course
Introduction to International Politics

Apr 2021

I didn't love this class, but I didn't hate it either. The lectures were pretty meh, but Professor Katz is a really wonderful person who truly seems to care about her students. She also is kind of badass considering how young she is and how much experience/knowledge she already has. I worked my butt off for this class but in the end I don't regret it. I learned a lot.

Apr 2021

She's fine! This isn't the BEST class you'll take but she's really nice and is genuinely trying for her students. She isn't used to teaching undergrad, which is probably where the problems with this course come in, but she's genuinely very kind and looking to help you do well.

Apr 2021

Not great - I don't think I've learned anything from lectures, since half the time is spent talking about her time working in the Bush administration (which, to be fair, is interesting, but gets old after the third class). There are manyyy long readings, which is understandable and useful for the first third of the class when you're learning about IR theories, but less useful for the rest when they're mostly op-eds that basically say the same thing. The material itself is very interesting, but the lectures just don't present it in a useful or interesting manner.

Mar 2021

I don't write reviews because I don't want to be mean to teachers but honestly, I think I'd be doing a disservice to students by not reviewing this professor since there isn't enough on here about here. She is not a good undergrad teacher- too much reading and not enough guidance. I don't think I learn anything from lectures. The reading is way too much. Take a different prof or a different intro class honestly. Not worth it, esp for your first poli sci

Jan 2021

Took this class in Spring 2020 but reviewing it now because I saw that she's teaching the class again. PLEASE STAY AWAY. If you're not a polsci major and you want to get a glimpse into the field, THIS IS THE WORST CLASS TO TAKE. She doesn't know her material and as others have said, spends lecture time going on and on about herself. I've nothing against her personally, I think she is a nice human being. But Katz qua professor is horrible. She assigns very heavy readings and doesn't bother unpacking them--almost as if she doesn't know them. Classes are not intellectual experiences at all. Honestly, she has a super interesting background and I'm sure she knows loads about East Asia. She'll probably be more effective in an E Asia focused seminar.

Jan 2021

Professor Marten is an incredible lecturer. She does speak fast so be prepared to work at the speed of light and go back and rewatch lectures. The lectures are packed with information. Professor Marten is an engaging lecturer and incredibly knowledgable. Professor Marten always gives a choice of topics for the take-home exams and gives them around 3 weeks in advance which is so helpful to be able to plan the essay and juggle amongst other deadlines. Professor Marten is such an inspiring FEMALE professor. Hands down my favorite class this semester and one of the best polisci classes I've taken at Columbia. Definitely try and take it with Professor Marten.

Jan 2021

I would highly recommend this class. Professor Marten is a an engaging lecturer, highly knowledgable, and frames the content in a way that makes complex issues easy to understand, even at a relatively in-depth level. If you put in the work, you'll definitely learn a lot. Be warned however, part of this is because Professor Marten covers a ton of content in class (your hand may just die from taking notes), and the readings are very heavy (around 200 pages of dense IR journal articles a night). The grading, however, is really fair and the exams are not difficult. Professor Marten always gives you a choice of topics for the take-home exams (which she gives around 3 weeks in advance), so you really only have to have thoroughly done a few of the readings, and you can always look back at them for reference. The point is to really understand the content, not to arbitrarily regurgitate facts. Professor Marten is also very sympathetic to the fact that content may be new or confusing, and repeatedly states that you don't need to do all the readings in-depth or finish them before class.

Dec 2020

Prof. Marten was a great, well-organized professor for Intro to IR! Like other reviewers have noted, her class was a super rapid-fire overview of a LOT of relevant debates in international politics today. So, not a lot of time to go particularly in-depth about anything, but I learned a LOT nonetheless and feel equipped for higher-level IR classes in the future. I loved her class structure - no textbook and some relatively short online readings, super organized with the syllabus, everything recorded so perfect for someone in a different time zone (for Zoom class). The TAs were always available for questions and grading was clear and fair. No complaints, take her class!

Dec 2020

I took her international politics class and it was great. She's very straight to the point, knows her stuff, and is very clear about what she wants in assignments. I definitely would recommend it for anyone interested in polisci. There's really nothing bad about professor marten or grueling about the class.

Nov 2020

Kimberly Marten is the epitome of neoliberalism, and works hard to endow those ideals on her students. What this means for the class: HEAVILY US-centered-liberal perspective on foreign affairs. The back 2/3 of the class basically flows like a US history class except just focusing on US foreign conflicts: e.g. WWI/II, Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, etc... She lays out eurocentric "frameworks" for how to view all foreign affairs, and lectures with the air of western superiority, and dissecting the petty motivations of third world countries. She is essentially your middle-aged dem Minnesota aunt. Recognizes that Americans don't pronounce things correctly, but then overemphasizes how she pronounces "ethnic" names of people and STUDENTS to the point that it's awkward and uncomfortable, shows off her biden/harris mug, but lectures in a very engaging, albeit USA #1 manner. If you can't wait to be the next #MADAMSECRETARY and get your internship at the UN/US state dept/Liberal foreign policy think tank, look no further, this is an amazing class. If you are anyone else, you may find it informative but slightly nauseating.

May 2020

IIRC, this was her first time teaching an undergrad course, usually she teachers grad level courses. I saw this reflected in the readings. I found them to be pretty heavy honestly and didn't have time to read them often (which you absolutely need to do at some point in order to write the 2 midterm and 1 final essays - the 2 weeks before midterms I went through them all and pulled important quotes to prep). As a lecturer, I think she did a great job. I would agree with the previous comment, she can be repetitive about the structure of the course and going through how she organizes her lecture so the first 15 minutes isn't new material, but once she starts lecturing she does a great job. She knows how to narrow down broad topics to make them easier to understand while still maintaining the context of the larger discussion. Her slides are very clear and while she goes through them fast sometimes, usually I had time to write down the info. She also follows the textbook well so if I missed anything I could look in there fill in the notes. She is very organized and her expectations for all her students are clearly elucidated, especially for all the papers. She provides a few question options for you to answer on each paper so you have some choice what you would like to write about. As a person, she's very caring and she loves meeting with her students and talking with them in office hours. The guest speakers she brought in were also very interesting and she always shared her experiences in the IR field which was cool and one of my favorite parts. If you're on Zoom turn your camera on because she hates talking to an empty class! Despite the fact this is a large lecture class she is super accessible to her students and I encourage you to take the time to talk with her and learn from her! I absolutely would recommend her for the intro to IP course. She doesn't baby you, but she does support you.

Apr 2020

She is a very nice person but not a great lecturer. She spends the first 30-45 mins of lecture either talking about herself or something that was covered last class. Her lectures are often very boring and it is tough to stay engaged the whole time. She does have guest speakers pretty often which is pretty cool. When it it comes to grading she is very tough and emphasizes how tough she is which is pretty stern for an introductory level course. I would try to find a different professor for this course if possible.

Jan 2020

Prof. Marten is a good lecturer, but for this class at least I'm not sure if I would say she is a good professor. Good things first: I learnt a fair bit, her lectures are engaging and entertaining, she keeps your attention as you furiously scribble notes as she goes through her slides (because you will never see these slides again), discussion sections are interesting, take-home exams are not too hard and grading is fair. What got to me: she tends to be biased on parts of the material and perhaps due to the constraint of time, many issues are not engaged with depth nor holistically. Her answering questions from students is also frustrating because you get the sense that she is just shutting students down. There are a lot of small judgment calls she expresses which are too minor to write about, but just be prepared to be frustrated in this class if you don't think that the US acting as a liberal hegemon in the 20th century has not been the best thing for the world ever.

Jan 2020

Wow. This was by far the most amazing, interesting and worthwhile course I've taken here so far. I'm going to be honest and say it is not easy and you will have to work. Don't treat this as an easy A. But I promise you it is so rewarding and you will love this class and Professor Marten. She is a phenomenal professor and the syllabus is amazing. The course is divided into three sections, and each section ends with a take home exam. The first part deals with theories of international relations- this might seem boring but she makes it super interesting and includes relevant case studies. The second section deals with selected issues in 20th century history and why it matters. The third section covers recent history and developments in international politics. You will never be bored and I never missed a lecture. Professor Marten is so engaging and I especially love how she takes questions at the end of each class and shuts people down for saying stupid things. You will learn so much and the topics we discuss are truly fascinating, like the Origins of World War 2, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the war in Iraq, international terrorism, cyber conflict, climate change, etc. TL;DR Take this class you won't regret it. This class is known to be horrible and dry (especially with Jervis) but KM has turned this into one of the best classes in the political science department.

Dec 2019

Professor Marten is an exceptional professor. The readings and lectures are always extremely informational. I am leaving this class feeling more knowledgeable about the world and IR theory. This class made me want to pursue international relations. When it comes to workload, there is SO much reading. But, only 3 exams which are just take home essays. The worst part of the course is that grades fluctuate greatly between which TA is reading your essay. Since there are only 3 exams, one harsh TA can significantly hurt your grade. Professor Marten is one of the most intelligent professors I have ever had!

Dec 2019

Professor Marten is an exceptional professor. The readings and lectures are always extremely informational. I am leaving this class feeling more knowledgeable about the world and IR theory. This class made me want to pursue international relations. When it comes to workload, there is SO much reading. But, only 3 exams which are just take home essays. The worst part of the course is that grades fluctuate greatly between which TA is reading your essay. Since there are only 3 exams, one harsh TA can significantly hurt your grade. Professor Marten is one of the most intelligent professors I have ever had!

Dec 2019

Want to be inspired every day and motivated to work harder and learn more? Take this class. TAKE IT WITH KIMBERLY MARTEN. I'm a Marten STAN - yes she does lecture fast, but her lectures are phenomenal. The readings were always interesting and they guided understanding in lecture very nicely. She would continually open time in lecture for questions which is awesome considering it was a 140+ person class. If you want to learn a lot about the world, history, and international relations from an inspiring FEMALE professor, look no further. This was my favorite class this semester. Could not recommend more.

Dec 2019

First off, the workload was way too much for me as a first-year. I couldn't keep up with it at all so you really have to be able to time manage effectively if you want to take this course. However, the content was interesting especially the theories and the current event sections of the course. I would definitely recommend taking this course even though I found it relatively difficult. The TAs and Marten are definitely fair but strict graders and I found the prompts difficult. I found the discussion section to be useless but it's there if you need to flesh out your ideas on the readings more. The best part of the class was definitely Prof. Marten herself. I have never seen a more passionate and engaging prof. and upperclassmen have said the same. Her lectures are absolutely enthralling (you have to hand-write and she goes through quickly but you remain engaged the entire time). She's a big name but it's so clear she loves engaging with students and helping them in office hours. Many find her intimidating and I did too at first but once you realize she truly wants the best for each of her students and is actively invested in helping them understand concepts and creatively think of solutions then you'll love her. Worst part was the size of the class itself. It's a Barnard class but mostly Columbia students.

Nov 2019

DONT TAKE THIS CLASS IF YOU ARE A LEFTIST. Marten is basically a mouthpiece for US exceptionalism, imperialism, and the CIA. She will never admit when the US is in the wrong and gives alternative history (including providing a piece in Foreign affairs about how the CIA did not engineer the coup in Chile in 1973, WRITTEN BY A CIA AGENT lol) absolutely bogus, propaganda class. also she doesn't even offer room for discourse and dialogue, it's all about what she thinks, not about the class. basically she's a basic neoliberal who doesn't care about the global south or developing countries

May 2019

Please for the love of God never take a class taught by Robert Jervis

May 2019

Jervis is an extremely thoughtful well read man. That being said, he seems to believe that if he just gives us his pondering stream of consciousness on international politics for an hour or so every week, we will somehow learn something. No powerpoint, no costume change (he alternates between two different turtle necks), no vocal intonation. He says "I think we'll have a female leader of the Taliban in a few years" like he's saying that cauliflower is coming into season soon. Just a simple powerpoint might make it easier to follow his mumbling lectures. Pro Tips for the Quizzes: 1. AUTHOR NAMES are more important than you think a. Make a QUIZLET with the full names of the authors for each reading with key terms that he might ask you about. b.Jervis has literally said “Name two of Berger’s main points/terms” 3. You don’t need to know a lot about each reading, you just need to find the lists, definitions and systems and the name of the author who said it. Really doing the reading is kind of wasteful because you can get distracted by actually trying to understand it. 4. MAKE FRIENDS in this class and you can all suffer together and split up the work. Godspeed

Jan 2019

Easiest class I took this past semester. Basically 0 workload as the midterm is to define a list of chosen terms from a selected organizer he gives out a week prior to the exam. He's quirky and just lazy to be honest. Our final was to write 2 papers with basically no guidance, but I came out pretty OKAY... given the fact we had never written a poli sci paper in his class and 50% of our final grade relied upon trying a new thing. Make sure you're on top of your grades in this class however -- he put my final grade in SSOL without uploading to courseworks and screwed up. I had to reach out specifically asking WHY I got an A- only to have him realize he forgot I sent him my works EARLY and forgot to check them. Ended up with an A in the class and learned nothing (: its one of those

Jan 2019

Honestly, this class was really chill. Sometimes it was hard to stay focused during class because the powerpoints are a bit boring, but Pr. Cronin is a sweet man who tries to engage with the class. Strangely enough you can get away with not paying attention in lectures, doing the weekly readings, or showing up to your discussion section (bc they dont take attendance) and still get an A in the class if you work really hard on the midterm and final. I'm not going to say I learned too much (probably because it was an intro course) but I would recommend it for the poli sci requirement since it's very relaxed. I regret not paying better attention because when I did, it was really interesting! Recommend this class for anyone who just needs a breath of fresh air.. just dont let yourself get lazy!

