Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

James A Caporaso
POL S 521
Seattle Campus

International Relations Core

Key theories, concepts, and debates in the study of world politics and international relations. Provides an overview of the field and prepares students for the IR comprehensive exam.

Class description

Description: This seminar provides an overview of the field of international relations. Since the field is very diverse, this inevitably involves some strategic choices about what to include and what to exclude. We will read some recent work, but the main focus of the course will be on understanding theoretical development of the field of international relations. The readings are organized around basic approaches or paradigms, in particular realism, liberalism, and constructivism.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Texts: Kenneth Waltz, Man, the State and War. Columbia University Press, 1954, 1959; Kathleen McNamara, The Currency of Ideas. Cornell University Press; Barry Buzan, From International to World Society. CUP, 2004; International Organization, Autuum 1998, vol 52, no 4 'International Organization at Fifty: Explorations and Contestation in World Politics"–This is a special issue of the journal International Organization; David Lake and Robert Powell (eds.) Strategic Choice and International Relations, Princeton UP, 1999; Robert O. Keohane, Neorealism and its Critics, Columbia University Press, 1986; Psychology and Deterrence. Robert Jervis, Ned Lebow, Janice Stein and Patrick Morgan. Johns Hopkins Press, 1985; Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink. Activists Beyond Borders. Cornell Univ. Press, 1998.

Class assignments and grading

Evaluations will be based in verbal class participation, short papers, and a final exam.


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: 07/20/2005