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COURSE NAME: "World Politics"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Eszter Salgo
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 3:00-4:15 PM

An introduction to the theory and practice of international affairs, this course discusses the main schools of world politics as well as actors, structures and institutions of international relations. Through this framework the course explores key conflicts and issues in the post-World War II era, including problems of war, armed conflict, and peace, and the impact of recent trends in globalization on world politics.

The first part of the course allows students to deepen their understanding of the evolution of the global system (by analyzing the historical roots of contemporary events and phenomena, the birth of the European state-system and its Chinese and Islamic alternatives, and the evolution of the Cold War) and to draw links between theoretical perspectives (realism, liberalism, Marxism, constructivism etc.) and substantive issues. The second section of the course focuses on actors and processes. Topics range from intergovernmental organizations (such as the United Nations, the European Union and the World Trade Organization) and non-state actors (NGOs, social movements and MNCs) to the analysis of change and continuity in the global governance system. Class discussions will take place on the “crisis of the nation-state” and on the nature of the “new world order”. The third part of the course seeks to encourage students to embrace aesthetic approaches as essential ways of understanding world politics. Globalization, radicalization, nationalism, social equality and legitimacy crisis constitute some of the issues that will be interpreted through the use of aesthetic sources, such as poetry, artefacts, photography, music and videos.

Students will illustrate some of the challenges facing the whole global community, such as human security, terrorism, global warming, world economic crisis and conflicts in the Middle East in their class presentations and explore them in depth in their term papers. 



At the end of the course, students will be able to understand the historical roots of global politics; link abstract theories to substantive issues; analyze the changing role of states in global politics; explore the growing role and evaluate critically the successes and the failures of international organizations and non-state actors; assess arguments in favor and against globalization; analyze the "human dimension" of global politics (the role of identity, ethnicity, nationality and human development); appreciate the importance of the aesthetic sources of politics; demonstrate research and analytical skills in using case studies (relying both on primary and secondary, verbal and visual sources) to better understand the need for global governance;  demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills within the context of global politics and use critical thinking, analytical skills and imagination to propose individual interpretations.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Globalization of World PoliticsBaylisOxford University Press978-0-19-965617-2  
International Organizations. The Politics and Processes of Global GovernanceKarnsLynne Rienner978-1-62637-151-4 pb  
Perspectives on international relations : power, institutions, ideasNauCQ Press0872899241  

Class attendanceClass attendance will be considered in combination with assessment of students’ active participation in general and specifically during the class debates. Students will not be penalized for two absences. If further absences are recorded, grade penalties will be applied. From one to four more absences will reduce the participation score by 5% for each absence. More than six total absences will result in the overall F.15%
Oral presentationThree or four students will form a group and conduct a collective research project, focusing on one of today's several global challenges and illustrating the difficulties that the world community faces in solving them. Each group will submit a research abstract (one paragraph which includes the title and a few sentences explaining the choice and the most important issues) with running bibliography by September 19. Their 15 minute long oral presentation will be graded on ability to provide a convincing analysis, a coherent of explanation of factual/historical material and logical content of argument, ability to critically analyze alternative points of view and to provide satisfying answers to questions raised in the discussion. 15%
Term paperEach group will present their research in a 2500 word term paper (using APA citation style) and submit it by November 21. The key to a successful research paper is students’ ability to: back theses with specific evidence; draw on and cite correctly a wide range of the good, reliable and up-to-date sources (both scholarly and newspaper/magazine article); move beyond descriptive summary raising and produce a well-organized, clearly written, critical and persuasive analysis.30%
Final examThe final exam consists of test questions, short answers and essay questions. It test students on concepts and topics covered throughout the semester. Students are graded on accuracy, depth of analysis, logical content, creative thinking, on their ability to formulate a sophisticated argument, provide evidence for their statements, discuss and show understanding of alternative explanations.40%

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 cou
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.

Class Attendance will be considered in combination with assessment of students’ active participation in general and specifically during the class debates. Students will not be penalized for two absences. If further absences are recorded, grade penalties will be applied. From one to four more absences will reduce the participation score by 5% for each absence. More than six total absences will result in the overall F.
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until ____________
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.
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.






Week 1

- Introduction

- The meaning of global politics and global governance


- Mansbach (2012) pp. xxi-9, Baylis (2016) Introduction

Week 2

- Realism

- Liberalism

-  Baylis (2016) Chapter 6

-  Baylis (2016) Chapter 7 and 8

Week 3

- Marxist theories

-  Social constructivism

-  Baylis (2016) Chapter 9

- Baylis (2016) Chapter 10

Week 4


- No class on Sept 19

- Post-colonialism(Sept 21)

- Poststructuralism (Sept 22 make-up class for Sept 19)


-  Baylis (2016) Chapter 12

-  Baylis (2016) Chapter 11

Week 5

-  Realist, liberal and identity perspectives on the causes of WWI 

-   Realist, liberal and identity perspectives on the causes of WWII

-  Nau (2017) Chapter 3

-  Nau (2017) Chapter 4


Week 6

- Realist, liberal and identity perspectives on the origins and the end of the Cold War

- Globalization

-  Nau (2017) Chapter 5

- Baylis (2016) Chapter 1

Week 7

-  Globalization

- Review

-   Baylis (2016) Chapter 1

Week 8

- Class presentations

- Class presentations


Week 9

-  Globalization: not a new phenomenon

The evolution of the European interstate system and alternative global political systems

-  (Oct 27 make-up class for Nov. 23)The crisis of sovereign states in the age of globalization?

-  MacGregor, N. (2012) A History of the World in 100 Objects, Part XVI 

-  Mansbach (2013) Chapter 2

-  Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, pp. VII-18; Held, D. (2011) From the American Century to a cosmopolitan order and Fonte, J. (2011) Sovereignty or Submission: Liberal Democracy or Global Governance? 

Week 10

-  Global actors: intergovernmental organizations

- Global actors: the United Nations

-  Baylis (2016) Chapter 21

-  M. P. Karns, K. A. Mingst (2015), International Organizations. The Politics and Processes of Global Governance, Chapter 4 

Week 11

-  Global actors: non-state actors

-  Global governance in 1995 and in 2017


-   M. P. Karns, K. A. Mingst (2015), International Organizations. The Politics and Processes of Global Governance, Chapter 6 

-  The Report of the Commission on Global Governance (1995) Our Global Neighborhood  and Y. Rashchupkina (2016) Global governance: present and future. Palgrave Communications.

Week 12

-  The EU’s search for legitimacy

-  Longing for social equality and national identity

- Salgó, E. (2017) Images from Paradise: The Visual Communication of the European Union’s Federalist Utopia, Introduction and Chapter 5

- Bleiker (2009) Aesthetics and World Politics, Chapter 7 and Chapter 9

Week 13

-  No class on Nov.23

- The role of Images in the Arab Spring


- Lina Khatib (2012)  Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle, Chapter 4 

Week 14

- The visual propaganda of ISIS

- Review

- Winter, C. (2015) The Virtual ‘Caliphate’: Understanding Islamic State’s Propaganda Strategy, In Quilliam, July 2015