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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PL 470"
COURSE NAME: "International Affairs Senior Seminar"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Driessen
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 11:30 AM 12:45 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Senior Standing
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course exposes students to major examples of current, ground-breaking and policy-relevant political research in the field of international affairs and world politics. The course is designed to help students to synthesize the skills and substantive knowledge of their major and apply it to current issues of the practice of world politics or to significant research problems. Students will learn to organize and produce work that could be presented to governments, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, research institutes, media outlets or global firms. Students will be required to make oral presentations, employing methods of international affairs, and display familiarity with the use of qualitative and quantitative data. Students will also engage in a research project of their own, write policy briefs, and present their work.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
This capstone seminar (i) exposes students to major examples of current, ground-breaking and policy-relevant political research, methods, and models, with a special focus on the subfield of international affairs and world politics. Moreover, the seminar (ii) is designed to help students employ and present such research in a professional way, synthesizing and applying the skills and substantive knowledge of their major to current issues of world politics, international public policy-making, or significant research problems. The seminar explores cutting-edge research in various areas of international affairs. It also offers a forum for students to develop, present, and discuss professional and scholarly projects. The first part examines research, methods, and professional techniques; the second part focuses on examples and current issues of cutting-edge research and policy analyses in world politics. In the third section of the class students present their own research papers or policy papers (“white papers”) in class based on previously circulated manuscripts, in addition to explorations of methods and examples of global political research producing and using quantitative and qualitative data. 
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

 

Students will learn to organize and produce research that could be presented in academic contexts, and to governments, international organizations, research institutes, media outlets or global firms. Students will hereby be required to engage with cutting-edge research output; make professional oral presentations of their work; employ methods of international affairs; and display familiarity with the use of qualitative and quantitative data. Students will engage in a research project of their own, write policy briefs, and provide  research reflections. They exercise to present the work of scholars and students’ own work, which will be discussed in class in substantive aspects and in terms of presentation. Seminar participants will train and display their scholarly and professional skills.

 

TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
First Draft of Paper 15%
Paper Presentation 10%
Discussant Role 10%
Political Science Research Paper Analysis 10%
Final Paper 30%
Participation 10%
Basic Methodology Quiz 15%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
This course exposes students to major examples of current, ground-breaking and policy-relevant political research in the field of international affairs and world politics. The course is designed to help students to synthesize the skills and substantive knowledge of their major and apply it to current issues of the practice of world politics or to significant research problems. Students will learn to organize and produce work that could be presented to governments, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, research institutes, media outlets or global firms. Students will be required to make oral presentations, employing methods of international affairs, and display familiarity with the use of qualitative and quantitative data. Students will also engage in a research project of their own, write policy briefs, and present their work.


ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY!
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

SCHEDULE


January 16Introduction to the Seminar: Working in and on International Politics

Readings: None

PART I: CONCEPTS, METHODS, MODELS REVISITED

January 18: Issues, Methodologies, Theories, and Values in Global Political Research

Readings: Sandra Halperin & Oliver Heath, “Political Research,” pp.1-22 [Chapter 1] 

January 23: Philosophy of Knowledge in Political Science

Readings: Sandra Halperin & Oliver Heath, “Forms of Knowledge,” pp.25-35; 44-48; 53-69 [parts of Chapter 2 & 3]


January 25
Asking and Answering Research Questions: Formulating Puzzles & Hypotheses

Readings: Sandra Halperin & Oliver Heath, “Asking Questions,” and “Answering Questions,” pp.101-126 & 129-149; 153-154 [parts of Chapter 5 & 6]

January 30: Research Question Workshop

(bring a draft of your question to class)

February 1: Effective Research Designs

Readings: Sandra Halperin & Oliver Heath, “Research Design,” & “Comparative Research” [Chapters 7 & 9]

 February 6Doing Research

Readings: Sandra Halperin & Oliver Heath, “Ethnography and Participant Observation,” and “Textual Analysis,” all of chapter 12 and pp.s 309-319 and 328-331 of chapter 13

