POLITICAL SCIENCE 285: PROBLEMS OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

 

                                                                                                                                                Spring 2005

 

NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

 

T-TH 12:30~1:45 P.M.

 

INSTRUCTOR: ADRIANA CROCKER

 

 

Office: ZU 420                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Classroom:  DU 246

Phone: 753-7057                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Office Hours: T-TH 11.25 A.M.-

e-mail: ampcrocker@comcast.net                                                                                                                                                                                                                         12:25 P.M.                                                                       

 

 

 

 

COURSE DESPCRIPTION

 

 Welcome to the ever-changing world of international politics.  In the last decade of the 20th century, the world experienced unexpected political and economic changes.  The collapse of communism and a wave of democratization in an ever increasing globalized world, predisposed many political leaders to favor economic and political cooperation instead of the more prevalent conflict laden strategies of the Cold War era.  However, the turn of a new century, also brought increasing violence and resentment among peoples and as a result, a change in international relations: today, the world seems once again to be prioritizing national security and military might.  What should we expect in the near future?  A peaceful road to international cooperation, pervasive conflict, or a confusing and unpredictable future that falls somewhere in between the two other alternatives?

 

Ø      This course has three primary objectives.  First, as an introductory course, it will study and discuss a number of theories and approaches to help interpret international relations.  Because international relations remains a divided field, the course will emphasize a number of competing theories, approaches, and models that will help students understand the world from different perspectives. 

Ø      The second objective of the course is to help students develop their abilities to think and argue logically.  Accordingly, we will analyze a number of  Pew and KSG case studies.  We will employ a number of highly participatory methods including: class discussions, small group exercises, and simulations. To facilitate and coordinate these discussions, the instructor will provide students with a set of  questions.  It will then be the responsibility of the students to consolidate their ideas and present them to class in an open forum.    

Ø      In addition, we will discuss world events using the New York Times.  Each Wednesday, at the beginning of class, students will be asked to introduce news stories related to international relations.  Class members will be required to offer a brief summary of the newspaper article, and either offer an interpretation or draw a connection between the report and the theories or models presented in class.

 

Ø      The third objective of the class is to analyze some of the most serious topics now facing the world such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, ethnic nationalism, the environment, and international organizations.  Such topics will be introduced during the later part of the semester.  Under each of these units students will be asked to read at least a case dealing with the topic of study.

 

Overall, I hope students will leave the course with the ability to identify the theoretical perspectives and concepts that underlie various arguments made about international relations and to use these theoretical models critically when attempting to understand world events.

 

 

REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS

 

  The required textbook and the Pew case studies are available for purchase at the university bookstore. 

 

1.      Charles W. Kegley, Jr. and Eugene R. Wittkopf, World Politics: Trends and Transformation, 8th ed., New York: St. Martin’s press, 2001

 

2.      Case studies. Both KSG and Pew case studies  available for purchase at the college’s bookstore. The cases are also available for download at the following websites:  Pew cases at-  http://data.georgetown.edu-; KSG cases at  http://www.ksgcase.harvard.edu .  Most cases are also available for individual use at FML, reserve room.

 

3.      Daily edition of the New York Times.  Available free of cost at www.nytimes.com .  You must register and select a password to access the website.  There is also a reduced rate subscription for students who prefer to receive a daily copy of the newspaper. For a hard copy of the newspaper, contact 1-800-NYTIMES or 1-800-698-4637. A hard copy of the newspaper is also available at the library.

 

 

 

GRADED REQUIREMENTS

 

 

Ø      There are three required written assignments for this class.  The first is written examinations.  There will be a midterm and a final exam.  The midterm will be given on March  10. The final exam will be administered on May 12 .

Ø      Second, there is the completion of two short essays.  The first short essay will be due on February 24 , at the beginning of class. The second short essay will be due on April 26. This essay of at least five pages long will consist of a discussion of a current event connected to a theory or problem of international relations discussed in class.  (See page 9  for a more thorough discussion of these assignments).

