A survey of basic themes in international relations within the context of diplomatic history and American foreign policy. Emphasis is on basic motivational drives of world politics, including national interests, ideology, morality, and nationalism. Discussion of war, diplomacy, American foreign policy, and international organization sheds light on the perennial struggle for power among nations, the security dilemma and instruments of global cooperation.
This course offers an overview of the field of international relations. It will focus on basic concepts such as nations and nationalism, the nature of the interstate system, the United Nations, power, international conflict and war, and prospects for peaceful conflict resolution. Students will also be introduced to the various modes through which nation-states interact, including, trade, war, diplomacy and alliances. The course will draw on both historical and current examples to assess the complex issues and perspectives central to the field.
Student learning goals
• Understand key concepts and issues in the discipline of political science, and effectively communicate these both verbally and in writing
• Understand and critically appraise various perspectives on the politics and history
• Critically assess media and popular discourse on politics, and engage in independent assessment of political issues
• To locate and access information about politics, and take an active role in your own ongoing education
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading