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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nancy Rivenburgh
POL S 330
Seattle Campus

Communications in International Relations

Looks at communications in relations between international groups and states. Examines the range of functions and roles communication media play in international affairs, global issues, and intergroup relations. Also examines the strategic use of communications by various groups. Offered: jointly with COM 321.

Class description

This course looks at the diverse roles that communication media play in relations among cultural and international groups and states. The course is divided into three parts. The first part focuses on the roles of media as a national citizen. How do media help build, maintain, and protect nations? The second part focuses on interactions among international actors. For example, how have media changed the conduct of diplomacy? How do governments use communication technology to influence foreign publics? The third part of course looks at communication media as a global change agent. How do media function as a catalyst for short or long term change in the international environment?

Student learning goals

First, students should come away from this course with the ability to explain, and write about, the range of roles communication media play in international affairs.

Second, students should be able to recognize these roles in action in the context of daily news and elsewhere.

Third, students should be able to identify trends in this area, as well as express informed opinions concerning the various ways in which communication media influence international affairs.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Assignments: Two papers (5-7 pages) and three exams (short answer/essay)

Three short-answer exams and several written assignments 1-3 pages.

Grading: Exams: 3 quizzes: 50 %; 2 Papers: 40 %; Section Participation: 10 %


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.
Additional Information
Last Update by Suman C. Chhabra
Date: 02/27/2008