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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jose A Lucero
SIS 201
Seattle Campus

The Making of the 21st Century

Provides a historical understanding of the twentieth century and major global issues today. Focuses on interdisciplinary social science theories, methods, and information relating to global processes and on developing analytical and writing skills to engage complex questions of causation and effects of global events and forces. Recommended: SIS 200. Offered: WSp.

Class description

There are two main themes of this course. The first is the making and un-making of global orders. Over the course of the last hundred years (or so), there have been numerous attempts to impose economic, political, military, and cultural frameworks in the name of various ideals like peace, security, democracy, and development. Many of those attempts have led to disastrous consequences. This course will explore many of those varying efforts and pay particular attention to the work that has gone into the connections and conflicts between “First” and “Third” World projects. The second theme concerns the interplay between structures and actors in various processes of international political economy. On both global and local levels, the old observation of Karl Marx remains largely true: people make their own history, but they do not make it under conditions of their own choosing. We will examine both how global forces structure the decisions of elite and popular sectors, as well as how political actors negotiate, contest, and transform global forces.

Student learning goals

engage and critique primary and secondary texts

acquire a familiarity with some of the major international events and processes of the last century

learn foundational concepts in political economy and social science

General method of instruction

Lecture (3 times a week), Discussion sections (twice a week).

Recommended preparation

A healthy interest in politics and global affairs is helpful. SIS 200 is also recommended.

Class assignments and grading

• Write Three short (3 page) response papers • Write One longer (6-8-page) analytical paper • Read approximately 120-150 pages per week • Participate actively in biweekly (that’s twice a week) discussion sections and • Read the New York Times daily

The grades will be determined as follows: Three response papers: 15% Section participation: 10% Two New York Times pop quizzes in lecture: 5% First draft of analytical paper: 10% Final draft of analytical paper: 30% Final exam: 30%


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by M Jane Meyerding
Date: 10/10/2011