Aug 2018

POLS 1601 INTRO TO IR 1. What did you learn - in terms of knowledge, skills, or perspectives - in this course? literally nothing, I couldn't even hear what she was saying for 3 hours. The biggest skill learned in this course was how to not fall asleep at the table. 2. What is your overall assessment of the course? What are its strengths? In what ways might it be improved? In answering this question, you might address the value of readings and assignments, the structure of the course, the contribution of the course to your knowledge of the subject matter and to the development of your analytical and reasoning skills, etc. We encourage you to use specific examples where possible. Most of the reading was not relevant it seemed more like she was forced to assign a certain number of pages so she just choose random articles and journals to fill the gap. The lecture was literally just the professor reading off of her notes for 3 ENTIRE HOURS, she would ask rhetorical questions and then answer them. It could only be improved if she learned how to lecture and engage rather than read out loud to 20 students for 3 hours. Power points would have helped or any sort of structure, there was never a "why does this matter" exclamation to keep the students excited. Also, the course had this awful component of "presentations" which were literally just students reading out their reading notes for an hour to "presentations" on the reading they did. It was terrible especially since some students were ESL and could not be understood. The value of this class was minimal. It fulfills a requirement and that is about it-- International relations is messy and there are a lot of theories that are extremely outdated and no longer used. We never once looked at actual real modern events. It would have been more interesting if the "presentation" portion was on current events and applying what we apparently were suppose to be learning to the real world. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Course Requirements and Grading Your performance and final grade for the course will be evaluated as follows: Presentations and in-class participation: 20% Quiz One: 15% Quiz Two: 20% Take-home final exam: 45% SYLLABUS: I. Theories and Concepts July 2: Introduction - Anarchy and a Complex International System Art and Jervis, eds. “Anarchy and Its Consequences” and “The Meaning of Anarchy,” International Politics, Chs. 1-2, pp. 1-86. Stephen M. Walt, “The Relationship Between Theory and Policy in International Relations,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 8 (2005), pp. 23-48. July 9: Levels of Analysis (and empirical application) Robert Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton University Press, 1976), Ch. 1, pp. 13-31. J. David Singer, “The Level-of-Analysis Problem in International Relations,” World Politics, Vol. 14, No. 1 (1961), pp. 77-92. Joseph S Nye Jr. and David A. Welch, Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation: An Introduction to Theory and History (Longman, 2011), 8th ed., pp. 46-54, 87-94, 145- 147. Steven Spiegel, “Regional Security and the Levels of Analysis Problem,” Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 26, Issue 3 (2003), pp. 75-98. July 11: Theoretical Traditions (with presentations) Stephen M. Walt, “International Relations: One World, Many Theories,” Foreign Policy, 110 (Spring 1998), pp. 29-46. Nye and Welch, Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation, pp. 55-64. Gideon Rose, “Neoclassical Realism and Theories of Foreign Policy,” World Politics, 51 (October 1998), pp. 144-172. Tim Dunn, “Liberalism,” in Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, John Baylis and Steven Smith with Patricia Owens, eds. 3rd ed., Ch. 8, pp. 186-203. Steven M. Lamy, “Contemporary Mainstream Approaches,” in Globalization of World Politics Baylis and Smith with Owens, eds., Ch. 9, pp. 207-222. Michael Barnett, “Social Constructivism,” Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, in Baylis, Smith, and Owens, eds. 3rd ed, Ch. 11, pp. 252-269. July 12: Domestic Politics and Decision-Making (with empirical application) (Quiz) Andrew Moravcsik, “Taking Preferences Seriously: A Liberal Theory of International Politics,” International Organization, Vol. 51, No. 4 (1997), pp. 513-53. Robert D. Putnam "Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games," International Organization, Vol. 42, No. 3 (1988), pp. 427-60. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2706785. II. Patterns of International Interaction: Conflict and Cooperation July 16: Why Is There Conflict in World Politics? (with presentations) Robert Jervis, The Meaning of leaders athe Nuclear Revolution, (Cornell University Press, 1989), Ch. 1, pp. 1-45. James Fearon. “Rationalist Explanations for War,” International Politics, Vol. 49, No. 3 (Summer, 1995), pp. 95-103. Jonathan Kirshner, "Rational Explanation for War?" Security Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Autumn, 2000), pp. 143-150. Jack S. Levy, “The Causes of War and Conditions of Peace,” Annual Review of Political Science, No. 1 (1998), pp. 139-165. Mahbubani, K. “Why Can’t Countries Think Like Companies?” Times of India, November 18, 2014, at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/stoi/all-that-matters/Why-cant-countries-thinklikecompanies/articleshow/45163437.cms July 18: When and Why Do States Cooperate? (with presentations) Arthur Stein, Why Nations Cooperate: Circumstance and Choice in International Relations (Cornell University Press, 1990) pp. 3-20. Kenneth Oye, “Explaining Cooperation under Anarchy: Hypotheses and Strategies,” World Politics, Vol. 38, No. 1 (October 1985), pp. 1-24. Art and Jervis, “Mitigation of Anarchy, “ in International Politics, Ch. 4, pp. 129-188. July 23: How Do States Interact? (Means) (with empirical application) K. J. Holsti, International Politics, (5th ed.), Ch. 5 (online through Clio https://www1.columbia.edu/sec/dlc/simonschuster/holsti/index.html) Joseph Nye Jr., The Future of Power, (Public Affairs, 2011), Ch.1, pp. 1-24. Paul Gordon Lauren, Gordon Craig, and Alexander George, Force and Statecraft: Diplomatic Challenges of Our Time, (Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 187-192, 210-215, 234- 239, 259-263. Daniel Drezner, “Serious about Sanctions,” The National Interest (Fall 1998). Jeremy Pressman, “Mediation, Domestic Politics, and the Israeli-Syrian Negotiations, 1990- 2000,” Security Studies, Vol. 16, No. 3 (July-September 2007), pp. 350-381(skim). Richard K. Betts, “The Lost Logic of Deterrence,” Foreign Affairs (March/April 2013), pp. 87- 99. (skim) https://www.cfr.org/interview/how-sanctions-decision-could-jeopardize-iran-greement?sp_mid=56552378&sp_rid=cnNtMjZAY29sdW1iaWEuZWR1S0&utm_content=050418&utm_medium=email&utm_source=public July 25: Assessing Adversaries and Allies (with presentations) (Quiz) Andrew Nathan and Andrew Scobell, “How China Sees America” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 91 (September/October 2012), pp. 32-47. Stephen Van Evera, “Why States Believe Foolish Ideas: Non-Self Evaluation by States and Societies,” (2002) at http://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/5533/why_states_believe_foolish_ideas.pdf?sequence=1 Jervis, R. “Hypotheses on Misperception,” World Politics, Vol. 20, No. 3 (April, 1968), pp. 454-479. Stephen Twigge and Len Scott, “Strategic Defense by Deception,” Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Summer 2001), pp. 152-157. Tara Frances Chen, “China's communist party has so much power in New Zealand that western countries might stop sharing intelligence,” Business Insider (May 29, 2018) https://amp-businessinsider-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/amp.businessinsider.com/new-zealand-should-be-cut-from-five-eyes-over-china-influence-2018-5 III. Issues in International Relations July 30: International Security (with empirical application) Art and Jervis, “Interstate War and Terrorism,” International Politics, Ch. 11, pp. 369-407, “Civil Wars, Human Rights, Regime Change and Humanitarian Intervention,“ International Politics, pp. 408-441. August 1: International Political Economy (with presentations) Art and Jervis, ‘Perspectives on Political Economy,” International Politics, Ch. 8, pp. 275- 313. Jeremy Adelman, “What Caused Capitalism? Assessing the Role of the West and the Rest,” Foreign Affairs, vol. 91, (May/June 2015), pp. 136-144. Deidre McCloskey, “How the West (and the Rest) Got Rich,” Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2016, http: www.wsj.com/articles/why-the=west-and-the-rest-got-rich- 1463754427 Franklin Foer, “Soccer vs. McWorld,” Foreign Policy (October, 2009), http://foreignpolicy.com/2009/10/28/soccer-vs-mcworld/ Douglas Irwin, “The Truth About Trade: What Critics Get Wrong About the Global Economy,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 95, (July/August 2016), pp. 84-95. Haidt, J. “When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism,” The American Interest, (2016), pp. 1-12. August 6: Evolving International Dynamics (with presentations) https://www.cfr.org/report/increasing-international-cooperation-cybersecurity-and-adapting-cyber-norms Art and Jervis, “Transnational Actors and New Forces,“ International Politics, Ch.13 Jane Perlez and Chris Buckley, “China Retools its Military With a First Overseas Outpost in Dijibouti,” New York Times, (November 26, 2015). https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/27/world/asia/china-military-presence-djibouti-africa.html Daniel Byman, “Beyond Counterterrorism: Washington Needs a Real Middle East Policy, “ Foreign Affairs, Vol. 94, (November/December 2015), pp. 11-18. Edward Luce, “Ticking Trump: Leaders use flattery to Influence America,” in Financial Times (May 4,2018). https://www.ft.com/content/e88668da-4f8c-11e8-9471- a083af05aea7 Lucy Honby, “Living Marxism: Chinese Communist Party Reasserts Control,” https://www.ft.com/content/766d2a42-419d-11e8-803a-295c97e6fd0b August 8: Forecasting Future Relations (with empirical application) (Final Take Home Exam Distributed) Stephen M Walt, “Making the Grade: Is There a Way to Judge if a Foreign Policy is Successful?” Foreign Policy (online), January 6, 2014. Michael Mazarr, “The Once and Future Order,“ Foreign Affairs, Vol. 96 (January/February 2017), pp. 25-32. Art and Jervis, “The Shape of the Future,” International Politics, Ch. 15 pp. 532-576. (skim) Fabio Massimo Parenti, “Scholars Ponder the Demise of the Liberal International Order,” http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1098546.shtml John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. (2013) "Leaving theory behind: Why simplistic hypothesis testing is bad for International Relations." European Journal of International Relations, No. 19, Vol. 3, pp. 427-457. Final exam due August 10, 2018, no later than 11:59 pm. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- QUIZ 1: 30 minutes to complete Part I: Multiple Choice 40% aka 10 pts each 1. Neo-realist subscribe to the notion that .... 2. A security dilemma is best described as: 3. The theory practice gap is most closely linked to: 4: Neorealist and neoliberal institutionalist she the assumption that: Part II: concepts 30% Provide an answer to either of the following questions. 1. specify three characristic features of a structure and outline how they apply to the domestic and international system according to Waltz. Provide examples. 2. Alexander Wendt and other social constructivist argue that the effect of anarchy is conditional on the specific context of the bilateral relationship. Outline the general argument and describe with examples the security environments Wendt considers. Part III: Essay 30% Provide a short short answer (even though the section is titled essay -- ya very ambiguous) Some scholars argue that war can be explained as a consequence of an imperfect human nature. Does this represent a powerful explanation ? Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Elaborate your argument. Quiz 2: 45 minutes to complete Part I: Multiple Choice each question 6% 1. Scholars that theorize about domestic politics focus on: 2. A two level game in international politics is best described as: 3. Jervis uses the term "nuclear revolution" referring to: 4. The Shadow of the future is important to international cooperation theory in the context of: Part II: Short Answers 30% 1. Name 2 functions that an international institution according to neoliberal institutionalist can fulfill that make cooperation between states more likely. 2. Name 2 of Fearon's 3 rationalist explanations for war that he considers to be able to explain why states go to war. Provide 1 example for either of the 2 explanations. 3. Name Moravcisk's 3 assumptions of liberalism as a paradigm of international relations theory. Part III: Concepts 40% Provide an answer to 2 of the 5 options. 200 words. 1. Identify 3 implications of the mutual second strike capability as presents by Jervis with reference to how they will influence relations between super powers, frequency of crisis, state's exploitation of bargaining advantages and/or the status quo. 2. Fearon considers existing Rationalist explanations for war, but considers some of them as insufficient in explaining the absence of ex ante bargains. Name those he considers as deficient and his supporting arguments for this perspective. 3. outline how state behavior is determined according to Moravcik's "Liberal Theory of International Politics" Reference his assumptions and the two stage model. Provide an example.

Jun 2018

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS I read all the reviews here and thought that I could handle this class, but boy was I wrong. If you don't have friends to divide up the readings with, you're screwed. There's honestly no point in going to lecture. Jervis is the example of a professor who is horrible in the lecture setting, but Columbia keeps them on because they are impressive and make the department look good. Professor Jervis presents a very one-sided view of internaitonal politics, which I found very frustrating. The quizzes are random and midterm prompts very vague. If you do not take the position that the TA's agree with, your grade will certainly be lower than those who took their position. This class is honestly a waste of time, avoid at all costs.

May 2018

These CULPA reviews are TRUE! I went in thinking that these exaggerated, but they are all true. Jervis is a very very dull lecturer so no one shows up to class...EVER. You have to rely on your TA to be your professor so pick your TA wisely. If you split the reading it is reasonable, but you don't even have to do the reading to do well-just listen closely to what your TA says about the readings. All in all, a pretty easy course because you never have to go to class but it is VERY boring and NOT inspiring at all so don't take if you are on the fence about politics or specifically international politics because it won't help.

May 2018

This class is really boring. Jervis is clearly a smart guy, but is a terrible lecturer. The course is basically history of IR mixed with IR theories, and is easy to get bored. A lot of people don't show up to classes, which is fine as long as you do the readings. There are A TON of readings, with three quizzes on them over the course of the semester. All the readings are fair game, so it's really hard to do well on them because you basically have to study all the hundreds of pages of readings. Only take if you're interested in IR, or can handle a boring class. The TA's grade everything, so your grade will be based on how easy a grader your TA is/how good of a writer you are.

May 2018

Incredibly unreasonable, not understanding, rude, inhumane, mean, and hypocritical professor. HUGE white feminist. Does not care about you and will not support you if anything interferes with your workload. She has a no late work policy -- that means if your family member dies, if you're sick, if you are in the hospital, if you have any sort of emergency, etc. she will not understand. You are still expected to complete the readings on time, show up to class, take her ridiculous pop quizzes, and finish your assignments. She made us show up to every class but last minute cancelled 5 classes, and then assigned us makeup assignments because SHE cancelled class last minute. Easy class, but HORRIBLE person. She is selfish, narcotic, mean, and not understanding AT ALL. Do not take this class. I would not recommend dealing with her to anyone.

Mar 2018

So... Robert Jervis is a guru, and behaves accordingly. A few students consider that it is such a privilege to claim that they had Jervis as their professor, that they passively comply, while most students have no choice but accepting that this is the typical DIY course that leaves you washed out very early in the semester. Jervis uses the conference room to give a speech, at every single class, and comment during 35 to 50 minutes about Trump, with rare connections to International Relations. Why would he use slides, write on the board or care about guiding students through the readings? As a self-proclaimed "cynical", Jervis is perfectly at ease with his lack of generosity and pedagogical skills. Depending on the semester, TAs can save students, or not. If you are lucky to identify a good TA despite the mess - over-packed sections, no coordination between TAs, some TAs giving cues and most giving nothing - you may get a decent grade after all. Mine was so detached that he would gratify any student with a "right" even though the student's intervention was completely wrong. Overall, the perfect course for "A+-Type" students who survive anything at Columbia, and a disaster for all others. 70% of students escape Jervis' one-man-show during the semester and show up only for the quizzes.

May 2017

Easily the best professor I've had in college. Marten is both passionate and knowledgable, and surprisingly approachable. Lectures cover a lot of material but the papers are such that you don't need to talk about everything. Discussion sections really vary by TA, as does the grading scale, but it's not super hard to get a decent grade. Marten lectures and does PowerPoints, but the class was very engaging.

May 2017

WARNING: this class is pretty boring. Jervis is clearly a very very intelligent man (I mean half of the readings for this class are written by him) but he can be pretty hard to focus on during the lectures. If you're looking for an easy A this is not the class to take, you will need to put in the effort. However, I found that not going to the lectures and just to the recitation was more helpful for me because all he talked about in the lectures most of the time was Trump. After finishing this class I can say I did not learn that much. I do not think this is a good introductory course for the Political Science subfield, and do not let it turn you away from focusing on it because the courses in the International field are very interesting and more specific. This class just tries to cover too much material.

Apr 2017

I agree with most of the comments below. Jervis is a brilliant man but a horrible lecturer. BUT I don't think you have to go to lectures in order to get a good grade because 85% of the class does not go including myself. You won't learn anything. Nothing he talks about will be on a quiz or an essay prompt. You're better off completing the readings and attending the once a week discussion sections because TAs tend to hint at what readings will be on the quiz.If you're fortunate enough to have friends taking the class with you then I would split the readings up, read them thoroughly, and make a google doc because there's an absurd amount of reading and none of them are interesting.

Dec 2016

Professor Marten was one of the hardest working professors. You can just tell that she loves teaching and she is genuinely passionate. I think it also helps that she has other stuff going on in her professional life beyond teaching polisci so her life is dynamic which also makes her lectures dynamic. She definitely is engaging and makes you question on how you used to perceive global politics. In short, she's great lecturer. But did I like her teaching style? Perhaps, but not entirely. First of all, you can clearly tell that she's biased. And for me, that was neither a bad or a good thing, but some people don't like it when professors are biased - so that's for you peeps. Second of all, she goes through the frigging powerpoints so quickly. You look down and write some stuff, look up and she's talking about a completely new topic. And the way she writes all her notes up on the slides psychologically encourages people to write down her notes word by word when that clearly was not the case; hence many people end up just rewriting notes and not listening. At least I fell into that trap in the beginning. And she goes over rather complex ideas so quickly that you might lose track of what is being discussed at times, but if you do her readings ,you should be fine. But overall, her teaching style was just too quick for anyone to really copy down her notes - I would encourage instead listening more carefully and writing scarcely (although she doesnt post her powerpoint...) Her midterms and finals were definitely tough. Not the easiest bunch, although if you tried, you could get an A- at least. But don't treat this as an easy "A" just because it's an "introduction" class. Also the grading can get subjective because different TAs grade differently - just gotta pray!

Aug 2016

Jervis is obviously smart and can be quippy but this was the worst class I've ever taken. The first day there were 300 people in the lecture and after one hour long period with his lecturing style, only about 10 people were showing up regularly- that is not an exaggeration. I try to go to class but everyone had a shared understanding that you were never going to learn anything in lecture. He is so quiet and just goes on these long tangents without any rhyme or reason and you don't learn really anything. He is such a sweet old man but his strength is not in lecturing. I would NOT recommend this class to anyone.

May 2016

Jervis has been doing this for 40 years - he's not going to change and no one is going to try to change him. This is academia at its finest: he may be a brilliant academic and expert on international politics, but he is a terrible professor. I took this class optimistically, knowing how famous Jervis is in his field and not afraid of a heavy reading load. I attended each class (along with approximately 40 other students in a class of 270), and struggled to sit through every single one. Jervis sits at a table for each lecture and proceeds to talk/ramble for the 75 minutes. Even if you are passionately interested in the topic, the lack of organization and his many real life examples make it nearly impossible to follow. When he writes on the chalkboard it is literally illegible. Though Jervis does hold office hours and occasionally asks questions, he is a poor communicator and did not seem genuinely interested in interacting with students. My TA was fantastic, but ultimately, the lectures and the discussion sections don't matter: your grade boils down to 3 quizzes on hundreds of pages of reading and 4 take-home essays. Even though the topics felt interesting and meaningful, the readings were mostly dry and the lectures drier. This is not a learning environment I would ever choose to be in. Considering how much money we are paying to go this school and the limited time we have here as students, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. I never felt intellectually stimulated or supported.

Apr 2016

Worst professor at Columbia. Does not care about her students or your grades. Allows TA's to use different grading system for your papers, which your entire grade consists of. Totally biased. A waste of time. DO NOT TAKE ANY CLASS WITH THIS WOMAN!

Aug 2015

She is a great lecture, but definitely biased. Her lectures were clear. She speaks quite quickly. Seems like the majority of the class got B/B+ grades. A huge survey that tends to turn historical over political.

May 2015

First and foremost, Jervis is not a bad lecturer at all. People tend to criticize him for the simple reason that he is relatively old and thus quite slow and for the fact that it is hard to hear what he says (it's the microphone's fault - not his). Jervis is an incredibly knowledgeable man who has remarkable experience in the field of international politics. He always started his lectures with approximately a half hour about current affairs which very often related to the content of the course itself. Lectures were not organized, but very interesting. He presents a solid foundation in international relations theories and a clear presentation of relevant historical facts. Most students choose to not come to lecture - I think attendance isn't mandatory for full understanding of the course. The main points to take away come from the readings, which are very very exhaustive but usually interesting. This was my first class in the Political Science department and was exactly what I had expected. Content is great, lecturer is brilliant, workload is challenging and grading isn't easy. But the class really is worth taking. I also attended Renanah Miles' discussion section every week. She is a great TA with remarkable experience and really knows how to clarify all the concepts seen during lecture.

Nov 2014

The material for any poll sci intro course is bound to be somewhat dull, but do yourself a favor and don't make it worse by taking the class with Professor Blanchard if you can avoid it. His lectures are mostly him rambling and attempting to make jokes related to International Politics. The slides are eventually posted (with a bunch left out on purpose) near midterm/final time. He also insisted on passing around an attendance sheet before lecture though I'm not sure whether it mattered much or was ever really looked at. He assigns way more readings than necessary and buying the books is pretty much a waste of money. (You will need them for the essays though, so just check them out at the library). The whole course is pretty disorganized, and I finished it feeling like I learned absolutely nothing. The TAs were much better at explaining stuff than he was, so section was actually somewhat useful. Professor Blanchard is also super super vague about essays- how he wants them written, what exactly the question/topic even is, and this applies to essay questions on the midterm and final as well.

Jun 2014

Any student who takes Eric Blanchard should be refunded a portion of the tuition they paid that semester. He is, without any doubt, the least prepared, least interesting teacher I have had. He was consistently shocked by his powerpoint whether that meant something was written there that he hadn't remembered was there or a slide was missing or the order was different. He gave the excuse, "Oh sorry, guys, it's because I changed over my powerpoints to my iPad." Funny thing is, the same excuse was given to his class in the fall that my friend took. It can therefore be concluded that he did not take a simple five minutes before class to review his slides in order to know what was on them. The power points themselves were incredibly boring- cluttered with quotes from great thinkers to make him appear learned but lacking content that is actually applicable in life. Such horrible power points were promised to us as pdf's online but were only put up twice in the semester leaving you stressed when your notes were incomplete as a result of him skipping slides when he ran out of time. Papers were perhaps an even more ridiculous experience. The prompts were so ambiguous and convoluted that few people knew what to write. He decreed that no student could meet with their TA about the paper (what is a TA exactly for if not for helping g students?) and no student could go to the writing center for help either (which would be for style and argument technique- not content, if that was his big worry). I lucked out with a TA that graded kindly while there were other TA's that left students with terrible grades. Three things made me go to this class: 1. Brian Blankenship- my kickass TA 2. the tuition I pay to go to this institution 3. the random attendance sheets passed around as he knows dozens of people skip If the other political science professors are like Eric, I will be switching majors. STEER CLEAR OF THIS WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME

May 2014

I enjoyed/was interested in the actual IR content of the lectures but felt that it was often presented in a boring, slide-by-slide manner. It's obviously very difficult to conduct an engaging class in a lecture as large as this one, but oftentimes only about half of the students enrolled even showed up! Professor Blanchard himself is clearly very knowledgeable, and it was nice to be able to get his perspective on IR. TAs did all of the grading (rumors were that Blanchard went over everything, though). Loved my TA (Brian Blankenship) but felt that there was some disparity in grading between TAs. My second paper was graded by another TA and the grade was significant lower while the quality was (in my opinion) about the same. Ended with a B in the class- seems to me that the grade you receive will be luck of the draw based on saying the correct things (specific authors on topics) on midterms/finals as well as hitting whatever the particular TA wants to see in the papers. All in all, an important class because of the content, but the grade was frustrating to see at the end, given that I had actually gone to every single lecture unlike many of my classmates. I wouldn't want to do it all over again.

Apr 2014

I come from the inner-city where funding is unavailable and where the misconstrued perception of unteachable students and a dangerous area presides, scaring away top-notch teachers. So I know what shitty teachers are like. I have been in some of the worst classes ever exposed to children. That said, Professor Blanchard is the worst teacher I have ever encountered. The assignments are unclear, the TAs are completely helpless and do a poor job of leading discussion in seminar. I cannot believe how Columbia retains this man.

