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COURSE NAME: "World Politics"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 9:55-11:15 AM
OFFICE HOURS: MW: 6 - 7 pm, by appointment

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.

This module is divided into four parts that will provide us with a rounded up introduction to the study of world politics. In the first part we will have a brief introduction into the “international” and explore some of the ways of looking at the assumptions underpinning our understanding of world politics. In the second part we will learn about the most important theories and approaches that have dominated the history of International Relations (both theory and practice), and we will also venture to study a few innovative and exciting current developments in the discipline. In part three we will survey key touchstones in the history of world politics, history being after all our working material as future informed citizens and experts of world politics. In the last part, we will be looking at some of the most important developments, themes and events in world politics, such as globalization, terrorism, the recurrence of revolutions, the United Nations, and the future of international relations (among others). 


After the completion of this course the students will: 
1) have a good overview of the history of international politics
2) possess the ability to engage critically with the theoretical discussions taking place in the discipline of International Relations
3) be able to apply such theories and approaches to the various problems, events and changes taking place in world politics
4) develop their basic skills necessary for undertaking scholarly research

5) enhance their capacity to write coherent and persuasive arguments / essays

6) improve their communication and learning abilities.



Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Globalization of World Politics (6th ed)Baylis, Smith, and OwensOxford University Press 9780199656172  
Perspectives on International Relations. Power, institutions, ideas (6th edition) Henry R. NauSage Publications9781544326887  
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues (11th edition) Art and Jervis (AJ) Pearson9780205851645  

Attendence and ParticipationAttendance and participation to discussions are mandatory for this class. The goal here is to learn how to ask good questions and provide thoughtful answers. You have 3 excused absences. Each extra absence will lower your final attendance grade by 10%. There will be the possibility of cancelling out your unexcused absences by writing an extra assignment. However, more than 10 unexcused absences may result in failure to pass the course. 10%
Mid-term exam (CLASS 10)The exam will be open book and comprise up to 4 short essay questions addressing central theories, concepts and issues discussed in our course. It will test your knowledge of the subject (25%), logical structure of the made argument (25%), depth of content and understanding (25%), and capacity to think critically (25%). Further indications in class. 30%
Article review (CLASS 15)The students are required to write an 'analytical review' of an academic article that will be chosen from a given selection of articles. The review will be tested for accuracy in the presentation of the material (40%), logical structure of the argument made (40%) and depth of content / critique / research (20%). Further instructions in class. The length of the review is 1000 words - the equivalent of exactly 3 pages of text (Times New Roman, size 12, space 2). Further instructions in class. 15%
event analysis paper (CLASS 21)The students have to write an 'event analysis' paper by using international relations theory. The work will be marked according to the following criteria: the documentation and presentation of material (35%), the logical structure of the argument (35%) and depth of content and research (30%). The length of the paper is 1000 words - the equivalent of exactly 3 pages of text (Times New Roman, size 12, space 2). Further instructions in class.15%
Final exam: research essayIn the final exam you will have to write one research essay. In this essay, you need to demonstrate knowledge and ability to apply the material covered throughout the course as well as some additional research. You will have three weeks time to prepare the essay question and you will write the answer in class, under exam conditions. Excellent answers will formulate a convincing argument; will discuss theoretical positions relevant to that argument; will back the argument with empirical evidence; will refer correctly to authors and will draw on relevant/significant sources. The argument will be well- organized and written as clearly as possible. Your answers will be marked according to the following criteria: documentation and presentation of material (35%), logical structure of the argument (35%) and depth and content of research (30%). Further instructions in class.30%

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 and participation to discussions are mandatory for this class. The goal here is to learn how to ask good questions and provide thoughtful answers. You have 3 excused absences. Each extra absence will lower your final attendance grade by 10%. There will be the possibility of cancelling out your unexcused absences by writing an extra assignment. However, more than 13 absences may result in failure to pass the course.
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.




Class 1: Introduction to World Politics

Baylis (6th edition), Chapter 2, pp.35-49

Class 2: Perspectives and Levels of Analysis 

Nau (6th edition) - Introduction, pp. 38-81; Chapter 1, pp.151-158




Class 3: Realism I: power and politics

Nau (6th edition), Chapter 1, pp. 95-109 

Morgenthau, “Six Principles of Political Realism,” AJ


Class 4: Realism II: beyond classical realism

 Waltz, “The Anarchic Structure of World Politics,” AJ

Walt, “Alliances: Balancing and Bandwagoning,” AJ

Robert Jervis, “Offense, Defence, and the Security Dilemma,” AJ   


Class 5: Liberalism I: preferences & cooperation & interdependence

Nau (6th edition), Chapter 1: pp. 110-126

Keohane, “International Institutions: Can Interdependence Work?” AJ       


Class 6: Liberalism II: democratic peace theory

Doyle, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs,” AJ

John M. Owen, How Liberalism Produces Democratic Peace , International Security, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 87-125


Class 7: The realist-liberal debate

 John J. Mearsheimer, “The False Promise of International Institutions,” International Security 19, no. 3 (1994/5), pp. 14-26, 47-49

Robert. O. Keohane and Lisa Martin, “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory,” International Security 20 no.1 (1995)

Sebastian Rosato, “The Flawed Logic of Democratic Peace Theory,” American Political Science Review 97 no. 4 (2003)

Class 8: Constructivism

Nau (6th edition), Chapter 1: pp. 127-146

Baylis (6th edition), Chapter 10

Ian Hurd, Legitimacy in International Politics, AJ

Class 9:  Revision class 

Class 10:  MID-TERM EXAM


Class 11: Poststructuralism 

Baylis (6th edition), chapter 11, pp.169-183

Foucault, M. 1984. “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History”, in The Foucault Reader by Rabinow, P. London: Penguin: pp.76–100.

