POLS 285: Problems of International Relations

(2005 Fall Semester)



Prof. Edward Kwon                                                      Northern Illinois University

Office: Zulauf 402                                                        Department of Political Science

Phone: 753-7055                                                           Class: M & W  3:30-4:45 pm

E-mail: edteaching@yahoo.com                                   Class Room: DU 461                     

Office Hours: M & W 5:00-6:00 pm                                     

                       & by appointment 



This course is designed to help students’ understanding of the major concepts, significant issues and theories in International Relations, and to broaden their perspective for this subject. It will focus on theoretical frameworks used to analyze change and continuity in international relations with a historical focus. The course is divided into four parts. In the first part, we will explore the main theoretical paradigms of international relations (realism, liberalism, and constructivism) and their empirical applications in world politics. Second, we will consider the change and continuity of international relations with a historical context. The evolution of Cold War and post-Cold War international systems, the two world wars, globalization and regionalism, and North and South relations will be discussed. Third, we will critically analyze instruments and strategies of conflict and cooperation among various international (state and non-state) actors in the international system. This will include a detailed analysis of diplomacy and bargaining, alliance, foreign policy, terrorism, security and war, international regime, and international law. Finally, we will study major areas of international political economy such as international trade, multinational corporations, international money and finance, and development. By the end of the semester, it is expected that students who have successfully completed this course will have a better understanding of the current issues in the field of international relations and will have developed their own critical perspective and research tools for further study.





Most of this course consists of lectures by the instructor, student presentation, and class discussion. In each session, students will have various scholarly papers from major journals in International Relations, and articles from the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, or CNN about the current and historical issues of Global Politics and International Relations. Through the reading, student presentation, and brief discussion, the students will be encouraged to share their opinion and understanding, and help to formulate their own critical viewpoints in comparing other colleagues’ opinion about the various topics in Global Politics and International Relations. 



1) Attendance and Class Discussion (20%)

Class attendance and participation is very important for students to accomplish this course objective. Student should read the assigned readings before class meetings and prepare for class discussion. Contributions to the class discussion including prepared comments and energetic participation will be considered in your grade.


2) Mid-term Examination (35%)

One in-class examinations will be administered during the semester to test students’ understanding of key concepts and contents covered in assigned materials. The questions in these exams will be a combination of short answers, essay questions, and correct answer selection.


3) Written Assignment (35%)

The topic should be taken from one of the issues and on empirical case studies that we have studied and discussed in the class. The outline of students’ paper should be submitted before the midterm exam and approved by the instructor. This short essay should be over 10 pages, double-spaced, using five or more academic sources (books or articles).


4) Presentation (10%)

Every student will present his or her paper in the last week’s session. This presentation enables students to have an opportunity to argue their case and build on their academic skills in front of their colleagues. The presentation should include the main argument of students’ paper and attempt to convince other students using empirical materials.



Required Texts:


Phil Williams, Donald M. Goldstein, and Jay M. Shafritz, Classic Readings and Contemporary Debates in International Relations, 3rd ed. (Belmont, CA.: Thomson and Wadsworth, 2006).


Marc A. Genest, Conflict and Cooperation: Evolving Theories of International Relations, 2nd ed. (Belmont, CA.: Thomson and Wadsworth, 2006).


Optional Books  

Charles W. Kegley, Jr and Eugene R. Wittkopf, World Politics:  Trend and Transformation, 9th ed. (Belmont, CA: Thomson and Wadsworth, 2004).    


Thomas D. Lairson and David Skidmore, International Political Economy: The Struggle for Power and Wealth (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/ Thomson Learning, 2003).    







Students with Disabilities

“Under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructor. It is important that CAAR and instructor be informed of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.” 


Undergraduate Writing Award

“The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science major or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.” 



Class Schedule and Topic Outline


I. Theoretical Paradigms of International Relations


Week 1 (Aug 22 & 24): Course Introduction/ Framework of Analysis


- Aug 22: Course Introduction

- Aug 24: Analyzing Contemporary International Relations

- International Relations as a Field of Study

- Theories and Methods

- Three perspectives on IR (Conservative, Liberal, and Revolutionary)


Levels of Analysis as an Analytical Tool

- Individual, Role, Government, Society, Relations, and World System


Week 2 (Aug 29 & 31): IR Theories I: Realism and Liberalism


Classical Realism

*  Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, translated and with an introduction by Harvey C. Mansfield (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1998).

