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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Peter Wolcott Soverel
SIS 534
Seattle Campus

International Affairs

Provides a broad understanding of international issues and United States policy. Students explore U.S. foreign policy and theories of major international actors in international trade, security, and strategic concerns, refugee policy, conflict resolution, development assistance, and the environment. Offered: jointly with PB AF 530/POL S 534.

Class description

Historically, international affairs have been dominated by security issues. This course introduces you to current international affairs by examining the contending concepts of security relating to physical, national, ideological, economic, domestic and so on.

During the quarter, you will survey: ·The current international order ·Origins and functions of key international institutions; ·The interplay and interaction between the existing international order and key international institutions and American interests and policies ·The role/use of armed force in the pursuit of national interests.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The course is a combination of lectures, guest lectures and group discussions on assigned topics. I expect each of you to participate in the group discussions, ask questions freely during the lectures and be intellectually combative. American foreign policy is made and executed in such an environment. Often there is not a single “Right” answer, but rather a range of policy options and implementation strategies. This course is designed to foster an understanding of the international order and system within which American policies find definition.

The course will have an email chat-room which students are encouraged to utilize to exchange ideas, concepts and arguments.

Recommended preparation

Class attendance is required. Unexcused absence will dramatically affect your grade.

Class assignments and grading

You will ·Be required to read 200-300 pages from a selection of assigned readings each week and be generally conversant on and prepared to discuss the assigned discussion topics. ·Write a short (5-7 pages) essay, due Wednesday, January 9, 2002 on your view of America’s place and role in the world and foreign policy objectives. This essay is to be a synthesis of your views (entering the course) based upon your education, experience, and hopes for America’s future. No outside research is required or desired. ·Write one modest length (7-10 pages) essay on an assigned discussion topics. For the most part, you will not need to undertake additional research outside the assigned readings for these essays. However, you will be responsible for all the assigned readings up through the week of your assigned topic ·Present and defend your essay to the other students and lead the discussion of the assigned topics during class in the week that your essay is due ·Research and write a 15-20 page term paper on a topic approved by me. This paper is due Monday of examination week.

Initial essay 10% Discussion topic essay 20% Class participation 20% Term paper 50%


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: 10/22/2002