INTL 6200 Syllabus

INTL 6200
Preseminar in International Relations for Masters in International Policy
Department of International Affairs
Fall 2016

Instructor Information:
Dr. Jeffrey Berejikian
Office Hours 10-11am Weds, Thurs.


The sub-field of international relations is as theoretically diverse as any in political science. There are debates between realists, liberals, constructivists, and rationalists over what factors explain broad patterns of state behavior. There are arguments between those who view international imperatives as dominant and those who give primacy to domestic politics. These discussions spill over into substantive debates about the causes of conflict, the reasons for cooperation, the role of institutions, and the significance of international law.

No single unified theory or framework provides a key to unlocking all of the subfield. Instead, the purpose of this course is to survey various theories and approaches, and to provide a foundation for subsequent and more focused study. While we will examine the larger theoretical frameworks in the field, we will also apply these frameworks to specific empirical domains (e.g. constructing effective institutions, deterrence, the causes of war).

This course is designed specifically for students enrolled in UGA’s Master of International Policy program (MIP). In many respects the course is similar to a typical Ph.D. seminar in that the focus is on competing theories and empirical analysis. However, the substance here is tilted to security frameworks and issues, and there is a somewhat greater emphasis on foreign policy analysis.


By the end of this course you should:

  • Have a good working knowledge of the major academic theories and empirical debates in the subfield of international relations
  • Be able to critically evaluate theoretical (and to a lesser extent empirical) claims contained in international relations scholarship. This includes writing detailed, focused critiques that summarize and synthesize the arguments of scholars in the field.
  • Be prepared for advanced study in the subfield.


Course Requirements:

Leading Seminar Discussion 100pts: We will take turns leading the weekly discussion. The purpose of these presentations is two-fold. The first is to summarize the main arguments, identify differences and similarities across readings, and to relate the material to past sessions. This sets a common foundation for the class and provides an opportunity to resolve any disagreements about the content. The second is to offer a focused argument(s) about the material. You can discuss the strengths and weakness of a particular subset of authors or confront the entire set of readings.

I intend for the summary to be a somewhat formal exposition as this is a skill that you will rely upon throughout your career. You may use PowerPoint, Prezi, handouts etc. to guide the class through your presentation. Session leaders will then generate questions and provide analysis to motivate our discussion. The grade for each session is based on how well you explain the readings (33%), the quality of your analysis (33%), and how effectively you engage the class in spirited debate (33%). Note: you may not write a critical essay for the sessions that you lead. Each student will do two presentations. Each presentation is worth 50 points. If you do not get an opportunity to make two presentations, then you will need to write one additional analytical essay.

Analytical Essays: (minimum of 7) 50pts each: In this class critical essays are focused, succinct (3 page) statements that provide an analysis on the strengths and weakness of the assigned readings. The goal here is to develop the capacity to quickly get to the core arguments/findings and then move onto your own critical analysis and discussion. Emphasis is placed on analysis and application. Each essay is worth 50 points, are due by 5pm the Sunday before the class in which the readings are discussed.

For reference on how to craft an effective essay of this type, please see:

  • Knopf, Jeffrey W. “Doing a literature review.” PS: Political Science & Politics 39.01 (2006): 127-132.


Research Design 300pts: You will write a research proposal comprised of a research question, literature review, theory, hypotheses, proposed variable operationalization and measurement, and a brief statement on expected findings. A one-page summary of your proposal is due to the class (via email) on Sept. 23rd. At regular intervals you will provide progress reports to the class for critical feedback Additional information about constructing a proper research design will be distributed in class.  You can earn up to 200 points for the final project, and up to 100 points for meeting the milestones/presentations along the way.

Class Participation 100pts: Attendance and participation are crucial for an effective seminar. More importantly, however, is that direct student engagement is the most effective way to master the material. You will be evaluated not only on the frequency of your participation, but also on the degree to which your comments: (a) evidence a firm grasp of the material, (b) provide novel insights, (c) integrate material from outside the course, (d) and move our discussion forward. A compelling question is often more helpful than an argument. Participation includes posting questions and/or comments for discussion on the class bulletin board each week (by 6pm Sunday before each class). Students will be graded each week on their participation, these scores are then averaged.

