Stephen J Majeski
Nation-state system and its alternatives; world distributions of preferences and power; structures of international authority; historical world societies and their politics. Offered: jointly with POL S 426.
In this course, we will examine how international politics appears to work. That is, how nation-states act and interact with each other in particular structural contexts and produce various characteristics of the global system (i.e., conflict, cooperation, economic growth, and changes in the distribution of wealth and the environment) and how various structural arrangements of international politics, such as the distribution of power or geography, help explain the behavior of nation-states. We will address these issues in two interrelated ways. First, we will read about and discuss an important theoretical approach to explaining international politics. Second, all students will participate in a simulation of international politics that highlights various aspects of the theoretical approach. We will do four of these book/simulation pairs. Some simulations are game-like I nature and involve role playing. Other simulations are computer based and require students to work with a few computer programs that represent in various ways aspects of international politics. No initial computer skills are required. Students will learn all they need to know in a few short sessions. Access to computers will be provided and the instructor will make sure that every student can successfully work with the computer simulations. Texts. Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Relations; Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics; Robert Keohane, After Hegemony; and Barry Hughes, International Futures. Reprints: Diplomacy Rules and Game of War and Trade Rules, and possibly some additional materials.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Involvement in group simulations and computer simulations with paper assignments based upon experiences -- lectures on readings and simulation experiences was well.
An introductory course in international politics in pol science or the Jackson school or equilivant.
Class assignments and grading
Two 6-8 page papers based upon readings and group simulations.
Evaluation of two written papers and participation in simulations and class discussion.