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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jonathan L. Mercer
POL S 527
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in International Relations Research

Examination of current topics in the theory and practice of world politics. Content varies according to recent developments in the field and research interests of the instructor.

Class description

Topic: Political Psychology of conflict and Cooperation Description: How can we use psychology to better explain the sources of conflict and cooperation international politics? To address this question, we will apply different social psychological theories to different problems in international politics. For example, we will examine cognitive and motivated biases and their influence on perceptions and beliefs, prospect theory as an alternative to expected utility models, debates over social identity theory and competition between groups. We will spend two weeks discussing what, if anything, political scientists can do with “emotion,” and will then turn to address intergroup relations, learning, organizational psychology, and altruism.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Assignments. Class participation, weekly research questions, and a research paper or proposal


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: 12/01/2006