Grading Scale

A 100-93, A-  92-90, B+ 89-87, B 86- 83, B- 82-80, C+ 79-77,C 76-73, C- 72-70, D 69-60, F 59 and below


Reading Schedule

Aug. 14: Introduction “How do we know anything?”

Assignment Scheduling.

Aug 21: Realism and System Structure.

Waltz, Kenneth N. “Structural realism after the Cold War.” International security 25.1 (2000): 5-41.

Wohlforth, William C. “The stability of a unipolar world.” International security 24.1 (1999): 5-41.

Monteiro, Nuno P. “Unrest Assured: Why Unipolarity Is Not Peaceful.” International Security 36.3 (2011): 9-40.


Aug 28: Neoclassical Realism

Rose, Gideon. “Neoclassical realism and theories of foreign policy.” World politics 51.01 (1998): 144-172.

Schweller, Randall L. “Unanswered threats: A neoclassical realist theory of underbalancing.” International security 29.2 (2004): 159-201.

Cha, Victor D. “Abandonment, Entrapment, and Neoclassical Realism in Asia: The United States, Japan, and Korea.” International Studies Quarterly 44.2 (2000): 261-291.


Sept. 4 – Holiday


Sept 11: Foreign Policy Analysis

Hudson, Valerie M., and Christopher S. Vore. “Foreign policy analysis yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” Mershon International Studies Review 39.Supplement 2 (1995): 209-238.

Elman, Colin. “Horses for courses: Why not neorealist theories of foreign policy?.” Security Studies 6.1 (1996): 7-53.

Macdonald, Julia M. “Eisenhower’s Scientists: Policy Entrepreneurs and the Test-Ban Debate 1954–1958.” Foreign Policy Analysis 11.1 (2015): 1-21.

Sagan, Scott D. “Why do states build nuclear weapons? Three models in search of a bomb.” (2012).


Sept 18: Do Leaders Matter?

Keller, Jonathan W. “Leadership style, regime type, and foreign policy crisis behavior: A contingent monadic peace?.” International Studies Quarterly 49.2 (2005): 205-232.

Dyson, Stephen Benedict. “Personality and foreign policy: Tony Blair’s Iraq decisions.” Foreign Policy Analysis 2.3 (2006): 289-306.

Peake, Jeffrey S. “Presidential agenda setting in foreign policy.” Political Research Quarterly 54.1 (2001): 69-86.


Sept 25: Domestic Politics

Baum, Matthew A. “Going Private Public Opinion, Presidential Rhetoric, and the Domestic Politics of Audience Costs in US Foreign Policy Crises.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 48.5 (2004): 603-631.

Baum, Matthew A. “How public opinion constrains the use of force: The case of Operation Restore Hope.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 34.2 (2004): 187-226.

Fearon, James D. “Signaling foreign policy interests tying hands versus sinking costs.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 41.1 (1997): 68-90.

(Draft Proposals Discussed – due on the 23rdth)


Oct 2: Nukes

Lieber, Keir A., and Daryl G. Press. “Why States Won’t Give Nuclear Weapons to Terrorists.” International Security 38.1 (2013): 80-104.

Bell, Mark S. “Beyond Emboldenment: How Acquiring Nuclear Weapons Can Change Foreign Policy.” International Security 40.1 (2015): 87-119.

Waltz, Kenneth N. “Nuclear myths and political realities.” American Political Science Review 84.03 (1990): 730-745.

Reiter, Dan. “Security commitments and nuclear proliferation.” Foreign Policy Analysis 10.1 (2014): 61-80.


Oct 9: Human Security 

King, Gary, and Christopher JL Murray. “Rethinking human security.” Political science quarterly 116.4 (2001): 585-610.

Paris, Roland. “Human security: Paradigm shift or hot air?.” International security 26.2 (2001): 87-102.

Barnett, Jon, and W. Neil Adger. “Climate change, human security and violent conflict.” Political geography 26.6 (2007): 639-655

Stern, Maria, and Annick TR Wibben. “A decade of feminist security studies revisited.” Security Dialogue (2014): 1-6.


Oct 16: Deterrence

Jervis, Robert. “Deterrence and perception.” International security 7.3 (1982): 3-30.

Sagan, Scott D. “The commitment trap: why the United States should not use nuclear threats to deter biological and chemical weapons attacks.” International Security 24.4 (2000): 85-115.

Yost, David S. “Assurance and US extended deterrence in NATO.” International Affairs 85.4 (2009): 755-780.

Miller, Gregory D. “Terrorist decision making and the deterrence problem.” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 36.2 (2013): 132-151.


Oct 23: Cyber

Junio, Timothy J. “How probable is cyber war? Bringing IR theory back in to the cyber conflict debate.” Journal of Strategic Studies 36.1 (2013): 125-133.

Crosston, Matthew D. “World Gone Cyber MAD.” Strategic Studies 100 (2011).

Cimbala, Stephen J. “Cyber War and Deterrence Stability: Post-START Nuclear Arms Control.” Comparative Strategy 33.3 (2014): 279-286.

Rid, Thomas. “Cyber war will not take place.” Journal of strategic studies 35.1 (2012): 5-32.


Oct 30: Diplomacy

Nye, Joseph S. “Public diplomacy and soft power.” The annals of the American academy of political and social science 616.1 (2008): 94-109.

Esposito, Karin A., and S. Alaeddin Vahid Gharavi. “Transformational Diplomacy: US Tactics for Change in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 2004-2006.” The Hague Journal of Diplomacy 6.3-4 (2011): 319-334.

Khatib, Lina, William Dutton, and Michael Thelwall. “Public diplomacy 2.0: A case study of the US digital outreach team.” The Middle East Journal 66.3 (2012): 453-472.

Fahmy, Shahira, Wayne Wanta, and Erik C. Nisbet. “Mediated public diplomacy: Satellite TV news in the Arab world and perception effects.” International Communication Gazette 74.8 (2012): 728-749.


Nov 6: Psychology and Foreign Policy

McDermott, Rose. “The Biological Bases for Aggressiveness and Nonaggressiveness in Presidents.” Foreign Policy Analysis 10.4 (2014): 313-327.

Berejikian, Jeffrey D. “A cognitive theory of deterrence.” journal of peace research 39.2 (2002): 165-183.

Shana Kushner Gadarian. “The Politics of Threat: How Terrorism News Shapes Foreign Policy Attitudes” Journal of Politics 72:2 2010

Berns, Gregory S., et al. “Neurobiological substrates of dread.” Science312.5774 (2006): 754-758.


Nov 13: Are Academics Relevant?

Kampen, Jarl K., and Peter Tamás. “Should I take this seriously? A simple checklist for calling bullshit on policy supporting research.” Quality & Quantity 48.3 (2014): 1213-1223.

Eriksson, Johan, and Ludvig Norman. “Political utilization of scholarly ideas: the ‘clash of civilisations’ vs.‘Soft Power’in US foreign policy.” Review of International Studies 37.01 (2011): 417-436.

Paris, Roland. “Ordering the world: Academic research and policymaking on fragile states.” International Studies Review 13.1 (2011): 58-71.

Avey, Paul C., and Michael C. Desch. 2014. “What Do Policymakers Want From Us? Results of a Survey of Current and Former Senior National Security Decision Makers.” International Studies Quarterly: A Publication of the International Studies Association 58 (2): 227–46.

Nov 20: (Thanksgiving break)


Nov 27

Research Proposal Presentations

Dec 4

Research Proposal Presentations


Final projects due December 8, 3pm.