Mar 2014

I took this class, in my first semester and it was the first class I took in my major (political science). Overall, this is a very good class for an introduction to the discipline, especially as compared with other intro classes. Prof. Putnam sets a theme for each class to cover (human rights, NGOs, etc...). You go to class, she puts up the slides, you listen and then she promptly puts the notes up on the course wiki (kind of a better version of Courseworks). The material is all very accessible and the textbook, that you must buy, is very clear, and efficiently didactic. There is an additional case studies textbook which offers applicable instances of the topic being studied for the week. Prof. Putnam is very straightforward about her lectures. She goes through the concepts on the slides, adding additional information from her notes, and every here and there she calls on the class for answers. Though one may not think it important, I like that she has enthusiasm in her voice and changes her tone throughout the lecture; this kept me awake and into the class. I loved it when she talked about international institutions and governing bodies (such as the UN), I could tell her expertise is unmatched and that she enjoys teaching the subject. I also really liked that she wasn't snobbish or intimidating towards us newbies (as I'm sure she could have been as a Harvard law graduate and Ph.D. recipient in political science from Stanford). Prof. Putnam is easy to talk to and easy to approach, which was a nice contrast from my other poli sci course that semester. What prospective students need to know is that this is an intro class, not field work. I think Putnam understands that and keeps the set up of the class simple for that reason. We studied broad topics in IR and learned the basic theories that govern them. She did however have us play an IR game the second class which really was a terrific deviation from typical Columbia fare. The game built relationships between students in the class and set a tone of collective action for us students which manifested in multiple study groups and reviews. Putnam was also very kind about her office hours; she was willing to sit with me for the entire time (as long as no one else showed up) and work with me through the questions I had. The sections were a necessary compliment to the lectures. Putnam had the TAs cover the case studies more deeply and additionally, each section was a review of the current week's lectures. My TA Kunaal was exceptionally attentive to our needs and would adapt the class to meet our biggest concerns. I had the feeling that Kunaal was working closely with Prof. Putnam to balance the class most effectively and he was dedicated to getting all of his students to grasp the concepts. He was easygoing but was skilled in managing the class and held our respect. Overall, this class is a great choice for Poli Sci beginners who are looking to get started in IR. It is a big class, that covers all of IR broadly and really gave me the feeling that I was learning something that I could apply. I found myself reciting the information and theories from the course throughout the semester outside of class. The reason I recommend this course so highly is that I came out of it with the confidence that political science is for me and that I can succeed in the pursuit of the subject.

Oct 2013

Bad lecturer, boring class, she just reads her powerpoints that consist in the most basic international politics. You spend a lot of time talking about WW2, thanks but we all know Hitler and his buddies by now, isn't it enough already with this war... Had a good TA that would explain clearly what the professor was trying to explain. Hated going to the lectures. You could decide not to show up to any of the classes and do fine, provided you do the readings and go to the TA classes. Not recommended!

Apr 2013

Prof. Marten is the business. Super into her lectures, and clearly cares about teaching well. Had heard a friend complain about her lecture speed but she must have worked on that because it wasn't really a problem for anyone in my class. She's really adamant about drilling in the theoretical framework, but its good because it would be a really unpleasant surprise to figure out in the last week of class that you have no idea what's going on on that front. Coherent syllabus, relevant readings. She brought in a former Navy gunman to give a first-hand account of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was really interesting. The class is huge, and carries all those disadvantages, but its damn solid. Jervis may be the bigger name, and he may be a good lecturer as well, but I really doubt I would have gotten as much out of the class if he taught it.

Feb 2013

I completely disagree with the previous reviewer. Brooke is a passionate lecturer who really cares about the students. She works hard to make the class fun and to communicate why the questions we're studying are important. The class is not difficult if you're willing to put in a reasonable amount of work - she really wants the students to succeed and will go out of her way to help. I really enjoyed taking the class with Brooke and hope to take another class with her in the future.

Jan 2013

This is a phenomenal class. For one, Marten is just naturally an incredibly engaging lecturer. Yet, in addition to knowing the material inside and out, she has a lot of real world experience that in many cases really brings the material to life. I would highly recommend this class for anyone even minimally interested in international politics...by the end of the class, you will have a new appreciation for the subject. She's also really great outside of class. I highly recommend going to her office hours if you have any questions. She's very friendly and open (even with her 1000 Harvard degrees!). One minor thing that I didn't like that much about the class were the weekly sections. They were not very productive, and I never really felt like I left having learned anything. The TAs are great, though!

Nov 2012

If you get the chance, TAKE KIMBERLY MARTEN. I swear, she's unbelievably good. She's so, so engaging, and really, really intelligent. She alone makes this class worth it, and what we study is also really interesting, so it's a win-win. She has a lot of real world experience and a lot of passion that she applies to the class. There is a lot of intense reading, but if you do it you'll be right. Seriously, take Marten. She's spectacular.

May 2012

He is rude and pretentious... he makes you believe that he knows everything and he doesn't. If you try and talk to him he will get offended and will attempt to make you feel dumb. Don't be fooled. His discussion section varies in efficiency... it's always awkward compared to the other discussion sections. He's rarely in class so he has no idea what Jervis said in lecture. Overall not a nice person to talk to. He needs to get off his high horse and smell the shit that he is shoveling.

Jun 2011

I took Intro to International Relations class with Brooke Greene and unfortunately I regret it now. I believe same opinion comes from all students in this class who I have talked to. She is phd candidate (not really experienced in teaching or working outside of her phd paper), and doesn't lecture consistently where most of the work of learning is left the students. If you are not knowledgeable in international history or international relations/politics it becomes a challenge intro class. Only interesting part of her class was that she did show movies in class, although there were no discussions on their relevance in class? Overall an ok class for elective but would take it with another professor if you get a chance.

May 2011

On the whole a pretty decent class, which does what it's supposed to do - provide a solid foundation in International Relations theories and understanding of significant historical events. The other reviewers definitely have it right in their criticism of Jervis' lecturing, so there's really no need to rehash the flaws in his teaching. Needless to say, Jervis is an absolutely brilliant academic - just reading his work on the spiral model and the security dilemma is testament to that (in particular the Perception and Misperception in International Politics readings), though his teaching doesn't always reflect that. As one of my friends in the class humorously put it, she sometimes wanted to jump on the stage in the middle of his lectures, shake him vigorously, and scream at him for his abrupt transitioning from topic to topic. Also he basically spent the first 20 minutes to half an hour of every class updating us on current events and giving us his opinion on it (which this semester was essentially a rundown of what was happening in Egypt and Libya for every single lesson), so a lot of people in class would usually just come half an hour late. The greatest shame was that the last lecture of the semester took place the day after news broke of Osama bin Laden's death, but he had gone overseas and couldn't give us his opinion on it. Crazy amount of readings, as many have mentioned. One week we had a reading assignment that was 300 pages, in just one of the readings alone. You don't have to do all of it to do well, because there is so much of it, just enough to do the in-class reading quizzes. One reading was particularly bizarre - it compared the game of soccer to the pitfalls of globalization. If you're lucky in your selective reading, you would also have done all the most essential readings that would enable you to do well on the take-home papers. Usually if you can pinpoint which readings are most crucial to the point of the essay questions, you can pretty much do well if you incorporate your points convincingly. Side note: I really enjoyed one reading towards the end of class, The Soft Underbelly of American Primacy by Richard K. Betts (another professor at Columbia). Having shopped around for TAs, I would say Mira is easily the best TA. I think having a good TA, and attending discussion section regularly is important in a class like this, with all the reading there is to handle, because it really helps focus your attention on the most crucial readings. Mira did all this and more, and she's also really knowledgeable in the field of IR, particularly nuclear weapons and deterrence. Take her if you can. On the whole, a class worth taking if you don't expect much (or anything at all) to come out of attending lectures, but you'll certainly learn a lot anyway from the very interesting readings and by doing the essays.

May 2011

The reviews that explain the contrast between Jervis' brilliance and lack of lecture ability have it exactly right. If you don't understand how this is possible, come to the first couple of classes and see for yourself. Jervis is extremely smart, there's no doubt about it. But, his lectures can put even the most caffeinated student to sleep. The material itself is interesting, but his voice just has that unmistakable quality that causes students to drift off. As for the grading, the lectures have basically no impact on your grade, and many students skip them. I wouldn't recommend this, because you can still learn so much from just coming to class. One thing is certain: to do well in the class, you MUST DO THE READING. You have to cite it in papers, and need to know it for the reading quizzes. Last thing: the below reviews that say the class is curved are wrong. I talked to a TA after everything was graded and my final grade was not curved.

May 2011

Awesome lectures, even though they don't always relate directly to readings and are often just about important current events....there's not a lot of stuff that is graded, and it's done mostly by the TAs, but I think he takes more into account than just the grades you get on the 7 total assignments (3 quizzes, 4 papers)...all around good teacher, it was sometimes hard when his microphone wasn't working to hear him, but always an interesting lecture....can't write on a chalkboard worth shit.

Apr 2011

The below reviews are pretty consistent. About 99% of the things you learn in Intro to IR don't come from Jervis' lectures. They'll come from the extensive amount of out-of-class reading that's assigned and varies in quality from intriguing to mind-numbingly boring. Jervis' lectures are fairly interesting, but incredibly rambling. He's a brilliant and occasionally funny guy, but he usually doesn't express himself in the most captivating manner. He'll often punctuate his teaching points by drawing a chalkboard graph that doesn't really make sense or scribbling a few letters. It's frequently hard to leave a class with more than a paragraph or two of notes. That being said, the class is worth it as a foray into IR. Do the readings!

Mar 2011

Terrible class. Prof Putnam seems to know some of the facts, but she is very distracted and not very interesting. It is a boring lecture and she is constantly warning the students and has an assumption that everyone will or wants to cheat in some way! She does not present the facts or concepts in an interesting or inspiring manner and she simply conveys the feeling that she wants to get through it. The lecutures by the TA's were not very good, but they had her guidance, hence they could not be very good. Very disappointing and boring and I would never recommend this course with Prof Putnam to anyone.

Jan 2011

Overall this class was fine. Nothing great but also no horror stories. Lectures are accompanied by powerpoint slides that were easy to follow. Discussion sections were engaging and accompanied the work well. Her TA's all lectured once or twice, which was kind of annoying, but at the end of the day it was ok. One issue I had was with the midterm. We had to complete 4 or 5 IDs and an essay. They didn't make it clear that the essay was worth as much as all the IDs combined, so if you spent a lot of time on the IDs you were screwed. Not a huge deal, just something to keep in mind. Oh also, we were done with the final on December 14th and didn't get our grade until 3 weeks later, which I though took a little too long.

Jan 2011

International Politics is a great intro class, and I would highly recommend taking the course with Professor Giuliano. Essentially, you really don't need to do the readings for this course (but if you do, she sends out guided questions to help you hone in on the relevant material). I probably did the readings twice the entire semester and got an A-. Having a background in world history is extremely helpful, as the second half of the semester mainly focused on applying the theory you learn at the beginning to real situations. Giuliano does a great job summarizing the readings in her lecture, so if you only do the readings and don't go to lecture or vice versa, you should be fine for the class. My TA, Seung Jee, was nice, but the discussion section had a TON of people and wasn't very helpful at all. She contributed a lot of supplemental information that we weren't tested on - it was interesting, but not very helpful on the quiz/midterm/final. Giuliano's lectures became more interesting farther into the semester (especially when we were talking about her areas of focus).

Jan 2011

I highly recommend this course to anyone who needs to fulfill a political science requirement or who wants a broad understanding about how states function on an international level. The lectures themselves were pretty boring. Giuliano is a soft spoken professor who really cares about the subject matter, but she certainly isn't very entertaining. The topics, for the most part, were very interesting. The first part of the semester is spent discussing international theory--Kant, Machiavelli, Hobbes, etc. Following the first quiz and midterm we focus more on larger issue areas, such as WMDs, Genocide, War Tactics, and Humanitarian efforts. What makes this course great are the discussion sections. People generally dislike section since it takes up extra time, but mine were fantastic. I'm not sure if Liya Yu is a TA for this course again, but she is brilliant. Take discussion section with her if at all possible. She truly cares about all of her students, she's brilliant, and she always brings a new, relevant, and fascinating angle to lectures. Best of all, she was MUCH more interesting than Giuliano. Over all, discussion section was fantastic, lectures were pretty boring, and the topics were interesting.

Dec 2010

I thought professor Putnam was fantastic. She could have been a little clearer about her expectations for the midterm, but her lectures were clear without being condescending. What I learned was great. She is brilliant and so can explain all the well established theories while maintaining a healthy level of skepticism and encouraging us to think hard. She taught from many different perspectives and did not limit the class to realism, liberalism, and constructivism. She hit all the big issues in an organized fashion starting with basic theory of war and deadly conflict, onto international political economy, and finished with some very thought provoking and well connected lectures on current issues in international politics such as terrorism and climate change. I can't imagine this class better taught, and her TA's are well guided and on top of what is going on. They lecture once each, and I didn't feel this took away from the experience.

Dec 2010

Not as bad as people say she is. I came in expecting the worst due to other CULPA reviews, but either she's made improvements or the others just don't know what she's talking about. Her lectures are actually quite structured and follow concise Powerpoint slides; you can expect her to verbally elaborate on each point (so there is a point to taking notes). The lesson plan follows a clear and logical order. She even holds a class-wide 'coordination game' simulation at the beginning of the term which is fun and communicates the fundamental problem of international anarchy in an enjoyable way (plus you get to meet classmates! yay!). The TAs seemed to be hit and miss. Mine was pretty terrible and didn't know anything - discussions were such a waste of time - but when my TA was absent one day another TA took over and that was much better. The reading was definitely not overwhelming, and I thought the textbook and accompanying reader were quite nice. Again, everything followed a pretty logical structure and there was never a time I really felt 'lost'. Overall - not an amazing, life-changing course, but not a terrible one either. As far as intro courses go it's pretty benign and I would recommend Prof Putnam. Then again, my experiences may be different than most of my classmates'; I got a perfect score on the midterm and according to the distribution many people fared a lot worse. So I don't know. I didn't think it was that bad, but I can't speak for others.

Sep 2010

Wow. What a disappointment. Not much work, teaches it like its HS, and final grades are surprisingly harsh. Attendance def dropped below 50% by the second lecture. It becomes a note sharing frenzy by the end. She leaves so much on the TAs its ridiculous. The TA Ryan was 10 times better than her at teaching. Really a waste of time and I wish I could have taken it with Jervis. Boooooo! BUT, She is kinda hot in a secretary kinda way.

May 2010

Most reviewers have the man right. Lectures are solid but his quiet tones will lull you to sleep unless you make the concious effort to remain alert. If you do that, you'll get a lot out of lecture and Jervis's dry wit. The course is structured to give an introduction to a wide range of issues in int. pols, beginning with theory, then looking at the history of international relations and finally addressing some pressing current debates. Do the reading and you'll be fine on the quizzes and the midterm essays. In the essays, the way to do well is to make a clear thesis statement in the intro and then support it with numerous references to the readings. Present the view of one school (realist/liberal/marxist or whatever) as if it was your own view basically.

Apr 2010

She looks and sounds like a World Civ teacher I had in HS mixed with a secretary you'd find at a doctors office. Her lectures were nothing profound and pretty boring. The whole class was sitting on laptops the whole time. The readings start out easy and get progressively longer as the class moves on. She constantly repeats herself and when you study you'll see the same things in youre notes over and over. Also there is a ton of information to study for this class... A TON but typical of a poli sci into class. Really a bad experience for me (except my TA Ryan who was amazing) She is really nothing special. Her voice will def get on your nerves. I would not recommend her if you are looking to be challenged academically (I am not saying its easy just that its tedious BS memorization)

Feb 2010

I had Professor Giuliano for International Politics and I was overall pretty happy with the class. Yes, she's not the most stimulating lecturer, and she didn't have any powerpoints so she just read off her notes, but she did manage to get the concepts across well. The classes are basically a summarizing of the readings assigned for that week, so if you go to class, there's not a huge need to do the readings. I did though, since I found them to be both interesting and useful. The reading isn't bad at all (maybe three articles for every lecture), and if you have the time I suggest you do them since they'll help you participate better in discussion section, and do better on the exams. I feel like I really walked away from this class with a good grasp of what international relations was all about. The first half of the course focused more on concepts (realism, constructivism, etc) with the second half applying those concepts to real world situations (political economy, Islam, terorism, etc). Overall, I would recommend her if you're looking for a straightforward international relations intro class.

Dec 2009

UGHHHH WHERE TO BEGIN? Loathed the class, disliked her teaching style and dreaded lectures and discussion section. I avoided lectures whenever possible and traded notes with others, which I would suggest. She is not an engaging lecturer, and after taking several other poli sci courses with much more prominent professors this turned me off like none other. Though she is nice if you go to her office hours and does explain things a little better, she didn't respond to any of my emails, which is a little irritating. The assignments are very vague which makes them more difficult than necessary. She's very into page restrictions so be careful of your paper lengths. Overall not a Putnam fan, though I think few are...

Dec 2009

I remember how I was torn by the contradicting reviews on Professor Jervis two years ago. Now I understand both. There is no doubt that Professor Jervis is a genius. Read his articles and books! You will learn so much more within so little time. He is very amiable. You can go to his office hours and get his advice on whatever is important to you-choice of class, recommendation of books. He is very responsive to emails, too. The only problem of his class is he is not a great lecturer. Maybe the intro-course is to basic for him. But I definitely think you should take an advance class with him, seminar if possible. I am going to.

Dec 2009

I came into the class (fall 09) hesitant because of her unflattering CULPA reviews, but I ended up decently satisfied. It is certainly true that she squashes a lot into her powerpoints (an improvement since last time she didn't use them) which leads to a fast pace and a feeling of disorganization (though she presents a roadmap in the beginning) you have to keep up (bring a laptop; i stopped trying to hand-write my notes). Nevertheless, just type and think fast; there were multiple times in which she didn't elaborate on something because she was flying through points, so I just went to her after class to talk to her about it and she explained it well. My TA at least was as clueless as I was on what she is referring to in her lectures, so I'd recommend going straight to her. She didn't address the readings too much (I guess b/c we're supposed to read them), but she did sometimes summariz them. She also analyzed and critiqued them at times and brought in more new material. She also still does have a flighty, disconnected way of speaking that can lead to a bit of frustration and multiple space-outs. Maybe it's nervousness... who knows. This just requires more concentration in note-taking. The amount of readings was fair and they were all very interesting for me; that said, I'm most likely a political science major (currently a soph), but this class did confirm it for me. She adapted the class to current topics; this fall she replaced terrorism with climate change. I think if you like the topics, you'll like the topics, irregardless of the professor - and she really isn't too bad. I like her emphasis on current events in her midterm and final; we had to analyze and make policy recommendations on certain current events. The previous reviewer said the grading, especially on the midterm, was harsh. I can see why. To get an A, you had to go a little bit above and beyond in answering the questions; BS-ing will not get you far. To go a little bit above and beyond really just requires a very solid, conceptual understanding of the big picture (IR theory, etc) and how each ID term or topic fits into the different theories floating around and what those theories are. Once that clicks, the midterm and final is pretty easy (I received an A on the midterm). The grading criteria, though, could've been more clearly communicated.

Nov 2009

Okay. This was a terrible class. Putnam is a rambling and confusing lecturer, who works with an incredible amount of powerpoint slides. Readings and their corresponding lectures don't always work well together, and the class moves at an incredible pace. The overall grading is very hard. Shop around for TAs, because they're going to have to answer a LOT of your questions and some of them are just as clueless as you are. Homework: hefty reading every week, two reading response papers per semester, which you sign up for in advance. Midterm: Putnam distributed a list of 20 or so ID terms, which you could memorize and define prior to the exam. From that list, four were included on the test, and you had to define three. Harshly graded. The midterm also included an essay which centered around a topic you had not studied, but had to apply concepts you'd learned to. Very difficult. Final: WE WILL SEE!!! Will include an ID portion administered in class and a take-home essay.

Oct 2009

I took both, the Introduction to International Politics and Russia and the West course with professor Marten and I strongly, STRONGLY RECOMMEND HER COURSES!

Aug 2009

There is no doubt that Professor Jervis is a genius, however that does not help you receive a good grade. He specifically tells the TA's to grade the papers very harshly (most people received a B- or B on their first papers). If you are one of the lucky 2 out of 160 students who receives an A, you have no need to worry, but for the rest of us we definitely had to step it up. Also please do all of the readings. The classes are not very helpful at all when it comes to the papers, but the readings are necessary for the quizzes. They may seem small, but they can make or break your grade in the end. Overall a good class if you are willing to work hard and make this class your priority.

Jan 2009

I liked her, for the most part. She is very enthusiastic, which made it easy to sit through and take notes during the solar flares that are her lectures. Expect to take notes as fast as you can for the entire hour and fifteen minutes, every time. She presented each of the competing theories objectively. It was clear that she was trying to make the students pick a theoretical lens of their own rather than try to sell them on hers. She was usually spoke very intelligently, yet accessibly, about most of the topics. That said, as a former veteran I was usually disappointed by her treatment of war and warfare. I understand that she was speaking primarily to a group of 18-20 year old women with virtually no understanding of military issues (the class being taught at Barnard), but for me it came off as dumbed-down. I agree with those who say that military issues are clearly not her area of expertise. I also agree that she seems to relish tearing students apart when they challenge her viewpoints to any degree. It didn't seem to make any sense. She may not realize how she comes across to her students when she puts them down in this way. The discussion section was a waste of time. This might have been because of my TA's style, I don't know. He usually reiterated the theoretical frameworks and then asked the students to explain how the historical events in question should be interpreted through those frameworks. There was very little interaction between students; it was all student-TA. I had a difficult time understanding the theories this way. I learned much more during informal study sessions that a group of my friends put together.

Jan 2009

I'll keep this short and sweet: TAKE THIS CLASS! Marten is an incredibly good professor. My most enjoyable class because the material was related to everything we've experienced in life, politically, and all the significant parts of world (Okay, U.S.) history that make up our understanding of Foreign Relations. Her lectures follow a strict outline with LOTS of material to cover. She comes off as a bit of a bitch at first, but it has more to do with her not having time for individual questions in her already packed lectures, she's actually quite nice. More about this: Don't ask a question in the middle of lecture, write it down and save it for the end of class or she'll let you have it. Trust me, I know. The most important thing you can do for yourself is put together a reading group after the first class. Go to the front of the class and just grab 3 other people to get started and then pull the rest from your discussion group. (Whoever sounds smart.) The class was not hard, just intense, but the subject matter makes it interesting. If you are interested in 20th century history or politics in general then THIS CLASS IS A MUST. I have nothing but good things to say about it. Those who didn't like the class should have never taken it in the first place and then focused their complaints on Marten or "it's too hard, wahh" - They can all suck it. This class kicked ass!

Jan 2009

Stefano was an awesome TA because he not only explained theory and problems very clearly, but asked for and cared about your opinion. Instead of regurgitation, as many intro-level courses are, he led the class to examine critically and debate different theories and ongoing events. He's very organized and enthusiastic about teaching, which makes for a pleasant experience. He's also a very fair grader and offers a lot of constructive comments to improve your analysis.

Jan 2009

Really great, definitely recommend him. Made the material really clear, was very engaging and went out of his way to make classes interesting (organizing debates, etc.) Held really great review sessions before each exam. Also, just a really nice guy.

Jan 2009

Absolutely fabulous class, but be prepared to work really hard. I really disliked Marten's lecturing style at first, but after a few classes she really grew on me. Be warned: she goes extremely quickly and crams as much information as possible into each lecture. I've never taken so many notes before for any class. She's not really a "performer" in that she doesn't move around a lot or go out of her way to entertain you, but she is incredibly knowledgeable and her lectures are clear and easy to follow. The material was great and covered everything from WWI/II and the Cold War to Jihadism, peacekeeping and economic issues. My one warning is that the work load was enormous. Granted I'm a relatively slow reader, but I ended up spending 6-8 hours per class on the reading. A significant portion of the reading was not touched on in class and we were expected to master it for the exams. The readings themselves were interesting and not too hard to master, but the sheer quantity of them was a real challenge for me. Overall, I highly recommend the class, but be prepared to work!

Dec 2008

Most brilliant and engaging professor coupled with the most interesting and though provoking material. What is the result? The best class I ever had in my life. However, there is always a cost, and the one you pay taking International Politics with Marten is high. Expect to have as much reading as all your classes put together. We probably read anything from 180-300 pages a week, and most of it was very dense material, which for you to do well o the tests you had to have a very good grasp of them, be able to refer back to them, and analyse them when writting you definitions and essays on the midterm and the final. Also you will find that there is not nearly enough time to say all you have to say since all of the issues are very complex,and there is always so much to consider when you are dealing with diverse and convoluted world.So yes, you do need to do the reading. But that being said you have choices on what to write on the test, so if you were able to only do the majority of the assigned reading for the week, you will be fine. In addition to that the reading and the information you are dealing with is so interesting that to a certain extent the readings became pleasurable. Even if you are not a poli-sci major the information you will learn from this class is extremely pertinent to today's world. The class is almost a very very very fast paced summary (with analysis of course) of every major international conflict since world WWI with emphasizes on the most recent issues. So the breakdown of the class is basically 1 section focusing on the main approaches to international politics, analysis of WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. The 2nd section focuses on political economy, EU, international trade, and 90s conflicts. While section 3 focuses, American supremacy, Afghanistan, Iraq and North Korea.

Aug 2008

Slept through many of his lectures, despite copious amounts of coffee taken to counter his odious style of lecturing. Jervis is prone to spend half the class reviewing what the NYT has in its front page - which is something redundant for most students, I think. Spent the first two lectures talking about varieties of the prisoner's dilemma. Reading material was at times interesting - i particularly enjoyed a text from Clarke's Against All Enemies, where he talks about pre-9-11 incompetence.

Jun 2008

Jervis is a nice old man who tackles really interesting subject matter in really mundane ways. His lectures pretty much entail him pacing a few steps back and forth while sporadically sipping water from a coffee cup, understandably coaxing many/most of his listeners back into sleep. But, if you're paying attention, what he says really is captivating/sometimes funny. He's brilliant, but don't expect him to respond promptly to emails (he is essentially baffled by the modern day obsession with the internet) or really have much to do with the grading. The TAs grade the papers, and harshly so. I'm not sure I heard of very many (or any) A's, but the class is curved at the end so don't stress (really). Overall, definitely worth taking because of the material, so long as you can overcome the desire to catch another hour of shut-eye and actively listen to Jervis' words.

Apr 2008

Please do not take this class if 1) you don't already have a good background in political science and 2) you don't want to be subjected to rambling lectures, awkward moments of silence, and arbitrary grading. This is not an intro-level course in any aspect, from the excruciating amounts of reading assigned to the lecture itself, which basically just consists of Putnam regurgitating everything that the passages that she had us read contained. There's barely any explication of the terms or concepts, making it extremely difficult to apply them in any way whatsoever to major world events. The grading was confusing as well: one TA would be especially generous with the points, while the other would find things wrong in every other sentence. I don't know about Jervis or any of the other Intro to IR classes but if you want to actually learn something instead of going on Facebook every five minutes, do not take this class.

Nov 2007

I wish I had enough time to write a very clear and informative review, but here's what I can say: Prof. Putnam is the classic example of Columbia hiring fantastic scholars with no teaching experience and having them teach large intro classes in which they speak in such high-level terms and engage only with the students who shouldn't be in an intro course. By the end of the course, I had gone to the TA several times with questions and problems, and simply found that I didn't know how to approach the questions the class was asking because I hadn't grasped the concepts well enough in lecture, as the readings overflowed with heavy terminology and facts that she just reiterated and didn't know how to help us dig into on a basic level. I got a B- after working my butt off because I never got the basics or how to integrate them into the history we discussed. the TA attempted to help but i never really got the essentials to work with from lecture, and the one time i visited Putnam, she was so frazzled and busy that she had no time to talk.

Jul 2007

I thought she was a brilliant woman who was completely incapable of expressing herself coherently. The class jumps around and moves much faster than other intro classes. If you have had a lot of poli. sci. in the past then you should be fine, otherwise I would suggest going another route.

May 2007

Brilliant woman, aweful lecturer.

May 2007

I thought, before I took Putnam's class, I would really enjoy International Relations. Unfortunately, she was a complete let-down. She lacked a concise format and she rarely had a good answer to any of her students questions. The class seemed like it thrown together hastily and her rambling became rather annoying. If you are going to take I.R., definitely avoid Putnam.

May 2007

Tonya Putnam is amazing as a person, but her teaching could use some help. Her resume could choke a horse and she obviously has a lot of knowledge and experience in the area of international politics, but she doesn't have much of a presence in front of the class. She responds really well to questions but has a tendency to seem scatter-brained while lecturing. However, if you talk to her outside of class, you will learn tons. Readings for the class were reasonable and interesting, grading was on par with most other political science courses, and discussion sections were not required.

Apr 2007

Leila is the best TA you will ever have in political science. Her discussion sections were always engaging, funny, and so helpful compared to the confusing lectures by the professor. My only complaint is that the discussions weren't long enough. The time flew by listening to her insights and having her open up discussions and playing off on what the students said. She was a very helpful grader, always giving good feedback and being available to help whenever she could. Definitely if you can, get her for any class. Your life will be so much better.

Apr 2007

She has amazing credentials, and the syllabus is amazing, but I think she'll be good in a couple years. She's a new professor hasn't quite perfected the art of lecturing yet. She often speeds through difficult concepts in a way that students don't even know enough in order to ask questions.

Apr 2007

Jesse is cool. He tries to make the course material relevant by tying ideas to current events--which is helpful when 85% of the class was spent analyzing the world before 1989. The discussions were a little quiet sometimes, but that's because most people didn't bother doing all the reading. You get out of it what you bring to it. He's approachable and not one of those TAs who assume because your an undergrad you can't have your own, valid, ideas. Good feedback on papers, very reasonable.

Mar 2007

Tonya is a first year professor and it definately showed in some of her first lectures. She basically summarized all the readings and then presented them in a nervous, not all too organized fashion. Taking advantage of her inexperience and "niceness", a lot of overly opinionated, self important people in the class felt it necessary to interrrupt her at every turn and interject some useless, and most of the time irrelevant comment. That definately took a lot away from the class. However, she did improved during the second half of the semester. Prof. Putnam gained more control of the class and her lectures were much more organized. Overall she's a very intelligent, energetic, and caring person, with a lot of interesting experiences in the field. I haven't stopped by her office hours yet, but I definately plan to during the semester to pick the mind of one of Columbia's most promising, young political professors.

Jan 2007

Whatever Stevens is planning on doing with his degree in polisci, I hope it doesn't have anything to do with teaching. He is, in my opinion, not able to clarify anything that Professor Martin says, nor give his own examples. He talks softly and quickly, and it's difficult to understand him. Our discussion section would often let out early because we had nothing to say. He is a harsh grader, I think, and is pretty blunt in his comments. The good news about that is he will tell you in no small words exactly why you are wrong and what you need to improve. Don't get me wrong--the guy is no idiot. He can be funny, witty and engaging--just not about this topic.

Jan 2007

To begin with, WOW!!!! Prof. Marten is, in my opinion, absolutely fantastic! She is brilliant, passionate, and generally keeps her own opinions to herself or, when she does tell us what she thinks, makes sure we know it is her opinion and not universally regarded fact. She is an engaging and entertaining lecturer who takes a few questions for the class each session, and you will want to pay attention. She goes through an enormous amount in each lecture, 4-5 pages of notes (both sides) per class, but it is well worth it. The workload is not too bad. 2 essays of 5-7 pages using only the course readings as research, and a final. There is also a discussion section. There is ALOT of reading, but if you like politics you will find many of them interesting, though somewhat tedious. I truly love Prof. Marten, certainly in comparison to Robet Jervis, who was so boring in the one class of his that I attended that I walked out with a headache because I fell asleep so much! If you at all interested in the vital topic of international politics, I highly encourage to take this class with this wonderful professor!

Jan 2007

Jesse seems like one of those TAs who doesn't really put any effort into his section. You can tell he's fed up with the students' silence , but at the same time he offers no real incentive to participate and usually lets one loud mouth student talk the 50 minutes away. The section was boring but not quite painful (close, though). He does seem really smart and could answer questions well, but did nothing to guide our reading/offer insightful discussion/prepare us for midterms or papers (during one section when we were discussing a topic no one really seemed to understand, he tried explaining it but it didn't catch on... he eventually just gave up and said "well if you don't get it I'll be able to tell on the midterm" without actually making it any clearer). I would not recommend him as a TA- he's meticulous with attendance and you don't get anything out of showing up.

Jan 2007

Cronin's class was ridiculously easy while at the same time being informative and fun at times. His lectures are totally skippable because they cover what is in the book. the lectures (all powerpoint) are still pretty informative and funny. it's a good intro class to politics that does not require much work at all. Avoid him if you're a redsox fan because he loves the yankees.

Dec 2006

She's an extremely engaging lecturer but bring your laptops...she talks a mile a minute and crams a ton of information into each lecture. Her lectures summarize the readings for you but those summaries won't be enough for you to bs your midterm essays so you'll have to do some of the readings.

Dec 2006

I firmly disagree with a previous posting about this being a boring, high school-esque class. This is the most comprehensive introduction to the diverse and complex field of int'l relations you will get anywhere. It is an introductory class that covers a huge amount of information. You couldn't ask for a better expert in this subject. Professor Marten is member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has written op-eds for the NY Times, and was embedded with Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. She is well organized, and writes an outline for each of her lectures at the beginning of class. She is very clear of what her expectations are for her papers and exam. PAY ATTENTION to her directions. There are two 5-7 page papers that must be completed in one week, and a fair final that has 7 ID terms and two essays. You must do the readings! If you can't read all of them, at least skim the ones you can't get to, because for both the essays and the final you have to be able to synthesize, analyze and make comparisons of the readings at a much more sophisticated level than if you try to get by with just her lectures. To do well on the essays, make a strong argument, back it up with examples from the readings, define your terms, and address the opposing argument. Professor Marten does not shy away from controversy, and you will cover issues of terrorism, the Jewish lobby debate, and globalization. She is very engaging, even when presenting dry information. She is incredibly smart and funny, and very accessible. I wish her upper level classes were in areas that interest me, because I would love to take her again. I can't emphasize what a fantastic person she is. My one critique would be that she doesn't spend enough time addressing radical or progressive frameworks and really relies on the dominant conservative and liberal frameworks.

Dec 2006

Professor Cronin presents a great overview of international relations. This is not a particularly challenging course and will not leave with a newfound appreciation for international relations; however, Professor Cronin solidly applies the theories discussed in class to current and historical events in a way that will allow you to integrate the knowledge from this class into your everyday discussions about politics. As someone who applied to Columbia because of its polisci department I was pleased but not overwhelmed by this class. It will absolutely provide anyone taking the class with a more nuanced view of international politics. A great class for first semester freshmen.

Dec 2006

On the whole, Professor Cronin is okay- not great, not terrible. He structures the lectures with the same power points each class. Most of the class fussed around on their laptops or slept while a few people asked questions and Cronin strived to get through the whole of his lecture. Often he rambled or went off on more or less irrelevant tangents. There is a lot of assigned reading (probably 100-125 pages per week), but most of it has little to do with the lecture material because the lectures and the assignments are so disjointed. Occasionally he made jokes or danced. He's a good guy, easy-to-talk-to, and clearly knows what he's talking about, he just has trouble engaging a large lecture. If you want a really easy Intro to International Politics class, take this one. If you want to actually really learn something, I don't necessarily recommend it.

Nov 2006

Shany is a fantastic teacher. He will be an asset to any university as a student or hopefully a professor. More than being a good teacher, he cares about his students. He didn't have to make the extra effort but he did. For that, all of us are thankful.

Nov 2006

First off, everything you've heard is true: Prof. Marten is a fantastic teacher. She knows her stuff and she's really really good at explaining things. But there is one curious thing: I think she can be really malicious sometimes. Why? I'm not entirely sure. It's like she's afraid of being challenged or something, which doesn't make sense because a) she's the dept. chair, and b) everyone really respects her. But occasionally, it seems that if you ask a question that she doesn't like or point out an inconsistency in what she says, she just gets crazy and uncomfortably forceful. Very bizarre. Example: Prof. Marten gave somewhat confusing instructions on the midterm (citing is optional and not so important, she said) then came down on us after the fact and said "you didn't cite enough!" An international student with a heavy accent then asked a "but you said..." question and she just ripped into him, the poor guy. I'm hoping these episodes are due to some sort of exogenous factor because I like Prof. Marten so much that I don't want to attribute it to any fundamental character flaw. So I say this: Prof. Marten is the best Intro to IR teacher out there, but just watch yourself. She has a darkside that is hard to explain or understand.

Oct 2006

STOP. Reality check: this class is about as close to a high school course as i have ever been at Columbia. If you want a teacher who has created a simple version of history she is completely convinced is true and infallible, who will present it to you in an oustoundingly clear, outlined way, and ask you to skim a couple of articles for her class every day...congratulations. This is your spot. You can sit with all the barnard groupies in the front row and worship Marten, as if she doesn't have a high enough opinion of herself. This class is easy. It doesn't require thinking. It requires the ability to nod and take notes and take whatever your professor says to be the word of God. If you want to think for yourself, ask questions, challenge yourself intellectually...then skip it. Its not worth your time. If you know anything about 20th century politics or international affairs, RUN. If you enjoy asking questions, SPRINT: Marten takes any questioning of her 'infallible' theories as a personal affront. I have never written a poor review of a professor. She never gave me a bad grade. She never was a jerk to me, personally, in class. I just watched as she shot down questions from anybody who had a solid background or half a brain. Dissapointing.

Oct 2006

She should run for President!

Sep 2006

Adjunct professor, that is a very friendly guy and will take you and your classmates out to lunch. Works on wall street, but really loves teaching. His lectures tend to ramble sometimes, but he is interesting. The reading is good, but you don't have to do it in order to do well.

Aug 2006

So there are two international politics classes next semester, and after wondering why Marten had 147 slots filled and Cronin had only 4, i did some research. it's not that he's bad (well, who knows, maybe he will be) but he is new, and no one really knows about him. he's taught internationally, published some acclaimed work, and was most recently an assistant professor at CCNY. he's now moved uptown. the students at ccny say this about his course: (from ratemyprofessors.com) "I took him on Int. Law. Be prepared to write fast and listen carefully to waht he says. Midterm is really easy. Final tricky. Good professor, funny and experienced. Its worthy." "doesnt take attendance, is always ready to teach, requires a couple of papers no test so thats good you ll pass just do ur work, which is not much" By the time preregistration opens up again for sophomores, i'll probably not be able to get into prof. marten's section. but even though he's new to the school, i think he'll be okay. i'm signing up for the class. CCNY website:http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/psc/BruceCronin.htm biography (second one down):http://www.globalknowledgereview.com/page6.htm

May 2006

SO MUCH READING. And you have to do most of it because there are reading quizzes. The TA grading is erratic on the papers. That said, the reading is usually interesting, and after a while you learn to skim very well. Also, Jervis is rather funny and puts politics into a very historical context, which is appropriate for how he teaches the material and also helps you learn more about international politics. Overall, I was satisfied with the class (except for the erratic grading) and felt I learned a decent amount regardless of having taken higher level international politics classes before.

May 2006

Reviews here are generally accurate - the man is brilliant, no question, but the worst lecturer I've had so far at Columbia. All he really needs is a mic - his organization is pretty decent, but he swallows half of his words. Naps were too common, and many people cut lecture altogether- a mistake, given how dense most of the reading was. Take this class if you must, but sit in the front row and bring coffee. You'll get something out of it if you work, but don't expect a free ride.

