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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Christopher D Jones
SIS 498
Seattle Campus

Readings in International Studies

Reading and discussion of selected works of major importance in interdisciplinary international studies. Restricted to majors in International Studies.

Class description

Readings for this examination of recent scholarship on the relationship between domestic political systems and international security begin with William McNeill’s classic The Pursuit of Power (1981) which explains the military dimensions of “the rise of the West.” Then David Deudney’s Bounding Power: Republican Security Theory from the Polis to the Global Village (2007). James Huntley, David Hendrikson, John Ikenberry, Charles Kupchan have also recently published deeply historical analyses of the long-term trajectory of today’s liberal international system. Students will choose among these texts, each of which includes an examination of the relationship of a hegemonic American federation to other global power centers. The course will end with a choice of readings including Martin Jacques, When China Rules the World” (2010); Mark Leonard’s Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century (2007); Kenneth Pyle’s Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (2008); and selected readings on USSR/Russian Federation.

Student learning goals

Competing/complementary hypotheses of the evolution of the international security system since 1500.

Evaluation of the Deudney hypothesis of a global trajectory toward “planetary-nuclear” security issues in the 21st century.

Competing/complementary conceptions of the historical interaction of the American federal system with international politics

Identification of systemic challenges to the liberal international system; review of “rising” and “falling” Great Powers”

The possibilities, pitfalls and pressures for “global governance” in regard to global security affairs

General method of instruction

In-class presentation of student book reviews, student critiques of student written work, general discussions.

Recommended preparation

Familiarity with one or more major global regions

Class assignments and grading

Five book reviews from choice of multiple texts. Each review- about 1250 words. Each review graded on scale of 1-80. Points accumulate up to 400 possible points.

Instructor’s assessment of the clarity and coherence of book reviews, each of which must draw on previous reviews and assignments.


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: 04/26/2011