Ø      Third, there will be a current event journal due on April   at the beginning of class and will include 16 entries.  ( See page 10 for more details). 

Ø      Fourth, class participation will contribute to 10 percent of the final grade. This grade will be evaluated on the basis of regular attendance and in-class participation.  More than four absences, or more than two cases-for whatever reason- will have a deduction taken from the participation grade.

 

In general, relevant in-class participation will be evaluated according to the  following scale:

 

A= regular and thoughtful participation

B= occasional and thoughtful participation

C= regular attendance

D=less than regular attendance

F=little or no attendance

 

There may also be a number of quizzes on case discussion days that will count as part of the final participation grade.  To reward those students keeping up with the material, the final grade for quizzes will be based on class average.  Students with a B+ to A average will have their participation final grade raised one half letter.  Individuals with a B to C- will not have their participation final grade changed.  Class members with an average quiz grade of D+ to F will have their participation grade lowered half a letter. 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPONENTS OF FINAL GRADE

 

 

 

Midterm Exam =  25 PERCENT           1st short essay = 15 PERCENT

 

Final Exam      =  25 PERCENT            2nd short essay =  15 PERCENT

 

Participation   = 10 PERCENT             Journal=10 PERCENT

 

 

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY:  Plagiarism is the most serious form of academic cheating.   The NIU undergraduate catalog states: “ students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging them.  Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university.”   If  students wish to do some library research to support their analytical essays for the class , they must remember to observe proper rules of citation.

 

 

COURSE SCHEDULE AND READING ASSIGNMENTS

 

 

IMPORTANT DATES:

 

Midterm exam:  March 10

First short essay due: February 24  

Second short essay due: May 5 

Journal due :April 26  

Final Exam: May 12 

 

WEEK 1

 

 January 18

 

·        Course introduction and distribution of syllabus.

·        Distribution of the Melian dialogue

           

January 20
 
·        THE MELIAN DIALOGUE.  

 

 

WEEK 2

 

January 25

 

·        Discussion of  current events (New York Times).

·        II. Theories of International Relations

( read : Kegley and Wittkopf, chpts. 1-2)

 

January 27

 

·        Realism

( Read : Kegley and Wittkopf : chpt. 2, pp. 31-35 and  chpt. 14 pp. 531-539 and 541-553).

 
WEEK 3

 

February 1

 

·        Discussion of current events (New York Times).

·        Neo-realism ( Kegley and Wittkopf, 35-38)

 

February 3

 

·        Liberal idealism ( Kegley and Wittkopf, ch. 2 ,pp. 28-31, ch. 14 pp. 539-541).

 

 
WEEK 4

 

February 8

 

·        B.PEW CASE #170 A-  VALUES VS. INTERESTS: THE US RESPONSE TO TIANANMEN SQUARE.

 

·        Discussion of current events ( New York Times).

 

February 10

 

·        Neo-liberalism ( Kegley and Wittkopf, pp. 38-44, chpt. 15 pp. 569-578 and pp. 603-608).

·        Constructivism and Feminism ( chpt. 2 pp. 49-55 and chpt. 7 pp. 249-253).

 
WEEK 5

 

February 15  

 

·        Discussion of current events (New York Times).

·        III. Theories of foreign policy decision-making: A- Individual level models of decision-making: The Rational-Actor Model ( Chapter 3  pp. pp. 69-79 )

 

February 17

 

·        B- Group Level models of decision-making:  Organizational Process and Bureaucratic Politics Models.  ( Read Kegley and Wittkopf, chpt. 3, pp.80-88).

 

 

WEEK6

 

February 22 

 

·        Discussion of current events.

·        C. KSG # 279 :  KENNEDY AND THE BAY OF PIGS

 

 February 24

 

·        Crisis Decision-Making and Groupthink (Read Kegley and Wittkopf, chpt. 3, pp. 87-93).