May 2006

This class was a great summer class! He's very good at talking about politics and science in such an entertaining and humorous way, that the whole class was pretty enthralled by his lecturing (which didn't feel like lecturing at all, but rather like a nice long story...about the whole world...) It's very easy to take notes in his class because he outlines everything on the board and follows along perfectly, somehow, as if he had timed it beforehand. He was also very good at leading discussions in the second half of the class, and everyone, even the very quiet people, spoke at least once a day. He asked very thought-provoking questions, and didn't allow the two or three political junkies dominate the class.

Apr 2006

Best to avoid his class. He seems nice enough, but his lectures are superficial summations of points out of the textbook (which is not that great to begin with) and the treatment of international political economy is really abbreviated. Of course, these shortcomings could be overlooked were it not for his aggravating speaking style (he uses way too much inflection and makes simple analogies, often involving stories about his kids... he basically treated us like kindergartners). I, and a lot of people I know, simply stopped going to lecture because I couldn't take it anymore. That didn't really affect my grade, though. It's pretty easy to get an A- if you have a brain and do enough of the readings aside from the textbook (most of which are pretty interesting and bring up issues never addressed in lecture). Still, a terrible experience overall. Do yourself a favor and try to get another professor if you truly want to take this class. I didn't heed these reviews, and I definitely paid the price. There are too many good classes at Columbia to justify taking anything taught by Gartzke.

Mar 2006

From what I hear, hers is one of the few engaging intro-level poli sci classes. and because it's an intro class, it'll cover a lot of what seems like just facts. This was my first poli sci class, and i felt like she did a good job of teaching us various models of looking at international relations. However, you need to have had some sort of a global perspective to begin with in order to follow a lot of what she talks about; if you've never made it a point of reading international news, then don't bother taking up a space in this class. That said, Prof. Marten is a really engaging lecturer. She puts an outline up on the board at the beginning, which is incredibly helpful if you end up zoning out for a while. Definitely shop for a good TA, because the discussion is the only way to pick up on important points if you don't do all the reading.

Feb 2006

Professor Marten is the professor to take if you are really interested in International politics and want to know as much about it as possible. If international is your subfield, you should definitely take her. If you are forced to take this class, or want an easy class, this is NOT the prof for you. She gives you A TON of information, and her class is challenging. The workload is actually pretty standard for a poli sci class (which is a lot, but that's poli sci). Even though the class is more challenging than it is with other professors, you will walk away an expert in international politics. She is extremely clear and informative and her class puts you in a much better position for your classes in the future. I walked away exhausted, but knowing that my work was worth it because I actually learned and understood so much.

Jan 2006

Someone needs to slip a copy of Public Speaking for Dummies under Professor Gartzke's door. Maybe it will be me. He is a relatively young professor and seems well intentioned, but his lecture style is a disaster. His lectures are packed with personal anecdotes, mostly referring to his 4 year old daughter's perspective on international affairs. I don't mean to be a heartless grinch, but he could go a long way in the direction of staying on track and teaching instead of reciting lecture slides. Besides administrative announcements, which often pertain to changed lengths of papers or due dates (usually shorter and later in your favor, he's easy going), lecture is not really worth attending and definitely not worth taking notes in. Section was worthwhile, and the TAs from fall 05 were all more on the ball than Gartzke (a fact they seemed aware of).

Jan 2006

This class is extremely daunting. There are roughly 65 readings (books & journal articles). The lectures are just as daunting with Marten speeding through a flurry of names, dates & terms & often going overtime. There are 2 midterm essays that you have a week to write but the questions are so vague & you have so much material to include within 5-7 pages that you will spend 6 days just staring at the question & not knowing how to write it. Those are graded quite harshly by the TAs who are also overwhelmed by the material as evidenced by their struggle to cover at least a small part of the readings in the weekly discussion sections. You will also be dumb-founded about how to study for the final, which is cumulative. However, the exam is pretty straightforward & final grades are relatively generous. Marten herself comes off as very scary & intimidating at the beginning of the semester, but she is pretty willing to take time to answer questions in class, as long as they are relevant, & by the last class, she had really won me over.

Jan 2006

a very interesting course, made me want to major in it. Loads of reading can be tedious but some of it was very interesting and engaging. The lectures can get boring, but discussion groups generally very engaging. The questions for midterm and final are given beforehand- making work easier. Lectures mostly all available online. Overall a good class, although lectures arent always helpful. TA's- a big help in the class.

Jan 2006

Gartzke's lectures are designed for 10 year olds, not college students. However, he is a very nice man with lots of anecdotes about his family. Lectures are completely optional. He posts lecture slides and the midterm and final questions are handed out in advance. There is really no point in going to lecture!!

Jan 2006

Wow... don't expect to get much out of discussion. Show up and have something to say and you will do fine. She wont look at your papers ahead of time and isn't too helpful with final preparation. But she is nice and pretty understanding and great responding to e-mails. She does give map quizzes (I think only because the professor made her).

Jan 2006

Lecture was painful, but the Powerpoint outlines were helpful to print out. Textbook was pretty poor, so I used the first edition to avoid buying the new one and did just fine. Supplemental readings are good, the basics of IR theory. Your TA makes this class - I really only learned in section. Overall, the class is boring, but tolerable. Try to take the course with a different (ie better) professor, but if you can't, you'll survive. I actually learned a lot, considering how bored I was during every single lecture. Use class time to do the reading and make sure you don't miss his numerous administrative announcements.

Jan 2006

Professor Gartzke is very nice, but he is not such a swell teacher. His lectures were painfully boring, and they were based on a set of slides available on courseworks and formed entirely on the content of the book. This made the idea of actually attending the lectures incredibly unappealing. Yet, despite his shortcomings as a teacher, his class is one of the easier ones I have had. For both the midterm and the final, he gave a short list of possible essay questions. On the days of the tests, he randomly selected two of them, and we wrote about the one we prefered. Participation in discussion sections (which was easy to do) was also worth a big chunck of the final grade. Take his class if you want an easy A, but don't expect to enjoy it much.

Jan 2006

Is she brilliant? Absolutely. Is she an good professor? Not in the least. She spits out information and calls it teaching. Her lectures have no meaning, it's a jumble of dates and facts that she thinks are important. The only worthwhile class was when she discussed her time in Afghanistan. For once, she taught something instead of reciting her notes right from the page. The interesting material of the class is ruined by her inability to teach. If anything, she's completely overrated as a prof. Like I said - the woman is intelligent for sure. But she is a horrible professor.

Dec 2005

Parent is by far the most intelligent and knowledgeable TA I have ever seen. He really has a good command of the material, and he knows current events and events of history very well. Organization is his greatest strength, so the material is all broken down really well in the recitation. He once taught in place of Prof Gartzke during one of the lectures, and he was so good at covering a large extense of material in a corny and funny manner which made it really easy to understand. His examples are also relatable. Also follow his guidelines on the in-class essays! They help a lot. I have the biggest problem with introductions, and so I followed his guidelines, and got a "good intro" commment by the grader. He may be a hard grader, but if he is one of the 4 TA's, your paper can be graded by him even if he is not your TA, since the papers are randomly distributed among TA's and instructors, so grading doesn't really affect the recitation experience. Parent is definitely recommended.

Dec 2005

Pretty average TA. In retrospect, we didn't actually discuss almost any material during sections. He is however, open to answer any questions by students, and he will either have the right answer or think he has one. He's not afraid to criticize a professors's shortcomings, which is nice. Overall, don't shy away from him, but don't expect to be wowed.

Dec 2005

Maggie was afraid that she would get a bad, horrible, scary review on CULPA, but she has no reason to fear. I enjoyed the section. Keep up the good work, Maggie!

Dec 2005

I would disagree with most of the reviews. Many kids don't show up after the first lecture to class, so they don't really know what they are talking about. It's true that he is a little boring in the first couple lectures... maybe realism isn't his specialty. But he is funny in a poli sci way, and he gets really interesting in the coming chapters. His specialty is Democratic Peace and International Political Economy, so if you are perhaps thinking of these 2, definitely take the class. The class itself needs reform though. All readings are from American/European authors, even on subjects like India/Pakistan. The class could be more international by encompassing opinions of non-American authors. Also, we spent more than 2/3 of the time on the Cold War, only to realize half-way through the course that the present world is a polar opposite to the Cold-War world... then why should we be spending SO MUCH time on the Cold War?? Also, the class is taught mostly from the perspective of essential or powerful nations, so it makes you biased against small countries from the beginning. I wouldn't take the class itself again if it weren't for the interesting theories taught and Professor Gartzke. The theories are awesome! Discussion sections are boring! TA's are awesome, but there's so much to cover that there is no discussion. I've heard LitHum has more discussion than our class...

Nov 2005

Professor Gartzke is obviously a very nice person, but not an outstanding lecturer. He starts out every class talking about the news, and manages to tie it in to the curriculum with some rambling broad generality, which actually characterizes much of the course. HIs specialty is game theory, so he talks about diplomacy in the abstract a little too much for my taste. I don't really feel like it was a rigorous introduction to international politics, or that I think much differently from when I started out. My TA, and interest in the topic, and good readings, pretty much have made the class worthwhile.

Nov 2005

i read the same reviews you just read, but listen up...i waited til my senoir fall semester to take intro to interpols with this woman BECAUSE of culpa. granted, as a polisci major, it was either this or comparative so i didnt have much of a choice.... here's my point: perhaps its because her reviews or so spectacular or that i waited with baited breath for three years to take the class...but ITS A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. her lectures are FULL of information but she talks so fast that by the end (which tends to be five minutes after the class shoullllllld have ended) everyone's head is spinning. she takes questions, yes...but only when shes not a lecture behind. a rarity. the class is fine. take it if you have to. which lots of you do i think. but its not great. and the reading is ridiculous. and here i am, polisci major, a senior!!, and its my most stressful class....do yourself a favor and check out your other options. this ladys not doing me any favors.

Nov 2005

This class is AMAZING. Although the semester isn't over, so far I am very pleased. Professor Marten is an expert in her field. Her lectures are clear and concise as well as her outlines that she posts on the board before class. A variety of topics are covered, most of them VERY interesting. I have never learned so much so quickly. Given that-a lot of reading. An insane amount. But it is doable. I highly recommend this class. As a freshmen, it might by kind of indimidating with a lot of poli sci majors sitting next to you. However, it is worth it.

Aug 2005

Shirkey was an amazing TA in many respects... he was able to present the information in an informative and interesting way, good natured and approachable. His grading policy, however, was stringent and perhaps a little harsh. There were a number of students who had complaints about their grades, don't get me wrong, he's an amazing lecturer, but make sure you are NEVER borderline EVER.

May 2005

If you're going to take this class, make sure the rest of your semester is light. The amount of reading is obscene (he made us buy a $73, 900 page coursepack on top of a very dense textbook). There are three reading quizzes so you have to have a pretty good idea of what's in the coursepack and textbook. The lectures are interesting, if you can hear him. He is clearly brilliant, but he has a tendency yo trail off at the end of a sentence, leaving you in the dark. The grading in this class is weird to say the least. The TAs never give above an A- on papers and only a handful get an A- for the class. Most people either get pulled up or down to B/B+ range.

Apr 2005

She is amazing and every lecture is riveting.

Jan 2005

Kimberly Marten is a great teacher and lecturer. Her lectures are clear and structured, making them easy to follow. She even writes an outline on the board before beginning the lecture- a rarity in college ( It shouldn't be) which proves very helpful. She is very approachable as well. The midterm essays require the readings and thought, but aren't too dificult. The final exam was straightforward, but you need to do the reading. Overall, an excellent course!

Jan 2005

As far as political science lectures go, especially for an introductory course, Prof. Marten offers probably one of the best classes at Columbia. She is thoughtful, organized, and interesting in her lectures and tries to get everyone thinking by balancing theory and application. She also tries to keep the class current, which is refreshing, by discussing terrorism and how recent events have modified IR theory . Take her class. She cares about her students and it shows in her lectures and on the syllabus.

Jan 2005

Brian was by far my favorite teacher of the semester! He keeps lectures interesting with his humor. He is very accessible to his students, whether it be meeting on or off campus for some extra help and direction. Although a number of readings are assigned for every class, you don't have to read all of them to do well. The paper, which is 10 pages counts as part of your final grade. It sounds hard, but you get to pick your own topic, Brian will lead you in the right direction, there are no strict guildlines as to format. You can pretty much spend most of your paper making and supporting your own argument, as opposed to other teachers who want you to cite a million other writers and make "their" argument not "yours". Getting an A- in his class was pretty easy and I would seriously suggest this class to anyone who is considering majoring in Political Science. Not only is Brian a cool guy, but the class is great and you will learn a lot!

Jan 2005

Shany knows his international politics. Some people don't like him because he is opinionated, sometimes brusque, and cuts people off, but I appreciated his command of our sections. His opinions are usually correct as well. Doesn't repsond to emails sometimes, but talking to him is usually productive.

Jan 2005

Brian Murray is a fantastic lecturer. Lectures are simple and clear and completely changed the way I think about the world. I highly reccomend his class. He responds to emails within hours, is always available outside of class, and highly receptive to questions-- not intimidating at all. sure he is an adjunct without the credentials of a Jervis or Snyder-type, but its intro IR so such a background is not necessary to convey the info. Brian is funny, intelligent, and knows his stuff.

Jan 2005

All I have to say is that whoever said they worked hard in Brian's class and got an A- did FAR more work than they needed to. I can honestly say that I never opened the coursepack or supplementary textbook and read maybe 60% of the main textbook (which, incidentally, was never covered on the exams). I too got an A-. While Brian's sense of humor and desire to get to know each of his students personally makes the lectures entertaining and enjoyable, I did not learn very much about International Politics (maybe because I never did any reading). The course is very theory-heavy, which I didn't like, and picking a good TA is CRUCIAL - I recommend Alex Scacco because she really knows her stuff. Overall, Brian's a nice guy with a genuine interest in his students but if you want to take this class to really learn a lot about International Politics, go elsewhere.

Jan 2005

I disagree with the person who reviewed before me. I think International Politics is a fine course to take first semester, as long as you do the work. This class is not one to take if you don't plan on doing the reading or showing up to class. I read everything (with the exception of a reading out of one of our books which I couldn't understand), and didn't have a problem with it. And on top of it, she's an incredible professor. She is approachable (although I will admit to being a little scared of her), keeps her own opinion out of her lectures, and is uniquely prepared to teach the class. There was one class spent just going over the time she had spent embedded with Canadian Peacekeepers in Afghanistan. I HIGHLY recomend this class, especially if you are interested in IR or majoring in political science.

Jan 2005

Shany is absolutely terrible. Whoever wrote the good review on him was doubtlessly one of the annoying suck ups that are almost as annoying as Shany. He is rude, anal, and totally unhelpful. And his lisp will drive you crazy.

Jan 2005

I strongly disagree with those who say that Brian is not a good prof. or that he does not come prepared to class. Brian comes to each class, totally prepared. In fact, he is very organised: He plans each topic he is going to teach in the form of a paper, which also prepares us to the paper we need to write for the end of the term. He comes to each class with the plan of that topic and his class notes. Also, about the TAs bringing him down each class and knowing more than he does - seriously - you must be really dumb not to see and realize that Brian WANTS YOU to try to or do bring him down. Brian is just such a great instructor and teacher that he is not one of those stereotype, inferiority complexed teachers who are so biased and narrow minded that they can't hear what the students or TAs have to say, who can't even handle opening up to or hearing different ideas than what they believe in. Also, Brian's sense of humor and extraordinarily fun character makes the class extra-fun! Nobody can beat Brian into making the class fun. Although the class is 150 people, Brian spends time to get to know everyone that u feel like the class is only 20 people because it gets individual. You are not just a person in that crowd. And that's why, although Into to Int. Poli. was my only 150 people class that I could skip, the class was so fun and so interesting that I just didn't want to skip it - not even one lecture! Brian is the best thing that can happen to you @ Columbia. P.S. he is always there to help you outside class - he is even there for you to meet you and a little group from class around Wall Street ;)

Jan 2005

Well, I really have to disagree with the stuff being said about Shany. I thoroughly ENJOYED my semester with him as my TA, and I know a lot of other people did too. A few people got on the wrong side of him, which, true, is not pretty. Ok, so he doesn't allow food in class--but for heaven's sake this is a DISCUSSION section, when we DISCUSS the course. You can do without food for 50 minutes. Really. It's only 50 minutes--which, incidentally, is why you should not come late to class. This is basic stuff, and there's no point complaining. Shany was only friendly, helpful and encouraging to me. We met outside of class on several ocassions and he struck me as a really nice guy. That said, it is true that he likes the sound of his own voice and that he encourages excessive talking from some students, often those least qualified to do so. But people, let's be realistic, Shany is NOT some terrible TA, he may have a couple of faults, but if you do the reading, make (valid) class contributions and don't mess him around, you will have a good time. I really recommend him.

Jan 2005

I took this class as a first-year student, in my first semester, which I do not recommend. I started out behind and never quite caught up. The reading is EXTENSIVE, but even Professor Marten says not to do it all. I suggest you find some reliable friends and divide up the readings, summarize them, and trade notes. (I didn't do this...but I should have). I actually enjoyed learning from some of the readings, so I did all the ones that interested me. I found the class fascinating, but overwhelming too. It was history, current events, political theory, and application all at once. I do think she's an excellent lecturer. She's open to questions and some discussion even though she has a ton of material to cover every class and there were like 150 students. You can tell she's liberal, but she tries to present both sides of the story and each theory, which I find admirable. I talked with her during office hours a couple times, and she was very approachable after my initial anxiety. She's friendly and pleasant, and very smart, but human too. She was kind to grant me an extension when I was sick. I found that she was fairly available to her students, although she did travel because of her new book. I learned more in this class than any other. It made me think, and it definitely made me work hard. It was almost traumatic, but very worth it if you can handle a class like this. The TAs weren't too good about going over the material thoroughly. Just keep up and be smart about it, but don't expect an "intro" course.

Jan 2005

if you want a fun atmopshere and super laid back lecture class where you kinda learn a loose skeletal frame of international politics, you might like this class. However, if you want a solid, indepth understanding of IR-- i would NOT reccommend this class to you. Brian is a really nice guy, but his lectures are so scattered, unorganized and lacking depth. They are completely void of context so it is very difficult to form a complete understanding of the history and relevance of IR theory. I took this class to genuinely learn about IR theory and was disappointed by the spotiness and loopiness of the lectures its up to you whether or not you want to take this class- as you can see, some love him (most of them are probably freshmen), but if you really want to learn IR theory, you might want to try another class... I wish I would have...

Jan 2005

It was with much trepidation that I took this course, after having read the reviews on here that go on and on, but honestly, it wasn't that bad. It does have a lot of reading, but it's nothing unmanageable; I was rarely caught up, but I eventually found time to read almost everything (and I'm pretty lazy, not some anal star pupil). As for the whole power bitch thing, yes, she definitely enjoys being in control of the class -- she once called out a guy who was reading a magazine during class in front of everyone -- but whatever, that's just the persona she's trying to build. If you talk to her in person, she's actually pretty sweet -- the barrier is definitely maintained, but I'm sure that if you visited her during office hours a few times she'd take it down at least somewhat if you were truly interested. Anyway, enough psychological analysis; the class is pretty damn good, you learn a lot, and if you do the work, you should be fine. However, I'll end the review with a note of warning: I got a B in the class when I expected a B+/A-, a situation that's still unresolved. Oh, and the TA's were all terrible, which is too bad, because good TAs would have been appreciated.