*  Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (Baltimore, Penguin Books,1968).

** Edward Hallett Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1919-1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations (New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1964).

** Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace, 5th ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1973).



** Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1979), Chap. 1-6.

** Kenneth N. Waltz, “Structural Realism After the Cold War,” International Security 25, no. 1 (Summer 2000): 5-41.

*  William C. Wohlforth, “Realism and the End of Cold War,” International Security 19, no. 3 (Winter 1994-95): 91-129.



** Robert O. Keohane, After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (New York: Princeton Univ. Press, 1984), Chap. 1-3, and 6.

** Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Power and Interdependence, 3rd ed. (New York: Longman, 2001), Chap. 1-3.

** Robert Powell, “Anarchy in International Relations Theory: The Neorealist-Neoliberal Debate,” (Review Essay) International Organization 48, no.2 (Spring 1994):313-344.


Week 3 (Sep 7): IR Theories II: Constructivism and others 



** John Gerard Ruggie, “What makes the World Hang Together? Neo-utilitarianism and the Social Constructivist Challenge,” International Organization 54, no. 4 (Autumn 1988): 855-858.

** Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999).

** Peter J. Katzenstein, ed., The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1996), Chap 2, 5, and 8.

** Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink, “International Norm Dynamics and Political Change,” International Organization 54, no. 4 (Autumn 1998): 887-917.



** Immanuel Wallerstein, “The Rise and Future Demise of the World Capitalist System,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 16 (1974): 387-415.

** Robert Cox, “Rramsci, Hegemony, and International relations: An Essay in Method,” in Gramsci, Historical Materialism, and International Relations, ed., Stephen Gill (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993), pp. 59-81. 

** A. Claire Cutler, “Locating ‘Authority’ in the Global Political Economy,” International Studies Quarterly 43, no.1 (March 1999): 59-81.


Rational Choice Approach

** James D. Fearon, “Bargaining, Enforcement, and International Cooperation,” International Organization 52, no.2 (Spring 1998): 269-305.

** Miles Kahler, “Rationality in International Relations,” International Organization 52, no. 4 (Autumn 1998): 919-941.

*Michael E. Brown, Sean M. Lynn-Jones, and Steven E. Miller, eds., Rational Choice and Security Studies: Stephen Walt and His Critics (Boston, Mass: MIT Press, 2000).




** Research Paper Proposal Due: Sep. 12.



II. Change and Continuity of International Relations 


Week 4 (Sep 12, 14): Historical Viewpoint of IR 


Historical Viewpoint of IR

- Great Power Rivalries and Relations

- The Quest for Great Power Hegemony

- World War I

- World War II

- The Cold War, 1945-1990

- The Post-Cold War, 1990- present


** Michael Howard, “The Great War,” The National Interest (Summer 2001).

** Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth, “Power, Globalization, and the End of Cold War: Reevaluating a Landmark Case for Ideas,” International Security (Winter 2000). 

** George Kennan (writing as “X”), “Source of Soviet Conduct,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 25, no. 4 (July 1947), reprinted in Spring 1987 issue: 858-868.

** Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., “The Origin of the Cold War,” Foreign Affairs 46, no.1 (October 1967).



Week 5 (Sep 19, 21) Power Politics, Actors, and the International System 


The State as International Actor

- Sovereignty and the Nature of the State

- The Security Dilemma


Element of Power

- Defining and Estimating Power

- Element of Power


The International System

- Anarchy and Sovereignty

- Hegemony and Power Distribution

- Balance of Power System

- Power and Polarity (Unipolar, Bipolar, Tripolar System)


** John H. Herz, “The Security Dilemma in the Atomic Age,” in International Politics in the Atomic Age, John H. Herz (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1959), pp.231-235.

** Robert Jervis, “Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma,” World Politics 30, no.2 (January 1978).

** Morton A. Kaplan, “Some Problem of International System Research,” International Political Communities: An Anthology (Garden City, NY.: Anchor, 1996).  

** Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics, (Reading MA.: Addison Wesley, 1979). pp. 102-128. (Anarchic Orders and Balances of Power)



Week 6 (Sep 26, 28): Non-state Actors in the International System

Non-State Actors

- International Organizations

- Non-governmental Organization

- Multinational Corporation

- Substate Actors


Role of International Organization and World Order

- International Norm and Morality

- Role of International Organization


** Robert O. Keohane, “International Institutions: Can Interdependence Work?,” Foreign Policy, Vol. 110 (Spring 1998): 82-96.

**  Nigel D. White, The United Nations System (Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner, 2002).

** Richard Mansbach, Yale H. Ferguson, and Donald E. Lampert, The Web of World Politics: Nonstate Actors in the Global System (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1976), pp. 32-45.


III. Instruments and Strategies of Conflict and Cooperation among Actors  


Week 7(Oct 3, 5): Diplomacy, Bargaining, and Foreign Policy


Diplomacy and Bargaining

- Bargaining and Leverage

- Negotiation

- Strategies


Foreign Policy

- Making Foreign Policy

- Decision Making Models

. The Rational / Organizational Process/ Bureaucratic Model 


** Hedley Bull, “The Functions of Diplomacy,” in The Anarchical Society: A Study of World Politics, Hedley Bull (London: The Macmillan Press, 1977): pp.162-183. 

** Robert D. Putnam, “Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games,” International Organization 42, no. 3 (Summer 1988): 427-60.

** Ole R. Holsti, “Model of International Relations and Foreign Policy,” in G. John Ikenberry, American Foreign Policy: Theoretical Essays, 3rd ed. (New York: Longman, 1999), 37-64.

** Graham T. Allison and Philip Zelikow, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, 2nd ed. (New York: Longman, 1999).


Week 8 (Oct 10, 12): International Conflict: War and Terrorism

The Causes of International Conflicts 

- Territorial Dispute

- Control of Governments

- Economic Conflict

- Ethnic Conflict

- Ideological Conflict


The Quest for Military Capabilities

-Trends in Military Spending

- Changes in Military Capabilities


Means of Leverage

- Types of War

- Terrorism

- Conflict Resolution


** Robert Jervis, “Arms Control, Stability, and Causes of War,” World Policy Journal (Winter 1998).

** Robert Jervis, “War and Misperception,” The Journal of Interdisciplinary History XVIII, no. 4 (Spring 1988): 675-700.

** Frank W. Wayman, J.David Singer, and Gary Goertz, “Capabilities, Allocations, and Success in Militarized Disputes and Wars, 1816-1976,” International Studies Quarterly 27 (1983): 497-515.


Week 9 (Oct 17): The September 11 Terrorist Attack and War against Terror


- Cause of Terrorism

- Extent of Terrorism

- Chemical and Biological Terrorism


The Background of the September 11 Terrorist Attack

- The U.S. and Islamic World

- The U.S. Pro-Israel Foreign Policy

- Islam Fundamentalism

- Usama Bin Laden and the Al Quaeda


War against Terror

- War in Afghanistan

- War in Iraq


** National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
(W.W. Norton & Company, 2004).

**Jonathan B. Tucker and Amy Sands, “An Unlikely Threat,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, Vol. 55, no. 4 (July-August 1999), www.bullatomsci.org/issues/1999/ja99

**Robin Wright and Doyle McManus, “Attacks Redefine Bush Foreign Policy,” Los Angeles Times (January 7, 2002) 



** Oct 19: Mid-term Exam



IV. International Political Economy  


Week 10 (Oct 24, 26): The Global North and South Conflict


The State of the South

- Basic Human Needs

- World Hunger

- Rural and urban Population


Theory of Accumulation and Imperialism  

- Economic Accumulation

- Capitalism and Socialism

- European Colonialism

- Imperialism, and Neo-imperialism


Theoretical Explanations of Underdevelopment

- Classical Economic Development Theory

- Dependency Theory and World Systems Theory


The Politics of Marginalization: The Global South in the International Hierarchy

- The Colonial Origins of the Global South’s Plight

- European Imperialism

- Colonialism, Self-Determination, and Decolonization


** Theotonio Dos Santos, “The Structure of Dependence,” American Economic Review, Vol. 60 (1970): 231-236.

** James A. Caporaso, “Dependency Theory: Continuities and Discontinuities in Development Studies,” International Organization 39 (Autumn 1980): 605-28.

