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COURSE NAME: "World Politics"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

INSTRUCTOR: Eszter Salgo
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 11:30 AM 12:45 PM
OFFICE HOURS: 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.


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 for example 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 explore from different perspectives some of the challenges facing the whole global community, such as human security, poverty and development, global warming, and the effects of the world economic crisis.




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 NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
Globalization of World PoliticsBaylisOxford University Press9780192898142     

Class participationStudents are expected to read the assigned chapters/articles, show interest/curiosity in world politics and participate in class discussions with thoughtful comments. 15%
Oral presentationStudents are expected to conduct a research on a topic of their choice, give a (powerful, informative, clear and thought-provoking!) 10-minute-long presentation and submit their bibliography (in APA citation style).25%
Final examThe final exam consists of 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%
Midterm examThe midterm exam consists of test questions, with a focus on concepts and topics covered in the first half of the semester. 20%

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

 Tuesday: Introduction

Thursday: Using verbal and visual sources


Week 2

Tuesday: Global politics, globalization, global governance

Reading: Textbook, chapter 1 and 2

Thursday: Realism

Reading: Textbook, chapter 9

Friday (Make-up day for Thursday, November 23) Liberalism

Reading: Textbook, chapter 7


Week 3

Tuesday: Marxism

Reading: Textbook, chapter 8

Thursday: Constructivism

Reading: Textbook, chapter 13


Week 4

Tuesday: Postcolonialism and decolonialism

Reading: Textbook, chapter 11

Thursday: Poststructuralism

Reading: Textbook, chapter 12


Week 5

Tuesday: Visual culture studies

Reading: Bleiker, Visual Global Politics, Introduction

Thursday: No class (make-up class TBC)


Week 6

Tuesday: FAO visit

Thursday: International history of the twentieth century

Reading: Textbook, chapter 4


Week 7

Tuesday: the 1990s

Reading: Textbook, chapter 5

Thursday: Rising powers

Reading: Textbook, chapter 6


Week 8

Tuesday: review

Thursday: midterm


Week 9

Tuesday: IGOs

Reading: Textbook, chapter 20

Thursday: UN

Reading: Textbook, chapter 21


Week 10

Tuesday: Regionalism

Reading: Textbook, chapter 23

Thursday: EU

Reading: CRS (2023) The European Union: Questions and Answers


Week 11

Tuesday: OP

Thursday: OP


Week 12

Tuesday: Nonstate actors

Reading: Textbook, chapter 22

Thursday: Thanksgiving Holiday (make-up day Friday, Sept. 15)


Week 13

Tuesday: HRs

Reading: Textbook, chapter 32

Thursday: Development

Reading: Textbook, chapter 16


Week 14

Tuesday: Security

Reading: Textbook, chapter 15, 33

Thursday: Concluding reflections and review