Jan 2005

This class is easy. Murray quite plainly is not prepared to teach this course. First, he consistently cites facts that are incorrect. After making his argument, which is almost always a sophomoric piggy back onto a theorist he just tried to explain, the TAs routinely shoot him down and pick apart his argument to the point where he admits that his logic was just wrong. He also conducts class with a third grade audience in mind, asking "Who can name a country in the Middle East?", and proceeding to call on students until at least ten answers come forth. Hey, just because he never graduated from primary school doesn't mean we didn't.

Jan 2005

International Politics with Professor Marten is not for the faint of heart. The course covers tons of material, ranging from the international political economy to security keeping in Bosnia and Kosovo to the World Wars. The midterms (two 5-7 page papers and a sit-in final of 2 essays and 4 IDs) required significant review and a very good understanding of the readings (of which there were a ton). I was surprised this was listed as an 'intro' class because, in my opinion, it clearly assumed the student held a lot of previous knowledge about international affairs. Those who have taken a relavent class (ie, economics, previous polisci classes, maybe even a modern world history course) will probably fare significantly better than those without much experience, On the flip side, Professor Marten is an excellent lecturer who keeps things moving quickly. I went to every lecture-she's that good. Some complain that she's ostentatious, but she can back it up (writing for the NYT, publishing her books, political connections, etc). For those of you who like challenge, this is a class that will really make you think (no, honestly) and make you decide what your political views are. The discussion sections are not particularly helpful, but go to them anyways to secure the A- (for 10% of your total grade) Professor Marten guarentees you if you go to all of them.

Jan 2005

"Now, I speak so fast, my own mother can't understand me... but i'm not teaching a class on international political strategy, analysis, and history." Professor Marten speaks so fast. If you take a pause, you will find yourself amongst 150 other students furiously scribbling notes, head bent down, trying to keep up. The analysis and subject matter are fascinating. But Marten speaks so fast that it is like trying to understand all the credits at the end of some TV show while the credits are minurized and jam packed and scrolling speedily off the screen. Such is the constant heart-pounding agitated state you will be in through out class. by the time you realize what kind of missle someone used somewhere, she's on to the next shrimp net in south america. There is so much minute detail... Marten FAILS to actually TEACH the material. Instead she reads without character- from notes like some stiff and awkward stage-frightened monotone actor... She has lots to say and teach.. but she goes through info like a time line, again, really failing to at least give you somethinking time to put all this info into some cohesive and worthwhile form. SMART LADY- no doubt... but JUST because these Professors WRITE a BOOK... doesn;t mean they know how to teach. Also: probably with good reason... she's a bit of a snob. in my opinion she doesn't give much care to whether students walk away more knowledgeable or more educated in world affairs... she talks, you listen... and I guess we should all be grateful... I mean, she's written books.

Dec 2004

Kimberly Zisk Marten is an amazing lecturer and is clearly extremely intellegent. Her class is very interesting and up to date, but is extremely hard. She only gives 15% of the class A's which makes it extremely competitive, especially for an intro class. The reading list is enormous and seems neverending. A LARGE LARGE portion of your time will be devoted to reading endless artlicles, and stressing over finishing all the homework. Marten also speaks at an extremely fast pace which causes problems when taking notes, but you learn to adapt pretty quickly. Overall, this class is great, but sooooo much work. DO NOT TAKE AS A FRESHMAN!

Dec 2004

Brian is a pretty solid teacher with the exception of a few really aggrivating tendencies. Firstly, i know he is reading this Culpa because he constantly likes to point out the inaccuracies of other Culpa reviews during class. Secondly, the whole deal with his Chinese, though he plays it down in the first few sections, gets extremely aggrivating. A lot of people, though they knew the correct answer on the midterm and final, got confused by the chinese symbols and guessed wrong, losing credit for the question. Aside from these beefs, Murray's lectures are entertaining (though they get quite sloppy and progressively uninteresting as the semester drags on). The guy really knows his stuff and does a pretty good job of helping the students along. On the whole, a solid class which I would reccomend taking if you aren't obsessed with having Jervis. Peace out, Brian

Dec 2004

Brian's IR class is an experience. While he is not the most organized of professors, he is an funny and engaging lecturer, to such an extent that I actually went to class even though it was at 6 pm. He is funny and does make you learn a few chinese characters but then they do make for easy mutiple choice answers on the exams. While he does make his opinions known, he presents the existing theories pretty fairly. Grading makes very little sense until the end but it is pretty fair. Overall he is definitly a professor who is worth getting to know.

Dec 2004

A great teacher, hands down. He can (and DOES) take a class of 150 and makes it seem like a class of 15. He's really funny (or at least tries to be) and knows how to perfectly intertwine current events with the political theories disussed in the lectures. The downside: his lectures get increasingly sloppy. This isn't to say that they're not thorough, because they are very complete, it's just that his order of presentation is pretty scattered, and his notes become more and more incoherent. This begins to show AFTER the midterm though. I highly recommend taking Brian's IR course. He's a great adjunct professor, super accessible (including taking students out for drinks!), responds to emails within 24 hours, knows his material and is on top of the game. Note-taking eventually becomes a hassle, but eh, it's worth it.

Dec 2004

Brian is fun guy, but he is a horrible teacher that does not know the material well. I found the TAs to be far more knowledgeable than him on every topic not related to China. If you have a question, you should probably ask one of the TAs because if Brian does not know the answer to your question, he might make up a response rather than admit his ignorance. Worst of all, his motivation for encouraging students to talk in class is to buy them a tequila shot at the end for every “intelligent” comment they make (and to take one away from their total if they said something stupid). This led to some of the most sycophantic students I have ever seen. It was sickening.

Dec 2004

Brian is a good teacher and a great guy. His teaching style is such that he tends to ramble and gets off topic often and easily, but he has interesting things to say and I genuinely enjoyed his lectures. He assigns a lot of reading but you only have to do it if you want to (some of it is actually very interesting so you'd probably want to). Brian is an extremely nice guy who goes out of his way to be available to students and help them if they need it. I had three finals scheduled for one day, so he let me take his early at his office on wall street. He has a cool job in the field of international relations and knows a lot about what's going on in the world. I learned a lot from his class, but learned more from having lunch with him outside of class and talking about random stuff happening in the world. I wish he taught more advanced int'l relations classes.

Dec 2004

Alex was God's gift to me, and every other int'l relations student last semester. She genuinely cared about her students and tried absurdly hard to help everyone understand the material. She went far out of her way to be available to all students in the class (not just in her discussion section). She definitely saved my paper (which was worth 35% of my grade) and probably about 30 others. Alex was incredible, i think I'm in love with her.

Dec 2004

Brian is a great teacher. I am in my first semester here, and I found his class reasonable and much fun. Brian is a really good guy with many great stories. His class is challenging but fair and very practical. His class has an empirical element that is hard to find here. Lectures are always engaging. He has an excellent teaching style and a good sense of humor. Sometimes he expects people to know a bit too much history, but as someone who knows hardly any historical facts, it is manageable. Brian's most admirable trait is his effort to connect with the students. Even though there were over 130 kids in the class, he knew almost everyoneÂ’s name by the end of the semester. He is very available, even though he has a day job and is just an overall nice guy to talk with. He also grades all the papers himself. His grading system is a bit tough. His curve is set at a B/B+, which would be fine, but I think the majority of kids in the class put in an A- effort and do as well on the tests. Plus, the midterm, which was graded by TAs was incredibly inconsistent as it was on a 15 point scale with 13 being a B/B+. Some TAs gave a 14 as their best, and others gave the same as their worst. On the other hand, Brian grades all of the final papers himself, an enormous and notable effort. His only major fault, and Brian, I know you are reading this, is that he is obsessed with CULPA. Don't worry! You are a good teacher! Although Brian is not one of the tenured old-timer realists like Jervis (who also teaches this course), he is a really good teacher. Definitely take his class.

Dec 2004

If he understood what he was teaching, the class would be really good. Readings are interesting, but don't go to the class if you still want to understand the readings after doing them. Although a nice guy, Brian struggles to convey the material to the class, and often acknowledges the fact that he left the class clueless. One lecture he relied on a TA to teach the material, and that was the best lecture of the semester. And don't get me started on the Chinese characters...

Dec 2004

Shany is without a doubt one of THE WORST teachers I have ever had. He must be on some sort of power trip, because he really enjoys hearing himself talk. He interrupts students all the time and wouldn't let us discuss what was interesting or confusing, only the material he thought was necessary. He's actually annoying more than anything and is quite possibly the most anal person I have ever met. Don't come late to class. Don't ever let your cell phone go off. NEVER bring food to class. Oh and make sure you sit in the group circle. Last but not least, if you're unfortunate enough to get stuck in his section, be sure to talk a lot. It doesn't matter what you say, honestly, because half the time people were either spewing verbal diarrhea and getting credit for it, or they were being interrupted in the middle of a sentence. I came out of Shany's section more confused and pissed than when I went in. I was planning on maybe majoring in Poli Sci, but after going through the torture of Shany's boring and immensely irritating section, I'm having second thoughts. Save yourselves while you still can!!!

Dec 2004

A good guy, great because he has a real job and a life and he's really funny. Class was fun and engaging Moderately difficult - not out to get you Is almost always available through email and tried to meet with his students outside of class As a lecturer - mumbled a little and couldn't read his handwriting on the board but he is switching to powerpoints so that shouldn't be a problem and any questions he welcomes and answers was a pleasurable class

Dec 2004

Take this class. Brian is magic. Sure sometimes he gets a tad confused in his lectures but they're mostly interesting. Plus, the class is cake easy. One midterm, a final without an essay and a ten page paper on the topic of your choice. Brian is extremely nice and friendly and a great teacher. Embrace this class!

Dec 2004

Oh my! Brian is awesome! Somewhat biased, but cool about it. Funny lectures, he always tried to make some pop culture relationship. Often met with students outside of class, great guy and very intelligent. He is always trying to improve his teaching skills. If only I could have Brian for all of my Political Science classes.

Nov 2004

A pretty good class. Brian is a very nice guy, and NO ONE can complain about having to recognize 3 or four simple Chinese characters! The lectures are interesting, but a little weak on detail and explanation.

Nov 2004

The one-sentence summary? Jervis is wasted on the first-years. I took Intro to IR as a freshman and fell asleep regularly every week. the TA made the class bearable, and I did pick up what I was supposed to, but I didn't leave with a good impression of Professor Jervis himself. Two years later I took Conflict and Coop with him, and fell in serious academic crush with the man. I'd trot eagerly to class first thing Monday morning (and I'm not a morning person) to sit and hear his amusing expositions on The State Of The World Today / The State Of Today's Headlines. witty AND incisive, they cut through the crap and helped shed valuable light on what was actually taking place. every time I read about a new political development I'd want to hear what Jervis would have to say about it in the next class. The lectures were for the most part just as insightful and interesting (though I'd be lying if I said I didn't doze off even once). Reading was on the heavy side but all good selections. The grading wasn't easy, but I felt like I worked for and earned what I eventually got - and unlike so many classes, I actually took increased knowledge away with me at the end of the semester. Bottom line: the man deserves his reputation. Definitely consider taking one of his classes if/when you're not a freshman any more, and better able to appreciate what he's saying. A genuine interest in the world around you also helps.

Nov 2004

He is the coolest professor a person can ever get!!! Seriously - Don't write something bad about him on Culpa just cuz u personally can't handle him. The class is fun -thanks to him- even if you need to learn some fundemental Chinese letters.

Oct 2004

Miserabely boring professor but interesting reading material otherwise. Going to class was a major waste of time--just do the reading and you'll be fine. My TA was great, though, and was helpful with the quizzes and papers.

Sep 2004

Prof Marten is the best professor I have had. Her lecturers are never boring and she always includes a question/answer section that helps turn her huge seminars into lively discussions. That said this class is hard with a lot of readings and notetaking, however the work is well worth it and Marten is readily accessible to students questions/problems. The opportunities for extra credit don't hurt either.

Aug 2004

Intro to international relations was probably one of the best classes that I have taken at Columbia. This was due largely in part to the incomparable Brian Murray. He is truly one of the best professors I have had at Columbia. The subject matter is somewhat dull at times, however, the "B -dawg" understands this and tries to make it as interesting as possible. Also, he is very approachable during and after class and is willing to give you advice and insight on the material. Some reviews said that he went off on tangents which is true. However, these tangents are an amusing break from the material and do not go on endlessly with no point. He encourages class particpation but if you are one of those "know-it-all/won't let anyone talk/think you're god's gift to international relations" kind of people your participation grade will suffer. As long as you do the reading and make an effort in class you will get a good grade and enjoy your first International relations experience. P.S. Anyone who says Brian Murray rewards slackers is crazy and just bitter because, unlike some of the cooler kids in the class, he did not think of bringing a six pack to the review session and mixing school with pleasure.

Aug 2004

Funny, very accessible, good class handouts. Breeze of a course! Lenient grader. B+/A- is very attainable, you gotta bust your butt for anything higher.

Aug 2004

Brian Murray was one of the best professors I have had at Columbia. I apologize to everyone who can't believe that, because of the fact that Brian occassionally uses a short hand to explain his theories. Not only was the class material presented in a clear, understandable way, but Brian was also very available outside of class to discuss the material. It involved a free lunch or dinner. Many reviewers complained about the grading system in this class, personally I didn't think this was a big issue. Just go to class, do the readings, and don't try to teach the class to show off how intelligent you are. Brian Murray overall was a fantastic teacher, and in my opinion he gets a bad rap on CULPA because the 2 or so students who disagreed with his theory/teaching style decided to post terrible reviews. In my class this summer, I would say 90 percent of the class thought that he was a better than average teacher. I recommend the class highly.

Jul 2004

Overall, I highly recommend taking this class with another professor if you are looking to receive an A in the class. Read the other reviews if you are curious of what students do not like or like about him. They are pretty accurate besides for the newest one. I only wish to talk about his grading system, which has major problems because he does not grade on scale. Instead, he averages all the grades together and makes the class average equal to a B+. An A- is one standard deviation above the average, an A is two standard deviations above the average, a B is one standard deviation below the average, and a B- is two standard deviations below the average. The problem with this is that the chances of a person achieving a grade 2 standard deviations above or below the average is incredibly small in a class with about 15 people of similar intelligence. This means one can work their ass off and still not achieve an A or one can do a half- ass job and still receive nothing lower than a B. If you do not really care about obtaining an A, then you will not have any issues with the grading, but this is not really fair for people that work hard and know a lot. In addition, Brian bases 20% of the grade on participation. However, he grades down for talking too much, which basically makes 20% of your grade based on how much Brian likes you. In conclusion, even if you know everything there is to know about political science, you will have no chance of receiving an A unless Brian really favors you. If you are slacker though, this is fun summer class to take.

Jun 2004

I truly disagree w/ some of the other reviews. Professor Brian Murray is a great professor. I understood his lectures and when people looked confused he would go over the material until it was understood. And I would not knock the chinese characters b/c they can actually help you in your short hand during lectures. I have adopted his characters for lectures that discuss systems and so forth. Additionally, this summer session course is more like a seminar than a lecture--I believe there were only a/b ten students in our class. Highly recommended, just do the readings and you'll be fine!

Apr 2004

I've got to agree with most of the reviews. Jessica was a great TA. Very helpful and accessible.

Apr 2004

Great lecturer--very organized and gives a clear and comprehensive presentation--she'll have you writing for the full 75 minutes. She gets a little too caught up in "professors across the street" but her skills are up to par. Reading list is quite extensive but you don't need to do more than skim the articles. She scared a lot of people in the class by saying she "didn't give As" which means that the two take-home midterms (5-7 pgs) are graded on a curve (I'd never heard of a Poli Sci curve but apparently the TAs are only allowed to give 20% As). Not to worry, if you get a reasonable TA, all the other papers get a grade of B or B+. My only complaint about the class is the TA sections--poorly organized and completely pointless but unavoidable, the TAs take attendance that counts for 10 % of your grade. The newer material at the end of the course is pretty interesting--she actually gives a few lectures on bio/chemical weapons, terrorism, and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (most courses that intend to make it to the present day don't make it past the 80s). Overall she's a pretty good authority on the major topics in IR, and manages to give a nearly unbiased view of all the material (very rare for a Poli Sci teacher). I would certainly recommend taking IR with her.

Feb 2004

As one of very few who attended every one of his classes, I can safely say that I actually learned quite a bit from Professor Stacey. His lectures aren't entertaining, but they are interesting and useful. He is not near as bad as most of the reviewers claim he is - they probably only went to half his classes anyway. I would recommend him.

Jan 2004

One of the most ridiculously awful professors I've ever had. Some of the readings on theory from the first two or three weeks were interesting, but many of the readings he assigns (which were often not put made available on CourseWorks or in the Reserve Library until a week or two after they were assigned) are redundant and completely inane. He managed to waste eighty-five minutes twice each week transcribing an outline on the board that was always completely worthless. He spent most of the time writing up "definitions" on the board that meant absolutely nothing. His grasp of the material (which is fairly basic) was less than impressive--his lectures were almost always simplistic and ignored the more nuanced treatment of material in the readings. When all three TAs obviously know much more than the professor, something is wrong. This really is the worst class I've ever taken (either at Columbia or even back in high school), and what little I came away with was no thanks to Professor Stacey.

Jan 2004

Professor Stacey is a new professor, which is the only explanation I can think of for his poor performance as the instructor of International Politics. He took an interesting subject, and managed to make it dull through his teaching style. The policy simulations were overall useless, although in the end, I feel that I have gained a lot of knowledge about the subject matter.

Jan 2004

Jessica was a truly great TA; I attribute my success in International Politics to her. Her discussion sections were orderly, clear, and informative. She went out of her way to assist us in writing papers, and created extra office hours towards the end of the semester. She also gave very thorough, comprehensive comments when grading papers.

Dec 2003

After receiving a class-wide e-mail from Prof. Stacey yesterday that thanked us "for the many nice comments," a classmate IMed me and asked, "Who gave nice comments? Were they deaf?" Hands down, Professor Stacey was the worst professor I've ever had! His lectures are dry summaries of the readings, which he often can't even get straight. His answers to simple questions turn into vague ramblings on obscure topics as he tries to circumvent questions he can't answer. The first day, I knew the class would be bad! He arrogantly assumes that all students are up to date on international current events and are familiar with unimportant international politics abbreviations such as WTO, GDP, and ITC. He only caters to the typical nerdy Columbia student, while forgetting those of us he don't spend our weekends with our noses in the Wall Street Journal or the latest copy of the Economist. Furthermore, he pompously assumes that all students plagiarize and seems to go out of his way to accuse, if not catch, students of being "involved in dishonesty." His constant warnings against plagiarism leave students bewildered about the presence of some level of trust that seems to be required for a successful learning environment. He tries unsuccessfully to get to know his students by inviting them to attend political lectures and events with him, but the invitations stop coming after the first few weeks. Maybe he got a clue - nobody's interested! Moreover, he tries to redeem himself with two policy simulations in class where he dons a mask or impersonates a president. It's hard to laugh a such a dull man, though! I would not recommend Professor Stacey for this class, let alone any other. I wish I had waited to take this class with a better prof., maybe even one with a Ph.D!