·        * Video: Groupthink.

* These are not “blow-off” classes.  Some of the exam questions may be based on audiovisual material

 

 

**first short essay is due at the beginning of class.
 
 
WEEK 7

 

March 1

 

·        Discussion of current events.

·        IV. International Political Economy- Liberalism

 

March 3

 

PEW CASE 239 PART A: “SWEATING THE SWOOSH: NIKE, THE GLOBALIZATION OF SNEAKERS. AND THE QUESTION OF SWEATSHOP LABOR

 
 
WEEK 8
          
March 8 

 

                      Midterm examination review

 

             March 10

 

·         MIDTERM EXAMINATION

 

            

WEEK 9 ( March 14-18)
 

            SPRING BREAK!!

 

    

 WEEK 10

 

             March 22

 

·        Current events

·        Strategic Competition

 

 

March 24

 

·         Strategic Competition ( cont)

·         Marxism

 

 

WEEK 11

 

                March 29

·        Current events.

·        V. Problems of International Relations

1. ETHNICITY AND NATIONALISM ( read Kegley and Wittkopf, ch. 7, pp. 227-262, ch. 11: pp.408-411).

 

 

March 31

·        E. PEW CASE # 374 A- WATERSHED IN RWANDA: THE EVOLUTION OF PRESIDENT CLINTON’S

 

 

WEEK 12

               

             April 5

 

·          Discussion of Current events.

1.        TERRORISM ( Red Kegley and Wittkopf, chpt.11 pp.433-448).

 

         April 7

 

·         F. KSG CASE: SEEKING THE EXTRADITION OF MOHAMMED RASHID.

 

 

WEEK 13

 

April 12

·        Discussion of current events

·        VIDEO: LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

 

April 14

 

·         3. WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION.  ( Read : Kegley and Wittkopf, chpt. 12, pp.407-435, chpt. 13 and chpt. 14, 553-567

 

 

WEEK 14

 

April 19

 

·        Discussion of current events

·        H. PEW CASE #359- ATOMIC DIPLOMACY IN THE KOREAN WAR

 

           April 21

 

     

·        PEW CASE 228 A: UP IN ARMS, RUSSIAN ROCKETS FOR INDIA

 

         

          WEEK 15

 

April  26

                

·        Current events

·        Video: Nuclear Terrorism

·        Journal due today at the beginning of class!!

             

April 28

·        . THE U.N. AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ( read Kegley and Wittkopf, ch 15).

 

 

             WEEK 16

                

               May 3

 

·        PEW CASE  # 258.  ESTABLISHING AN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: THE EMERGENCE OF A NEW GLOBAL AUTHORITY?

 
May 5 

 

·        FINAL Examination Review

·        2nd short essay due today!!       

 

      
WEEK17

 

 

 FINAL EXAMINATION,  THURSDAY MAY 12- 12:00-1:50

 

 

 

GUIDELINES FOR SHORT PAPER ASSIGNMENTS

 

 

1ST  and 2nd SHORT ESSAY ASSIGNMENTS:  The purpose of these assignments is to write an analytical paper where you will use a major theory or concept discussed in class to explain a contemporary issue related to International Relations.

A good paper requires the following elements:

 

1.      It should be creative, well written, and carefully constructed.

2.      The first paper  should be based upon the following theoretical frameworks:  a) realism, liberalism, constructivism, or feminism;  b) decision-making theories: rational actor, organizational process, or governmental politics models.  

3.       The second  paper,  should be based upon one of the problems of International Relations discussed in class: a) ethnic-nationalism, b) terrorism, c) weapons of mass destruction, d) international organizations, or e) upon one of the theories of political economy we discussed in class: economic liberalism; strategic competition, or Marxism.

4.      Students should select an event or issue to analyze based on at least three connected news articles from the New York Times or one New York Times article and at least two other sources the instructor has approved. 