** Andre Gunder Frank, “The Underdevelopment of Development,” Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives 10 (September 1991): 2-148.

** Bill Warren, “Imperialism and Capitalist Industrialization,” New Left review (September-October 1973).


Week 11 (Oct 31, Nov 2): International Trade System

Trade Strategies and Markets

- Autarky

- Protectionism

- Industries and Interest Groups

- Cooperation in Trade


Postwar Trade Regime (GATT)

- The Kennedy Round (1964-1967)

- The Tokyo Round (1973-1979)

- The Uruguay Round (1986-1993)

- The Millennium Round (2000-  )

- The WTO Doha Round


World Trade Organization


** Stephen D. Krasner, “State Power and the Structure of International Trade,” World Politics, Vol. 28 (April 1976): 317-343.  

** Jeffry A. Hart and Aseem Prakash, “Strategic Trade and Investment Policies: Implications for the Study of International Political Economy,” The World Economy 20 (1997): 457-76.

** Edward E. Mansfield and Marc L. Busch, “The Political Economy of Nontariff Barriers: A Cross-national Analysis,” International Organization 49, no. 4 (1995): 723-49.

** World Trade Organization, “Overview of the State-of-Play of WTO Disputes.”



Week 12 (Nov. 7, 9): International Monetary and Financial System


The International Monetary System

- The Dollar and American Hegemony

- The Bretton Woods System

- The Non-System of Flexible Rates


The U.S. Proponent Role in Financial Liberalization

- The U.S., the Treasury Department, and the IMF

- Neo-liberalism and the Washington Consensus

- The U.S. Role in Strengthen Financial Architecture


** Robert A. Blecker, Taming Global Finance: A Better Architecture for Growth and Equity (Washington D.C.: Economic Policy Institute, 1999), Chapter 1. (Alternative Views of Financial Liberalization)

** Kavaljit Singh, Taming Global Financial Flows: A Citizen’s Guide (New York: Zed Books, 2000), Chap. 3. (Capital Account Liberalization: Benefactor or Menace?)

** Jagdish Bhagwati, “The Capital Myth,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 77, no. 3 (May/June 1998). 

** David M. Andrews and Thomas D. Willett, “Financial Interdependence and the State: International Monetary Relations at Century’s End,” International Organization 51 (1997): 479-511.

** Peter Dombrowski, “Haute Finance and High Theory: Recent Scholarship on Global Financial Relations,” Mershon International Studies Review 42 (1998): 1-28.



Week 13 (Nov. 14, 16): Financial Crises in Latin America and Asian countries

- Debt Crisis in Latin America

- Asian Financial Crisis

- Financial Liberalization and Crisis


** Chung H. Lee, ed., Financial Liberalization and the Economic Crisis in Asia (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003).

** Shale Horowitz and Uk Heo, eds., The Political Economy of International Financial Crisis: Interest Groups, Ideologies, and Institutions (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001).

** Stephan Haggard, The Political Economy of the Asian Financial Crisis (Washington D.C.: Institute for International Economics, 2000).

** Jeffrey D. Sachs, Aaron Tornell, and Andrés Velasco, “The Collapse of the Mexican Peso: What Have We Learned?” Economic Policy 22 (1996): 13-64.



Week 14 (Nov. 28):   The Multinational Corporation

Multinational Corporations

- Direct Foreign Investment

- Host and Home Governments relations

- Business Environment

Debate over the MNC and the nation-state


** Robert Gilpin, Global Political Economy: Understanding the International Economic Order (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2001), 278-304.

*   Robert Gilpin, U.S. Power and the Multinational Corporation: The Political Economy of Foreign Direct Investment (New York: Basic Books, 1975), 138-197.

** David Fieldhouse, “A New Imperial System”? The Role of the Multinational Corporations Reconsidered,” in Frieden and Lake, 167-179.

** Richard E. Caves, “The Multinational Enterprise as an Economic Organization,” in Frieden and Lake, 145-155.


Week 15 (Nov. 30, Dec. 5): Student’s Presentation and Discussion



Thank You!