Dec 2003

Upon reflection, this was one of the most important classes I've taken at CU. It certainly was challenging, and Professor Stacey expects a lot. But he rewards those who attend class by both giving exams that pick up on his worthwhile lectures AND spicing up IR theory. The policy-making simulations were the most interesting, but I was most impressed by the things Professor Stacey talked about to illustrate points on the board, tying in current events, new developments, and recent trends and the like. Or just riffing on things, like the day he used examples from Thucydides' Melian Dialogue and Sparta's decision to go to war with Athens. I asked him about it later, because he didn't lecture about it or assign readings on it. I couldn't believe he just plucked it out of the air and broke down some highly complex events in a digestible - and funny - manner, way better than an earlier class in which a prof lectured a lot on such material (THAT is what makes challenging classes worthwhile).

Dec 2003

I generally agree with the majority of the comments made about Prof Stacey, although I think he is well-meaning, conscious that his job includes teaching students (and is not just a distraction from his research), and by the last couple classes he improved a bit, simply in how he conducted class. This may mean that as he gains more experience (this was his first year), he'll get better.

Dec 2003

The reviews here have gotten a little sketchy, I'm not quite sure what's up, but here's what I think. Towards the beginning of the class I was very excited: Stacey somehow managed to keep us involved despite the great number of people attending, he related things back to current events, and he seemed to have a great understanding of the material. However, by the middle of the semester, it had become clear that Stacey wasn't the perfect teacher. His lectures often got boring. They sometimes seemed like summaries of one of the articles from the course readings. He would ramble off topic for up to 10 minutes. Although he could usually answer the hard questions, he often couldn't explain simple topics sufficiently. (On the other hand, in most classes of that size, I doubt the professor would allow the kids to ask so many questions. Still, when he didn't know the answer, he would ramble about something else, leaving us all confused). I have no idea why everyone was so delighted with the policy simulations. The JFK one was interesting, but I'm going to have to take some of the comments people left on it as a joke. While it showed that one day in the future he could be an excellent teacher, it wasn't 75 minutes of pure bliss. The lessons in the final part of the semester were excellent. If google is right, the subjects he covered (globalization/North-South relations/EU) were his areas of study. I found that many of the others in class were way too quick to say he was rambling (although I insist that he was doing so, often, earlier in the semester) when in reality he was speaking quite clearly on a subject. He provides very little incentive to do the readings for class or to even attend. Everything was take-home -- tests and papers -- so you could just read up based on the question at hand. I didn't do most of the reading on time but was still able to succeed on those papers, although it was a bit hectic. My TA was excellent and helped explain when Stacey couldn't (or maybe, didn't). I think the grading depended a bit on your TA. Everyone I talked to received between a C+ and an A-. I didn't hear of anyone doing better or worse than that. B+ was very common.

Dec 2003

Zach rocked - he is the only reason why I survived this class. His discussion sections were full of additional information, clarification and humor. He's really approachable, intelligent, and funny. When we finished clarifying that week's lectures, we would talk about current politics, which was great. He had a great way of explaining concepts that the Professor failed to teach clearly. Really a cool guy and a great TA.

Dec 2003

I wrote a review here several months ago, but I wanted to put in one final word on what I believe happened this semester in Intro. to International Politics. Professor Stacey, a very intelligent man but a tragically inexperienced teacher, initially taught his class in a boring and derivative manner. Cynicism and apathy welled within the students taking the class (yes, I attended almost all of the lectures and listened during class, and yes, I still hated being there). A few of these students wrote unfavorable, and sometimes scathing and unproductive, reviews on CULPA. An article in the "Spectator" mentioned these reviews and was read by everyone in the class. Professor Stacey, I believe, also read this article and the CULPA reviews, but he remained completely calm and upbeat in the face of this rather sudden (and, I add now, inappropriate) assault. He took it in the best, most mature way possible: he simply made his class more interesting. The last three classes were truly fun. After attending these three classes and reading the article in the Spec, students (at least those I talked to) felt tremendously guilty. Perhaps as a way to expurgate this guilt, they posted absolutely gushing over-the-top rave reviews on CULPA that condemned those students who had written the initial scathing reviews, even though nearly everyone, EVERYONE I talked to early in the semester was dissatisfied with the class. Students in this class experienced myriad emotions this semester, seesawing back and forth from apathy to anger to guilt to...eventual satisfaction, kind of. I think everyone who participated in this class learned some important things. I learned never to use CULPA in the heat of the moment to slam a professor who bores you. Massive bad karma all around...it's immature. I personally feel stupid now for writing the review I did. But you know what? I think all the bad reviews led to a good end. Professor Stacey improved -- dramatically -- and I don't think he'll ever be boring again. Kudos to Professor Stacey for being a faster and more levelheaded learner than we students.

Dec 2003

I completely agree with the other review here—Jessica was the only thing that made Intro to IR bearable. Discussion sections included her spending a few minutes succinctly clarifying whatever the professor had confused in class, and then leading discussion in a way that both helped confused students get a good grasp on the issues and those with outside knowledge or strong opinions contribute in a productive way. She is great at synthesizing what people are saying and helping them sort out their own arguments, even on issues that aren’t her specialty. On top of this, she’s incredibly nice and genuinely eager to help her students—by far the best TA I’ve had. Next time the Political Science Department needs to ask a PhD candidate to teach, it should be her!

Dec 2003

Ok, I'm not quite sure what wacky CULPA drama has been going on, but all these Stacey reviews are ridiculous. I doubt there are even this many people qualified enough to review him since almost no one even came to lectures. However, as someone who did, I can tell you that (Professor) Stacey is a mediocre teacher-- inexpereinced and arrogant, but with very interesting material and readings to back him up. Anyone who thinks this is the best class at Columbia has been taking the wrong classes, although there isn't a huge range of grades (B to A- mostly) and Stacey does work to tie in current events (although sometimes odd, vague ones). So, if you have an interest (and some prior knowledge) in international politics, plus a fascination with theories, go ahead and take Stacey's class. You won't be on the edge of your seat during lectures (actually, you probably won't show cause everything is takehome), but it takes care of the poli sci intro requirement. Overall, good subject matter with a poor professor -- take your chances. Oh and my TA kicked ass, which make all the difference since they grade everything and re-explain his lectures for those who don't show up (or those who did and were still lost).

Dec 2003

Often, it is only at the end of the semester that one is able to accurately appraise a professor. I understand the negative reviews that have been posted over the course of this semester. They have attacked Stacey's teaching style, personality, and intellect, and for much of the semester I would have agreed with them. I didn't like him and I didn't like his style. Still, I find now that I have learned a great deal more than I have in many classes I've enjoyed more, and for that I am grateful. The measure of the course should not be how lenient the grading was or how entertaining the lectures were but rather how much the student is able to take away at the end of the semester. I thank Professor Stacey for doing his best to bring a large body of material across to his students, and I commend him for being an extremely effective teacher. The class wasn't fun, but that's not what it's for. As a side note - some of the reviews have attacked Stacey for an inadequate understanding of international politics and for holding to a particular point of view in the face of the student criticism. To these reviewers: 1. You are an undergraduate. Read Stacey's CV - he knows what he's talking about. 2. Anyone who has ever taught can appreciate the difficulties of dealing with pretentious students more interested in proving their own intelligence than in learning something. In an introductory course with dozens of students it is wholly appropriate to keep discussion to a minimum so the material can be covered. That's why he have discussion sections.

Dec 2003

OK, a couple points. First, to stacey's credit the material is not the most interesting. I love politics and i find myself dosing during his class. And the simulations were an attempt to break from the usual lecture. Also, in class stacey tried. He lectured, tried to be engaging, and invited us to hear speakers w/ him. He's trying. On the other hand. He was the most inaccessible human being alive. You could not get an appointment w/ him. He also would not grade any papers himself. left them all to ta's so it took forever to get back. Lastly, he is a boring dude. I have no real beef with stacey. Not my favorite person, but i dont hate him like poeple. I just dont recommend the class and if you're going to take it....dont take it w/ him.

Dec 2003

As with every class, I'm sure there are some students who like and some who dislike Prof. Stacey's teaching style. I'm in the second camp, and judging by students' class attendance and verbal comments, so are most people. Prof. Stacey political views clearly come through in his teaching, as each lecture is an effort to bolster one idea. For example, his point about the relationship between Islam and the West; he claimed that the antagonism is a purely recent phenomenon. When one student raised a point about the Crusades, it was glossed over with the reply that, essentially, "Those events happened too long ago to be useful". He then proceeded to state that, in places and times where christians and muslims have lived together, there was not really antagonism, before the 20th century. He then claimed that, essentially, those people who point to 19th century Turkey, Greece, Egypt, and any number of Balkan countries, are not thinking like social scientists. This type of class discussion is not peculiar to that one class; its just one example of a ubiquitous phenomenon. Dont let the name of the class fool you; although its called "Into to International Politics", it is in fact "Into to American Foreign Policy". There is zero discussion of politics between and within states where America has never fought, like conflicts in 1994 Rwanda, East Timor, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the DRC, and any number of other states. He claimed that examining US policy was the best way to "get out of the theory and get our feet on the ground". It seems to me that the best way to isolate the social variables of wealth, cultural attitudes, and traditional allegiances is to examine many different countries and scenarios. Apparently not. In short, if you're looking for a thorough, analytical approach to international politics, and if you're looking for an INTERNATIONAL approach to international politics, dont take this class. If you'd like to stick with the safe arguments, look at the situations from one side, and watch other students get ignored for making valid points, register for V1601.

Dec 2003

Some of the claims made of his teaching excellence are factually and demonstrably untrue. He demonstrated no eagerness to meet with students or facilitate their needs. Certain individuals wrote him at the beginning of the semester and received replies in November, two or three months later, with replies amount to little other than "come to office hours," which didn't exist other than "by appointment," rather impossible given the timespan on email replies, and logistically difficult due to an "office" perpetually under "rehabilitation." The compensation for this was supposedly the TA sections, although my TA, at least, fell well short of being able to accurately or adequately explain the majority of the material. He consistently stumbled over himself attempting to justify positions or clarify concepts, often conceding to students the work of conveying the material in a more lucid manner. The sections were furthermore poorly scheduled, resulting in some containing over 30 people (hardly an intimate discussion group) and others merely containing two or three. But since by the end of the semester the class body was so consumed by cynicism and apathy due to the abysmal management of this catastrophe of a class, hardly anyone managed to appear for the last few sections. The lectures were also sparsely attended. Stacey's proponents claim his detractors must have been the delinquents who failed to appear for the majority of classes, but I struggled to endure each and every TA section and lecture the class offered. The lectures were essentially characterised by Stacey muttering as he scrawled in illegibly tiny letters a facsimile of a lecture outline he'd pre-written and occasionally making some tangential embellishment on them. One classic such outline contained the headline "what has changed since 9/11?" with subpoints "some things" and "not much." At some points I wondered whether or not the kindergarten class I volunteer-taught last spring was capable of more complex and brilliant analysis than Professor Stacey. His explanations of various game-theory models were so cryptic and circular that endless hours of explanation by him and some TAs only ensured most students would be driven made by the ineptitude and futility of his teaching methods. Combined with Stacey's incessant and invariable monotone, his dry explanations, and exhaustion level among class members, the lectures attained the excitement levels of late-night CSPAN. About the only time the pace of the class picked up and the pitch of Stacey's voice eclipsed a dull murmur was when he would launch into one of his self-righteous sermons regarding the unquestionable greatness of globalisation. It also allowed him the opportunity to boast about his experiences as a low-level bureaucrat in various governmental institutions. Professor Stacey is obviously having difficulty adjusting to teaching. Still, the gross mockery of academic excellence which was Introduction to International Politics perhaps reveals it is not exactly his vocation. In fact, it was a digraceful, disheartening, and disillusioning experience for anyone involved.

Dec 2003

Jessica was a great TA -- always available, great at explaining things, and a really nice person to chat with. She definitely knew her stuff (she was able to field questions from some pretty educated students), and was a pretty soft grader with good explanations for her grades. If becoming a professor is what she aims for, she'll make a great one.

Dec 2003

Professor Stacey is a sad story -- he tries hard and wants the class to be interesting, but can't seem to pull it off. In a 150 person lecture, probably about 50 kids continually showed up, probably because everything was take home and the TAs had to spend most of discussion section clarifying what he said. He knows his stuff, but just isn't able to convey it to a bunch of kids who've thought he was incompetent since day one. He's also not very good at answering questions, which runs down his credibiltiy to the students that actually show to lecture. The readings required, however, are some of the most interesting papers you can find about the issues. Definitely recommened to read, even if you don't show to the lectures.

Nov 2003

I came to Columbia torn as to whether I wanted to major in Poli Sci / Int'l Relations or English. After taking this course, I've made my decision: English it is. If the field of international relations as a whole is one tenth as torturous as this course, there is no way that I will ever come near it again. Perhaps you think I'm being too harsh, so I'll say these things in the course's favor: I. Professor Stacey is clearly an intelligent man. It was always apparent, albeit vaguely so, that he knew what he was talking about. II. The TA's are competent teachers and clement graders. Average grades for the class seemed to be in the B+/A- range. I, for one, had a TA who was very good at explaining things during our discussion section, though his disdain for the professor's lecturing ability was ill-hidden at times. What, then, made this course such a hideous experience for me? Professor Stacey, while an intelligent man, has not yet discovered a way to inject any dynamism whatsoever into his lectures. During the course, he dealt with international relations on a purely theoretical level, allowing discussion for perhaps five minutes out of every month and writing dull, derivative, and obvious points on the chalkboard. He talked extremely slowly and monotonously, evoking a young version of Ben Stein's character in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." If he had any passion at all for what he taught, it didn't show, and his apparent apathy rubbed off on most of his students. How he managed to distill what I thought was such an exciting subject into a bulleted list of jargon is beyond me. All I know is that by Thanksgiving, most students were only paying attention in class in order to tally how many times our teacher said "vis-a-vis" in one lecture. In order to make his course interesting, Professor Stacey (who seemed, by the way, very young; I wouldn't be surprised if Fall 2003 was his first semester teaching) MUST find a way to engage his students more actively. I would suggest that he include more case studies in his teaching, say the phrases "Prisoner's Dilemma" and "game theory" far less, write more clearly on the chalkboard, and vary the pitch of his voice occasionally. In the mean time: if you're reading this and considering taking this course, do not do so unless you want all of your academic joy killed. Try to get into Jervis's section.

Nov 2003

International Relations: The drama and suspense of war and peace, the exchanges of ideas and of bullets, no class would appear more relevant and interesting as we enter the twenty-first century. Sound interesting! Well, NOT if you take this course from Professor Stacey. A class that discusses the inevitabilty and inneccessity of war could never be more boring. He does a great job of turning potentially one of the most interesting subjects into high-brow theoretical dribble that only seems to reinforce everyone's belief that he has no idea what he is talking about. Oh, but the TAs are good. In fact, in my opinion they should be doing his job.

Nov 2003

He makes his TAs check out library books for him. He gives the most canned lectrues ever. He thinks he knows everything. He does not have his PHD yet. The poli sci dept. must be trying to cut costs, becasue Stacey is about as bad as they come. No need to go to class, both the midterm nad final are takehomes.

Nov 2003

The first day of class Stacey seemed like someone who could make an intro class interesting or at least bearable. This turned out to be horribly wrong. His lectures involved writing notes on a board in chalk too small for the class to read and reciting them. They seemed to be drawn straight from the textbook without any independent analysis or independent organization. Many tmes particularly in his explanation for game theory, he would confuse the class completely and need to spend a great deal of time explaining simple concepts. He proved notoriously difficult to reach. He did not have office hours for at least the first half of the course. One student emailed him in the first several weeks about the absence of a required reading from CLIO and received a reply month later inviting him to come to office hours. While some of the problem with the course may have to do with the fact that it was the first one that the professor taught out of grad school, I would not reccomend taking him in the future.

Oct 2003

I came to this class not expecting much due to the instructor's inexperience (he hadn't received his doctorate yet at the time) and the fact that it was an intro class, and Stacey dramatically failed those expectations. HIs lecture style consisted of speaking with his back turned to the students as he wrote an outline on the board (always in chalk too small to be legible). The lectures were almost entirely a reiteration of what was on the board which was in turn a poor reiteration of what was in the textbook in which he still managed to confuse the audience. He graded none of the papers; he seemed to have drawn up the lectures on the commute to class. This course was a melange of inexperience, laziness, and incompetence. Do not take a class with him.

Sep 2003

Attention female undergrads: Joe wins as the best looking TA in political science! (seriously, I mean really good looking not just better than your usual geeky grad student. this guy works out!) Ignore the jokes and check out the biceps.

Sep 2003

Anastasia is a great TA. She actually prepares for each section (most don't) and puts an outline on the board which helps explain the material. Her reviews before exams help alot so be sure to go. Discussions can be fun. Anastasia brings in current news articles and ask you to tie it into a class theme. But speak up if you have something to say she rarely calls on you if you're quiet.

Sep 2003

This is the first TA I've seen that wears Gucci shoes and Burberry. Anastasia's sections were entertaining. She has a sense of humor and gives lots of real life examples. The discussion section was almost a class in itself since she spent a lot of time explaining concepts on the board and in emails.

Jun 2003

I can't quite put my finger on why Jervis' lectures are sometimes painfully boring. When I made the extra effort to stay with him instead of nodding off, I always found him to be insightful, extremely well-informed and even funny. I learned a lot from the lectures that I forced myself to stay awake for, but it seemed to be a constant battle. The good (or bad) thing is that it is not necessary to got to class since we were quized on the readings rather than lectures.

Jun 2003

Jervis is a very difficult professor to review... He has written a lot of important work and is very knowledgable, but this has created a rather sizeable ego that occasionally becomes irritating. By far the best part of class is the first 30 minutes in which he analyzes current world events and takes student questions... He constantly provided subtle and enlightening theories about what was happening; some people accuse him of bias against the Bush administration, but I felt that he was good about presenting different sides of each issue(although he does let us know what he thinks so that we can take his bias into account). In comparison the actual course material, while still interesting, seems abstract and obscure. This is not necessary, but Jervis's shaggy-dog style of lecturing can make even the most simple ideas seem complex as he embarks on ramble after ramble. Nonetheless this course completely changed the way i think and debate about international politics and I recommend it to anybody who is willing to invest a little time into understanding world politics beyond simply reading the news.

May 2003

I know a lot of people complained about his lectures, but I really enjoyed them even though you could technically miss every single one and still do fine in the class since we were tested on the readings rather than the lectures. Jervis usually spent the first thirty minutes talking about current events, complete with his personal takes on different issues. The rest of the lecture had to do with whatever section we were on at the time. Sometimes the lectures seemed really disorganized, but if you do the reading when you are supposed to do it, it all fits together. Given that Jervis is a giant in the world of political science, it seemed like a waste of a good resource to skip out on his classes, except maybe if it is a particularly nice spring day. Not only that but Jervis is funny. He has a very dry wit that colors his lectures. Sure he name drops a lot, but given the list of colleagues he has, who wouldn't? And even if it is contrived, he often humbles himself by admitting his mistakes. Overall, I think he is a good bet for IR.

May 2003

Genius, perhaps...but I'm still not convinced. Jervis' lectures cover only the tip of the ice berg that is the thousands of pages of readings that he assigns, offering you the John Madden version of IR (master of the obvious style). Jervis is considered by some to be a giant in is field, but I am fairly sure that he was just the first one to write on topics that everyone else takes as common sense. He devotes the first 30+ minutes of each class to a critique of the Bush administration, and not once stop to offer a retraction when Bush actually succeeded where Jervis said he would fail. Jervis constantly references his "sources in Washington," but I am fairly convinced that he is refering to the Times and the Post, as every little gem of insoide info he offered up was generally in the early edition. Most folks know to avoid this prof, there are certainly better instructors for this course. Take someone else, save Jervis in case you want to specialize in Perception or Game Theory.

May 2003

Unfortunate to say, Jervis is wasted on teaching this class. He obviously is a brilliant guy, top of his field and all the rest (he has the class read his own book!), but many people have trouble getting beyond his sometimes difficult method of conveying information to figure out what he is trying to say. Regardless, if you make the effort to attend the classes and do the readings, it is possible to learn a hell of a lot from this guy. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to produce that kind of motivation for an introductory class.

Apr 2003

She is an excellent teacher. She has her political personal biases, but in class, she reviews all sides and is objective. She knows her material and class is always interesting. The readings are interesting, but much of the materials on the midterm and final can be picked up just by going to lecture instead. She is approachable in her office and she is enthusiastic about her work.

Mar 2003

Professor Marten-Zisk is amazing. She is hard, but you learn so much in her class. I became a pol sci major because of her. She is very organized, knowledge, and clear. You come out of the class having a better grasp of the world. The readings and lectures were very interesting, although I wished that we didn't focus so much on 9-11. Also do be warned that it is going to be lots of readings and note taking. Her lecture covers a lot, so expect to have intensive hand exercises for every class. I do recommend taking this class or any class with Professor Marten. She is very inspirational and definitely one of the best professors I have encountered at Columbia

Jan 2003

Professor Zisk-Marten is a wonderful lecturer who makes class exciting. She outlines every lecture at the beginning of class on the board and sticks to it, making notetaking very easy. The course material she chooses is interesting and pertinent and she seems to be very nice as well.

Jan 2003

Joe is the best TA around! He is witty and intelligent and knows exactly how to present the facts in a CONCISE and understandable way. Joe is educated enough so that he is able to give his own opinions and not necessarily be a pet to the teacher. I loved his section, he was especially helpful with essay writing.

Jan 2003

Joe tries to be funny at the discussion sections, sometimes he is and sometimes he is a typical poli sci grad student dork. He starts every section with trivia and gives out candy prizes which is thoughtful. He seems to really enjoy teaching and political science but he grades ruthlessly. However your grades are based on improvement and most students do. He loves to use sexual metaphores and bar/dating senarios in a lame attempt to relate to students. But he does speak perfect english which is important since many TAs are incomprehensible with their heavy accents. Also he makes himself available outside of class to discuss any questions or how to improve your papers.

Jan 2003

Prof. (Zisk) Marten was a truly wonderful lecturer for this huge intro class. She provided very clear outlines on the board which she followed closely - making note-taking very easy. Her lectures were always well organized, clear, and thought provoking. By referring to her own research fields, Prof. Marten added much to her lectures. She was also very willing to go over subjects with students during her office hours.

Jan 2003

Marten-Zisk (is a good lecturer, but not a great professor. Unfortunately the exams are based primarily on the readings, which are long and often boring. Her reasoning for giving as much reading as she does is that a lot of polisci majors go to law school, so unless you fall into that category, you might want to look elsewhere for an intro to international class. Her test were two take-home essays and an in-class final. You had to sign an honor code for the take-homes, promising you would not discuss the material with anyone else, which seemed counter-productive to me, as she asked about current affairs. Good news is it turns out the reading is not as necessary for your grade as she claims.

Jan 2003

One of the reviewers who practically wrote an essay was absolutely correct in his/her analysis of the class. It pained me to go to class only to sleep during lectures. Gartzke is incredibly boring and has this lulling voice that would put me to sleep right away. The only reason i attended most lectures was the thought of the tuition i was paying to get an ivy education. Despite these factors, my TA was pretty decent, was interested in the material, and genuinely seemed to enjoy IR. Again though, i was LUCKY.

Dec 2002

Professor Gartzke really does know his international politics. When I stopped by his office, there were stacks of books on international relations and such. However, like many Columbia professors, he can't teach. During the course of the semester, I only went to five classes. It was a wonder why I even went those five times since I slept like a baby when there. This is a ridiculous easy class but make sure you use all your resources. Just talk to your TA before every paper you write, and they basically outline an A paper for you. The theory was interesting but an all-around worthless class.

Dec 2002

This is the most boring class. Gartzke is a nice guy, but really, the power points have got to go. Further, he didnt even create the slides himself, they are just copied off the textbook's webpage. You never have to go to class, in fact not a lot of people do, and you can still get a good grade. make sure you have a good TA cause that will be your saving grace.

Dec 2002

This is an amazingly difficult class to review. It was the best class I took all semester, but it was also boring as hell. The theory and such is fascinating, and the reading list is great. If you are taking it just to get an easy A, you will be bored out of your mind. However, I don't think the problem is Prof Gartzke. The class is in 417 IAB, and it's done from Power points. I think that's the problem really. I will say that Gartzke doesn't give a shit about the students, and the TAs do everything. I loved mine, but I know some people who didn't (for example, he was willing one day to stay after section for about an hour talking about my paper). So, the class periods are boring, but the theory and the book, and the other reading is really cool.

Dec 2002

I hate to give this guys a bad review because he seems like a really nice guy. I e-mailed him once with a question and he replied quickly with a detailed response. However, he seems to make an effort to keep people away from class. He teaches directly, I mean DIRECTLY, from the text book. His "outlines" consist of cutting a few "the" and "a" 's from the text. He posts the outlines online so you have three options, go to class, read the outlines, or read the book. Do not do more than one because it is redundant. I strongly recommend that you do not take this class. Its a waste of time. If you are interested in the material just buy the readings and do them on your own.

Dec 2002

The second review is more accurate. He constantly goes off on tangents and manages to find time to show off how much sh-- he knows about chinese letters and culture. The class is pretty interesting considering it is about 3 hours from 6-9 PM. He definitely dictates his opinions in class and always manages to blame someone. "Brazil is responsible for bankrupting Argentina, Israel is responsible for violating international laws, and the English are always wrong!!!" (He is Irish)

Nov 2002

As a fresman, Professor Martin was very impressive to me. Although some upper -classmen complained that she was "nothing special", I really enjoyed her class. Her lectures are systematic enough so that they are easy to follow, but she is NOT a robot. She makes the information extremely lucid, easy to grasp and very interesting and applicable to today's political situations. She takes plenty of time to answer questions, and class time is well alotted. Martin is a fan of the socratic method of teaching and responds to many questions with further questions. Sometimes this is frustrating but it is often an effective way in urging class participation. All in all, a good class to take.

Nov 2002

For those of you who consider yourselves to be socially conscious and are desperately searching for a course that focuses on the international sector and what's going on in it both politically and socially - back off! this is not the course for you. Initially, the course seems promising - Gartzke provides you with a nice little selection of required texts and passes out a discount form for delivery of the NY Times, which you're told is strongly suggested complementary reading....alas, not even halfway, but 2-3 weeks into the class, one finds oneself asking "why?" At no point in time are current events pertinent. the basis of the class is ONE textbook that maps out, rather nicely i have to admit, the concepts helpful in analyzing various political events, such as alliances, war, etc....and spending the entire semester learning just these principles would be fine, IF it was a two-semester course, which it is not - there is no follow up class which leaves you wondering what in the hell you're supposed to do with the information you've acquired - damned if i knew....Although Gartzke provides slide shows that display the crux of the reading (which makes weekly reading a waste of time - so don't do it, unless of course you enjoy wasting your time) - it's what he does, or perhaps doesn't do, with them that poses a problem; you see, after creating these slide shows which are conveniently placed online, Gartzke proceeds to read them in lecture - i swear, if not invigorating, this class did bring me back to kindergarten and reading time - because that's basically what it is - which again leaves the question of "why?" to be answered? this time, it's in the context of "why am i here?" - he's made a few comments throughout the semester (not many at all) about attendance and i can't understand how the lack of attendance surprises him - well professor, most of us, at this stage, have already passed through the stage of being read a bed time story before we go to sleep, which kinda renders your class - um, futile shall we say? and the final addition i'd like to make to this tirade - a professor should choose his TAs wisely - as in, his TAs should be, i think, more informed than the students - they also should be able to communicate clearly and , this may be pushing it, but they should also be able to explain things without getting confused - as a bonus, they should also be equipped with the not-so-revolutionary skill of knowing how to use e-mails as a system of communication - i don't know about other sections, but my TA lacked ALL of these capabilities which definitely made the class a hell of a lot more stressful than it should've been, because this is NOT a class that should be stressing you out - this being said by a neurotic......all in all, if you want to take it easy and learn a few basic principles proceed to take this class, but if you're looking for an indepth study of current affairs and why they're happening, quit while your'e ahead - but just remember that if you do decide to take it, don't expect anything remotely spectacular from either Gartzke or his class

Nov 2002

Zisk is an AWESOME lecturer. Each class you learn so much and take so many notes it astounding. She makes a 250 person class feel like 30 buy taking quesitons and asking questions. You never find yourself looking at the clock in her class. That being said, this class is very tough. A ton of reading, accompanied by some tough grading make it not a grade inflator. However, if you are interested in international relations, she is the best.

Oct 2002

Gartzke was boring and somewhat self-important. The class objectives were ambiguous (which made it hard to properly prepare for exams). The grading was haphazard and impossible to gauge. It's not necessary to go to class because he puts all his notes on-line. In fact, I recommend not going to class. All in all, not very stimulating.

Jul 2002

Don't waste your time with this instructor if you are a political science major. He wastes so much time trying to show off his knowledge of the Chinese language. Not only that, but he expects you to learn some of the characters for his quizzes. He is a really tough grader also.

May 2002

Professor Jarvis is the single worst professor I've had in my academic career. Good luck trying to stay awake during his lectures; the man is unbelievably boring. If you don't believe me, just look around. You'll find more people asleep than awake. Additonally, it's no surprise that his lectures are completely disorganized.

May 2002

Okay, so ..be prepared for a a large amount of reading, most of which is not particularly exciting. In addition, do not attend class..it is really not worth it, unfortunately I waited until after Spring Break to make this decision. Lectures are nothing short of sheer boredom. The discussion sections are suffice enough to handle the 3 quizzes. So watch out, there are better professors who teach this course.

Apr 2002

Organized, dynamic, and extremely engaging. Cooley doesn't let the lecture format of the course stop students from participating actively in class; several times per session, he stops and asks if anyone has questions, then gives thoughtful and detailed answers. He digresses at points, but seldom rambles, and does a wonderful job of sticking to the syllabus and covering the necessary material in the time allotted. Those already taken with international relations will likely enjoy the course just for the readings, but Cooley's skill as a lecturer adds an extra element to a well-designed course.

Feb 2002

She's tough in terms of academic work - no bulls. But if she knows that you are trying really really hard, she will award you accordingly. Her lectures are organized, and quite up to date and interesting. She knows her materials very very well, and is a clear speaker and easy to understand. In person, she's very friendly - go chat to her during office hours - she's very likable and nice. She seems to have a really "hard-as-nails" persona in class, but she's actually really down to earth and friendly in person, and she'll love to help you in any way once you get to know her.

Feb 2002

Jervis is TERRIBLE. He's completely boring and prefers name-dropping to lecturing. When he does actually lecture, good luck with keeping your eyes open. Forget entirely about addressing the reading. The good thing is that lectures are completely superfluous. If you want to do OK, opt for the TA sessions instead.

Jan 2002

Pofessor zisk is amazing! don't miss this tough-as-nails woman whose cunning intelligence and sense of humor make her lectures totally worth attending. her courses are challenging but well worth it for those who are truly interested in cutting some teeth on foreign affairs.

Jan 2002

Erik Gartzke is well meaning and very informed. I agree that the lectures can be boring, but if you are interested in the subject matter (which to me was absolutely facinating), you will enjoy the course nonetheless. Powerpoint notes make review very easy. He has an excellent team of T.A.'s which made recitation classes very stimulating and an excellent supplement to the lectures.

Jan 2002

If you don't like to go to class, and just show up to the final with questions already in hand, then this class is for you. He's a cool guy, but the lectures were boring, sometimes even painful. He basically reads from the book the whole time, with all the notes posted on the net. Just make sure you undestand the theories and you'll be alright for the exams. Discussions sections were even more useless. Easy B, if you bother to prepare decent answers for the questions. Once again, do not go to class.

Jan 2002

absolutely awesome prof... Great lectures, interesting, etc..... Although it is a large class, there was discussion.... I would def. recommend this class!

Jan 2002

I walked into this class wanting to be a poli. sci major, now I am seriously having doubts. Believe me when I say Erik Gartzke is a nice man and occasionally even displays a quirky sense of humor. But by god, are his lectures BORING! Everything is presented via powerpoint presentations. You don't even have to take notes as they are posted on his website. For that matter you don't even have to go to class because he says exactly what the book does. People just brought the text to class and read. I would battle falling asleep or daydreaming every single class. And it was only the first class of the day. He gives you the midterm and finals questions in advance so you can prepare them, but you have no idea what it is he's looking for. It seems like most people in the class get a blanket B no matter what you do.

Jan 2002

Contrary to some other reviews, I found Professor Cooley's class an interesting, organized, well-delivered, thorough (if you did most of the readings) introduction to International Relations. While the class may seem a bit easy at times, Cooley himself is a dynamic, incredibly intelligent, yet fun lecturer who encourages questions and participation in a large lecture class and gives straight-forward answers. Taking his class this past semester was also very helpful for me to deal with Sept. 11, as we would have a quick update almost each class; he changed the final class to one on Islam, which I found fascinating. I would definitely recommend taking any class professor Cooley is teaching.

Dec 2001

Um, um, um, Um--be prepared to listen to this sequence of speech for 3/4 of the class, but don't get me wrong this man is SMART. He's published, gone on TV, and he's from Hopkins IR department etc. BUT there's a catch, HE'S BORING!!!! If you can stay awake in one of his lectures then you are either on acid or a strong strong dose of espresso. He's fair--his final is straightforward, his papers are manageable. However, Its not easy getting an A, but if you have a brain you can get no lower than a B-. The TA's are nice and this is an intro class so don't expect to be enlightened. Cooley will not make you want to be a Poli Sci major, but he won't make you not want to be a Poli Sci major either. Honestly, he's funny, cute, and a down to earth nice guy, but you wonder sometimes why only 40 ppl show up to a 180 lecture class all the time. Not bad, not great-- your choice.

Dec 2001

I thought he was a good professor, he'd make an outline on the board that usually would really help you understand the readings, and even though the class was huge, he was open to questions and discussion. In the first class, he comes off intimidating and scary, but hes really not, and the TAs are really helpful. Classes supplemented the readings, and as someone not really interested in poli sci, this wasn't exactly such a good class for a beginner, but I thought it was interesting. He doesn't try to trick you, and his rule for the two papers was just to defend your views logically using the sources, as long as you backed up your arguments, it didn't really matter what you said.

Dec 2001

In a five minute survery, Cooley said "huh" once every 4.3 seconds. Other than that, he is a good teacher and is really into international politics.

Nov 2001

I took Zisk's lecture and was so impressed with her clear and organized lecture style that I needed to take her seminar. Although she does not beleive in grade-inflation and her reading list can be daunting, this is a class that you will learn something in. Zisk will put up an outline at the beginning of class and work through it during her lecture. Makes note-taking significantly easier. Zisk takes no crap from anyone but is by far the best prof I've ever had on campus and everyone should take her class (PoliSci major or not)!

Sep 2001

While he isn't a bad lecturer, it would take a significant stretch of the imagination (or outright lies) to call Jervis interesting. He is occasionally funny, but spends most of the lecture without attempting to make the subject matter vaguely enticing. He presents the lecture materials clearly enough, but it's just a rehash of what you were supposed to read. Of course, this means if you DON'T do the reading, you can get away with going to class and paying (some) attention. There are definitely better lecturers out there, but at least he isn't among the worst.

Sep 2001

Jervis is one of my favorite professors. Although many seem not to like his lectures, I enjoy them immensely. He's absolutely brilliant and even a little funny. What i love most about him is his intellectual honesty -- something you don't find often in academia nowadays. He's a realist and a "yellow-dog" (his words) Democrat, but he'll acknowledge any fallacies in or exceptions to his arguments. He's very nice and approachable and, again remarkably, HUMBLE, especially considering he's one of the top people in his field.

May 2001

Fortna knows her stuff... if you're serious about IR, take this class... the reading is excessive, but, in my opinion, totally necessary. This class will give you a great foundation for your IR studies. Unfortunately, Fortna doesn't exactly spice up her lectures. There is no extra effort on her part to add a bit of excitement to the class.. it is cut and dry. This class still pales in comparison to punching the clown.

Apr 2001

Jervis has got to be one of the most boring lecturers I've ever been subjected to. In addition, a lot of the reading is dry and seems pretty pointless, his own precious book included. But you sure as hell don't need to do all the reading, and you definitely don't need to attend every lecture. Oh, and yeah, as you might expect, he doesn't go near your papers or your quizzes.... all the grading bitch work is done by the T.A.'s . But that's not necessarily a bad thing, seeing as that they aren't so harsh. And then of course you've got Columbia's unofficial grade inflation policy to pick up any slack you (or they) might have left behind.

Apr 2001

A really great professor. He's an adjunct professor that only teaches Intro IR in the summer and works full time for AIG. A very cool, very nice guy who is more than willing to meet with students. This intro class is typically so small it feels like a seminar. The reading is light and interesting. He's also really thorough when giving specific advice on papers. A really terrific prof.

Jan 2000

Bubbly, a bit flighty, but she knows the issues, projects her voice and is enthusiastic. Shop around for a good TA in her class, it'll make a big difference.

Jan 2000

Prof. Fortna provides a good basis for the foundations of interntional relations. Her lectures are easy to follow and interesting, although at times (during topics she does not like much) the lectures can be boring. She encourages class participation and is extremely approachable. She is easy going. The reading, like any poli sci class, is substantial, but much less then other int'l politics classes.

Jan 2000

Professor Zisk is the most inspirational teacher I have ever had. She manages to cover a tremendous amount of material and make it interesting. She is energetic and brings in her own anecdotes to the lectures. The readings can also be fascinating, though many are dry and tedious.

Jan 2000

Nice lady, certainly smart, grapevines about the lecture platform. Practically cries when speaking of Rwanda. First years seem to find the course and Zisk a life-changing experience... older students know better--better than average but not superlatively fantastic. Tells you quite simply how to do well in her class, and it works. Just don't do other things during lecture. She hates it and she'll notice.

Jan 2000

Fortna really is a good lecturer...sometimes a little boring, but she's warm, has a good sense of humor, and is very straight forward and clear, if a little fast sometimes. The reading is a little much and can get boring as hell, but the midterm at least could be taken straight out of the lecture notes. Harder to do with the papers, because you have to have something to cite.

Jan 2000

She's a fantastic lecturer - organized, understandable, good speed, good examples. However, it's extremely difficult to get an A from her unless you do almost all of the extensive and dense reading. By attending virtually every one of her classes, taking extensive notes and doing almost no reading (that's right!), I was able to get an A-. If you're a non-reader, be warned: I found out after the class was over that much of her final was based on info from the readings NOT touched on in class.

Jan 2000

Zisk knows her stuff. Her lecture method is the best I've ever seen at Columbia. She clearly outlines all her points on the blackboard and addresses each point in order. Her class is hard. The reading list is surreal (I thought it was a joke when it first was given to me). But the paper assignments aren't too hard (just make sure you get a decent T.A.).