February 8Quantitative Analysis Principles

Readings: Sandra Halperin & Oliver Heath, “ Bivariate and Multivariate Anlaysis,” read all of chapter 15 and pp.s 391-402 of chapter 16

 

February 10 (make up day for Easter Monday): Writing Policy & Quiz Review

Readings: Bidisha Biswas & Agnieszka Paczynska (2015), “Teaching theory, writing policy: Integrating lessons from foggy bottom into the classroom,” PS: Political Science & Politics, 48 (1): 157-161. Link

February 13: METHODOLOGY QUIZ

PART II: EXAMINING AND DISCUSSING IR RESEARCH & GLOBAL PUBLIC POLICY

Exploring Writing Styles

February 15: Brookings (Research Tank) Writing Mode

Readings: Krisci and Ferris, “Not Likely to Go Home: Syrian Refugees and the Challenge to Turkey and the International Community,” (2016) Brookings Link & Giovanna di Maio, “A Tale of Two Countries: Italy, Germany and Russian Gas,” (2016) Brookings Link

February 20: Foreign Affairs (Debating Serious Foreign Policy) Writing Mode

Readings: Shannon O’Neil “The Real War in Mexico,” Foreign Affairs 88, 4 (2009): Link, John Ackerman, “Mexico is not a Functioning Democracy,” Foreign Policy (February, 2016): Link, & Mark Kleiman, “Surgical Strikes in the Drug Wars,” Foreign Affairs (2011): Link

February 22: Washington Post-Monkey Page (Divulging Research to the Public) Writing Mode

Readings: Tessler, Robbins and Jamal, “What do Ordinary Citizens in the Arab World Really Think about ISIS,” Monkey Cage (2016): Link & Valeriano, Maness and Jensen, “5 Things we can learn from the hacking scandal,” Monkey Cage (2017): Link

Academic Research Styles on the Backboards of Policy-Making

February 27: Trends/Problems of IR & Global Political Theory

Readings: Adam Liff and John Ikenberry, “Racing Toward Tragedy: China’s Rise, Military Competition in the Asia Pacific, and the Security Dilemma,” International Security, 39, 2 (2014): 52 – 91. Link

March 1: Rethinking and Reexamining International Security Studies: IR & Cyberspace  

Readings: Lucas Kello, “The Meaning of the Cyber Revolution: Perils to Theory and Statecraft,” International Security 38, 2 (2013): 7 – 40: Link

March 6: Global Governance & Environmental Policy: The Case of Climate Change

Readings: Emilian Kavalski, “From the Cold War to Global Warming: Observing Complexity in IR,” Political Studies Review 9, 1 (2011): 1-12. Link

March 8Global Governance & Environmental Policy: International Organizations & The Great Recession

Readings: Daniel W. Drezner, “The System Worked: Global Economic Governance during the Great Recession,” World Politics, 66, 1 (2014): Link  

DRAFT OF TERM RESEARCH/POLICY PAPER DUE; TO BE CIRCULATED AMONG PARTICIPANTS

& LAST DAY TO TURN IN SHORT REFLECTION PAPER

PART III: DOING AND PRESENTING IR RESEARCH AND POLICY OPTIONS

March 13: Student Presentations & Discussion 

 

March 15: Student Presentations & Discussion 

 

March 20:  Student Presentations & Discussion

 

March 22Student Presentations & Discussion

 

March 27: Student Presentations & Discussion

 

March 29: Student Presentations & Discussion

 

 SPRING BREAK APRIL 3-7

April 10: Student Presentations & Discussion

 

April 12Student Presentations & Discussion

 

April 19:  Student Presentations & Discussion

 

April 24: Student Presentations & Discussion

 

April 26: Student Presentations & Discussion

 

FINAL TERM RESEARCH/POLICY PAPER DUE on FINAL EXAM DATE