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COURSE NAME: "International Affairs "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall Semester 2012

INSTRUCTOR: Driessen Michael
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 13:30-14:45
OFFICE HOURS: T: 2:30-5:30pm, Th: 6-7pm or by appointment

This course is an introduction to the study of Global Politics and International Affairs, also known as International Relations (IR). In its essence, the study of International Relations is concerned with the problem of international war and peace. Theories of Global Politics spin several distinct stories about how considerations of power drive states towards conflict with one another in the global arena and what, if anything, non-state actors, institutions, ideas and identities can do to mitigate such conflict and promote peace.

The course is divided into six major components designed to expose the student to the broad schools of thought framing international relations scholarship and learn how those theories can be applied to global political events and empirical issues in the field of International Relations. Accordingly, the course will consider 1) the assumptions underpinning theories of Global Politics; 2) The three major theories animating Global Politics scholarship today (realism, liberalism and constructivism); 3) International History part I (World Wars I & II and the Cold War); 4) International History part II (Civil Wars, Terrorism and Identity Politics); 5) Globalization and International Political Economy; 6) International Law, the Environment and other Perspectives on Peace.


My pedagogical hope is that students will finish this course able to distinguish and evaluate the three major schools of thought in International Relations scholarship. They will also achieve an informed political reading of international history and be able to name and then apply important conceptual and theoretical considerations to contemporary global events.


Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues, 11th editionRobert J. Art and Robert JervisPearson13: 9780205851645  
Perspectives on International Relations: Power, Institutions, Ideas, 3rd editionHenry R. NauCQ Press9781604267327  

Mid-Term Exam 25%
Final Exam 35%
Assignments (5)There will be 5 written assignments required of the students to be completed in units I, III, IV, V and VI. Instructions will be handed out in class. Each is worth 5% of the student's final grade.25%
ParticipationAttendance and presence of mind are mandatory for this class. The goal here is to advance towards the art of asking good questions. Quality, not quantity of participation is what counts, although some quantity is better than no quality. Students will be allowed 2 unexcused absences. Each unexcused absence thereafter will result in the lowering of the attendance grade by 1/3rd a letter grade. More than 12 unexcused absences will result in a failure to pass the course.15%


Assessment Guidelines for assigning main letter grades: A, B, C,D, and F.

A:  Work of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensiveknowledge 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.

B:  This 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.

C:  This is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.

D:  This 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.

F: This work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


A:      95-100

A-:     91-94.99

B+:    87-90.99

B:       83-86.99

B-:     79-82.99

C+:    75-78.99

C:      71-74.99

C-:     67-70.99

D+:    63-66.99

D:      59-62.99

D-:     55-58.99

F:       0-54.99

Attendance is compulsory! Students shall read assigned materials before coming to class and shall participate to class discussions. Please refer to the above notes and the university catalog for the attendance and absence policy.
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.


Course Calendar (Please note that this is not the final syllabus. A finalized schedule of readings, assignments and office hours will be distributed to students at the beginning of the Fall, 2012 semester).


3 September       

Class 1

Course Introduction

Part I: Fundamentals

5 September      

Class 2

Theory, Policy, Methods

Nau 1-19

10 September  

Class 3

Assumptions and the Security Dilemma

Nau 22-28

Robert J. Art, “The Four Functions of Force,” AJ

Part II: Theories

12 September

Class 4

Three Traditions

Stephen M. Walt, “International Relations: One World, Many Theories,” Foreign Policy no. 100 (1998). E-journal

John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, “An Unnecessary War,” Foreign Policy no. 134 (2003). E-journal

Joseph S. Nye, Jr. “The Future of American Power: Dominance and Decline in Perspective,” Foreign Policy no. 6 (2010). E-journal

17 September

Class 5

Realism I

Nau 29-36

Morgenthau, “Six Principles of Political Realism,” AJ

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

19 September

Class 6

Realism II

John J. Mearsheimer, “The False Promise of International Institutions,” International Security 19, no. 3 (1994/5), pp.s 1-14. E-journal

Walt, “Alliances: Balancing and Bandwagoning,” AJ

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

24 September

Class 7

Liberalism I

Nau 36-44

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

Oye, “The Conditions for Cooperation in World Politics,” AJ

26 September

Class 8

Liberalism II

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

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

1 October

Class 9

The Realist-Liberal Debate

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

Robert. O. Keohane, “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory,” International Security 20 no.1 (1995). E-journal

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

3 October

Class 10


Nau 45-56

Wendt, “Anarchy is What States Make of It,” AJ

8 October

Class 11


Part III: International History Part I

10 October

Class 12

Melos, Westphalia and World War I

Nau 71-74, 81-93, 103-135

Thucydides, “The Melian Dialogue,” AJ

15 October

Class 13

World War II

Nau 129-158

17 October

Class 14

The Cold War

Nau 160-197

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

Part IV: International History Part II

22 October

Class 15

Nukes and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Nau 199-216

Sokolsksi, “Getting Ready for a Nuclear-ready Iran” AJ

Posen, “A Nuclear-Armed Iran: A Difficult but not Impossible Policy Problem,” AJ

24 October

Class 16

Film : Dr. Strangelove

Dan Lindley, “What I learned Since I stopped Worrying and Studied the Movie: A Teaching Guide to Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove,” Political Science and Politics no. 34 (2001). E-journal


29 October

Class 17

Civil Wars and Humanitarian Interventions

Barry P. Posen, “The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict,” Survival 35, no. 1 (1993). E-journal

Alan Kuperman, “Rwanda in Retrospect,” Foreign Affairs, 79 no.1 (2000). E-journal

Kofi Annan, “Reflections on Intervention,” AJ

Barnett and Snyder, “The Grand Strategies of Humanitarianism,” AJ

31 October

Class 18


Hoffman, “What is Terrorism?” AJ

Pape, “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” AJ

5 November

Class 19

Identity Politics and Religion

Nau, 248-257

Zakaria, “The Politics of Rage: Why do they Hate Us?” Newsweek http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/12447013/417620819/name/whydotheyhateus.pdf

Olivier Roy, “The Paradoxes of the re-Islamization of Muslim Societies,” Immanent Frame (2011). http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2011/09/08/the-paradoxes-of-the-re-islamization-of-muslim-societies/

Downes, “To the Shores of Tripoli? Regime Change and its Consequences,” AJ


Part V: Globalization and International Political Economy

7 November

Class 20

International Trade

Nau 328-345

Gilpin, “The Nature of Political Economy,” AJ

12 November

Class 21

International Finance

Nau 353-360

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

The Economist, “The End of Monnet: The Debt Crisis is Exposing Problems in the Basic Design of the European Union,” http://www.economist.com/node/21528269

The Economist: Interactive Graph on the Euro-Crisis: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/05/european-economy-guide

14 November

Class 22


Nau 303-322

Frankel, “Globalization of the Economy,” AJ

Naim, “What Globalization Is and Is Not,” AJ

19 November

Class 23

The Globalization Debate

Rodrik, “Trading in Illusions?” AJ

Scott, “The Great Divide in the Global Village,” AJ

Micklethwait and Wooldridge, “Why the Globalization Backlash is Stupid,” AJ


Part VI: International Law, Human Rights and the Environment

21 November

Class 24

International Law and Human Rights

Keck and Sikkink, “Transnational Activist Networks,” AJ

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

26 November

Class 25

The Environment

Amartya Sen, “Food and Freedom,” http://library.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10947/556/craw3.pdf?sequence=1

Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” AJ

Victor, “International Cooperation on Climate Change: Numbers, Interests and Institutions,” AJ

28 November

Class 26

Global Governance and Justice

Ikenberry, “The Future of the Liberal World Order,” AJ

Sebastian Rosato, “Europe’s Troubles: Power Politics and the State of the European Project,” International Security 35 no. 4 (2011). E-journal[read pps. 42-48, 68-86]

David Held, “Reframing Global Governance: Apocalypse Soon or Reform!” New Political Economy 11 no. 2 (2006). E-journal

3 December

Class 27

The Future of International Relations

Samuel P. Huntington, “Clash of Civilizations,” Foreign Affairs Summer (1993). E-journal

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

Subramanian, “Why China’s Domiance is a Sure Thing,” AJ

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




5 December

Class 28

Conclusions and Review





Final Exam