Class 12: Anthropological theory in international relations I: World politics as a

liminal space

 Thomassen, B. 2009. “The Uses and Meanings of Liminality”, International Political Anthropology, 2(1): 5-27.

 Mälksoo, M. 2012. “The Challenge of Liminality for International Relations Theory”, Review of International Studies, 38(2): 481-494.


Rumelili, B. 2012. “Liminal Identities and Processes of Domestication and Subversion in International Relations”, Review of International Studies, 38(2): 495-508.


Class 13: Anthropological theory in international relations II: world politics and mimesis

Harald Wydra (2008) “Towards a New Anthropological Paradigm: The Challenge of Mimetic Theory”, International Political Anthropology,1(1):161-174.

 Harald Wydra (2013) „Victims and new wars“, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 26:1, 161-180


Roberto Farneti (2013) Bipolarity redux: the mimetic context of the ‘new wars’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 26:1, 181-202 



Class 14: Ancient Greece, Westphalia and the Concert of Europe

Nau (2nd edition), Chapter 2

William Weir, “Battle 1 – Marathon, 490 BC”, excerpt from 50 Battles That Changed the World. The Conflicts That Most Influenced the Course of History (book by William Weir)  

Class 15: World War I and War World II 

Nau (6th edition), Chapter 2 and Chapter 3


Lawrence D. Freedman, “The War That Didn’t End All Wars. What Started in 1914 – and Why It Lasted So Long”, Foreign Affairs, November/December 2014 

Class 16: The Cold War   (ARTICLE REVIEW DUE)

Nau (6th edition), Chapter 4

John Lewis Gaddis, “The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System,” International Security 10, no. 4 (1986)


Class 17: From the end of the Cold War to the present day

Nau (6th edition), Chapter 5, 6, and 7



Class 18: Globalization I: history and the basics

Nau (6th edition), Chapter 8 and 9 


Held, D. and McGrew, A., Goldblatt, D. and Perraton, J. (1999), Global Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture, Polity Press, Cambridge.


Class 19: Globalization II: discussions

Na’im, “What Globalization is and is Not,” AJ

Hiscox, “The Domestic Sources of Foreign Economic Policies,” AJ

Frankel, “Globalization of the Economy,” AJ

Dani Rodrik, Trading in Illusions, AJ

Bruce R. Scott, The Great Divide in the Global Village, AJ


Class 20: Terrorism   

Bruce Hoffman, “What is Terrorism?” AJ

Rapoport D (2002) The four waves of Rebel Terror and September 11. Anthropoetics 8(1). Available at: http://www.anthropoetics.ucla.edu/ap0801/terror.htm

Simon J.D. (2011) Technological and Lone Operator Terrorism: Prospects for a fifth wave of global terrorism. In: Rosenfeld J (ed.) Terrorism, Identity and Legacy: The Four Waves Theory and Political Violence. New York: Routledge, pp. 44–65.


Randall David Law (2016) Terrorism: a History. Cambridge (UK): Polity Press (2nd edition) 

Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Notes from the Underground

James Wood: Warning Notes from Underground  

Jeffrey Meyers, „Joseph Conrad’s Relevance Today. `The Secret Agent` speaks to modern concerns about terror.” Wall Street Journal, July 19, 2016  https://patrick.net/?p=1293432&c=1306232

Class 21: Religion, politics and the sacred

 Kratochwil, F. 2013. “Politics, law, and the sacred: a conceptual analysis”, Journal of International Relations and Development, 16(1): 1-24.

Harald Wydra, Spells of the sacred in a global age, Journal of International Political Theory, 2015, Vol. 11(1) 95–110


Class 22: Revolutions   (EVENT ANALYSIS PAPER DUE)

Thomassen, Bjorn (2012) “Notes Towards an Anthropology of Political Revolutions”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 54(3): 679-706.

George Lawson, Halliday’s revenge: revolutions and International Relations, International Affairs 87:5 (2011) 1067–1085


Armbrust, W. 2013. “The Trickster in Egypt’s January 25th Revolution”, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 55(4): 834-864.


Class 23: United Nations, International Law, Human Rights

 Baylis (6th edition), chapters 18 and 20

 Howard and Donnelly, “Human Rights in World Politics,” AJ

 Hoffman, “The Uses and Limits of International Law,” AJ


Class 24: Humanitarian interventions

 Ben Barber “Feeding Refugees or War? The Dilemmas of Humanitarian Interventions,” Foreign Affairs 76 no. 4 (1997):

Kofi Annan, “Reflections on Intervention,” AJ

 Jon Western and Joshua Goldstien, “Humanitarian Intervention Comes of Age: Lessons from Somalia to Libya,” , Foreign Affairs, November/December 2011

Valentino, The True Costs of Humanitarian Intervention , Foreign Affairs, November/December 2011

Class 25: International Relations and the Future

Posen, “Emerging Multipolarity: Why Should we Care?” AJ

Michael Cox (2012) "Power Shifts, Economic Change, and the Decline of the West?" International Relations 26(4) 369–388

Subramanian, “The Inevitable Superpower: Why China’s Dominance is a Sure Thing,” AJ

Doug Stokes (2018), "Trump, American hegemony and the future of the liberal international order", International Affairs 94 (1) 133–150

Henry A. Kissinger, “The Future of US-Chinese Relations,” Foreign Affairs March/April (2012).


Cesare Merlini (2016), "The Impact Of Changing Societies on the Future of International Relations"

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Merlini-Impact-of- Changing-Societies-FINAL-001.pdf

Class 26: Concluding remarks