading burden for this course is not heavy. I intend this deliberately. There are no excuses for not completing the readings in a timely fashion. That is my ‘carrot’, the incentive for you to stay current with the readings. The ‘stick’ rests both in the fact that your careful and considered completion of the assigned readings is essential for success in this course, and that the examinations are structured to ensure this.
Note that the lectures will introduce new material, but the order of topics will generally coincide with the readings.
Aug 15: Introduction & Class Structure
Aug 20/22: Theorizing about International Politics
Aug 27/29: Important Actors
(Character assignments and simulation introduction)
Sept 3/5: Anarchy & States Goals
- Review NSC Purpose and Structure (video links)
- Extra credit quiz on video content
Sept 10/13: Cooperation/Power
- Ch. 7
Sept 17/19: Power Continued
- Simulation Research: Background on Cyber (links below)
- Review the Bush Administration policy of Cyber security, and other documents as you like.
Quick Video summarizing the history of the Iran – Saudi rivalry
Sept 24/26: Decision Making
Oct 1/3: Strategic Games
Cyber Security Research Briefs due: October 1
Oct 8/10: Cooperation/Integration
Oct 15/17: Domestic Influences
- Ch 3
Character Role Sheets Due: Oct 17
Oct 22/24: War
May Oct 29/31: War Continued
Nov 5/7: Trade
- G. Ch.8
Nov 12/14: Trade Continued
Nov 19/21: Nuclear Proliferation/Environment
Nov 26/ (28 is Thanksgiving break)
Dec 3/(end of semester): Simulation Debrief
Simulation Supplemental Material
Role and functioning of the National Security Council: Pay close attention to the function and importance of forceful disagreement between security officials who, at the same time, embrace the shared purpose of the NSC
- Overview of the NSC: Video
- Running a NSC Meeting: Video
- Overview of the Interagency Process: Video
- Summary of Tools in Diplomacy: Video
- Summary of Sanctions: Video
- Summary of Negotiations: Video
Background on Cyber Security in the Bush and Obama Administrations: Bush National Security Strategy and other associated documents: Links to Files