5.      Papers should be at least five word-processed pages.  The pages should be double spaced, approximately 12 font, and contain one- inch margins.  The paper should have a bibliography.  Endnotes, in-text notes, or footnotes are also required.  Use a citation method such as APA or MLA.  A quote must always appear in quotation marks. 

 

GRADE: Each paper is worth 15 percent of the final course grade.  The grade will be based upon the following components: 1)  A thesis statement that introduces the reader to the paper. 2) A body where evidence is presented to support the thesis.  3) A conclusion that summarizes the argument and evidence presented in the paper. 4) Quality :  a) the paper  should be analytically sound.  It should explain the logic behind a statement and offer evidence to demonstrate why the statement is in fact true;  b) as mentioned above,  the paper should also be well written and carefully constructed.

 

 

 

 

CURRENT EVENT JOURNAL

 

 

There is a current event journal due  on April 29. The  current event journal will include 16 neatly clipped newspaper entries from the New York Times or other newspaper approved by the instructor.  The journal should indicate the title, author, date, and source for each article.  Accompanying each article should be a well-written, well-developed paragraph ( of at least six to eight sentences) that reacts to or analyzes the selected news story.  For instance,  a journal entry can tie a selected article to a course reading, draw a connection to a theory or concept discussed in class, relate the article’s significance to present or future international relations, or convey how a policy maker should address a given international relations issue.  Whatever approach is selected, the paragraph must exhibit independent thinking and be well constructed or thought out. The goal of the journal is to share one’s thoughts or information learned from class rather than to repeat what the article says.  All journal entries should be word-processed and related to international relations. The exact way in which the journal is assembled and presented for submission is for each student to decide.  However, the written entries for each journal should be representative of the entire term up to the journals’ due date instead of simply a few weeks. The assignment is worth 10 percent of the final grade.  

 

 

 

LOOSE ENDS

 

 

(1)   Makeup Exams:  Makeup exams will only be given in extraordinary circumstances.  If such circumstances arise, please contact the instructor as soon as possible and before the scheduled exam.  To keep the process fair for everyone in the course, students may be asked to support request for makeup exams with documentation.  A missed final examination without prior notification and a documented excuse will result in zero and a grade of “F” as opposed to an incomplete.

(2)   Late Papers: A writing assignment submitted after due date will be penalized by a deduction of five points or half a letter grade per day.  There will be no exceptions to this rule.  Therefore students with sick relatives, paper-eating canines, low-life typists, or ill-tempered computers, are strongly encouraged to compensate for any mishaps by preparing their assignments in advance of the papers’ deadlines.

(3)   Submitting Papers: Assignments should be handed in to me personally, or given to a department secretary to be time-stamped.  Assignments placed under my office door or sent with a friend tend to disappear at times.  If a student selects one of these modes of delivery, he or she does so at their own risk.

(4)   Extra Credit:  Extra credit assignments will not be given on an individual basis to raise final course grades.  Like make-up exams, such projects raise serious questions of equity.  In the unlikely event such a project is made available, every member of the class will be given the opportunity to complete it.

(5)   Handouts:  Handouts, including study guides, are a privilege for those students who attend class on a regular basis.  No student is entitled to supplemental materials simply because they are registered for the course.

(6)   Incomplete Requests:  Such petitions will be granted rarely and only in extraordinary circumstances.  The instructor reserves the right to ask for documentation to verify the problem preventing completion of the course by the normal deadlines.  If the student does not present documentation from a university office or official, the matter will be left to the instructor’s discretion.

(7)   Undergraduate Writing Awards:  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 majors 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, which can be submitted by students or faculty,  must be supplied  in triplicate to a Department’s 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.

(8)   Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities:  Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities.  Those students with disabilities that may have some impact in the coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth flour of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors.  It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of any disability-related needs early in the semester.

(9)   Department of Political Science Web Site: undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities.  To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu