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requirement and that is about it-- International relations is messy and there are a lot of theories that are extremely outdated and no longer used.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%
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.
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)
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
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-
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-
July 25: Assessing Adversaries and Allies (with presentations)
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.
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)
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-
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-
Franklin Foer, “Soccer vs. McWorld,” Foreign Policy (October, 2009),
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.
August 6: Evolving International Dynamics (with presentations)
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).
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,”
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,”
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.