Political Science 285: Introduction to International Relations

Section #1

Northern Illinois University

Spring 2010

Instructor: Joseph Scanlon

Email: jscanlon@niu.edu

Phone: 753-1818

Class Hours: TTH 8:00am-9:15am

Class location: DuSable 461

Office Hours: T 10:00am-11:30am, Th 10:00am-11:30am (and by appointment)

Office: DuSable 476

Course Objectives:

Welcome to POLS 285! The objective of this course is to provide students with the necessary foundation for studying international politics. The world is a dynamic place, and states are constantly confronted with new challenges. This is why it is important to understand how states operate within the international system, and be able to analyze the outcomes of international exchanges. This class will begin by introducing the important theories and concepts used in international relations before turing to current trends and events as a means of providing real world examples.

Required Text:

Joshua S. Goldstein and Jon C. Pevehouse, International Relations 9th ed. (New York: Pearson Longman, 2010).

ISBN-13: 978-0-205-72390-4

ISBN-10: 0-205-72390-X

All other readings appear on the syllabus, and it is noted on the syllabus where these readings can be accessed.

Required Coursework:

Reaction Paper – 20pts

Attendance – 25pts

Participation – 25pts

Quizzes – 50pts

Events Paper – 80pts

Mid-Term Exam – 100pts

Final Exam – 100pts

Grading scale (number of points achieved out of total points available/400 points):

90-100% = A

80-89% = B

70-79% = C

60-69% = D

00-59% = F

Important Dates:

1/28 – Quiz #1

2/11 – Quiz #2

2/18 – First day students can submit reaction papers

2/25 – Mid-term Exam

3/18 – Quiz #3

3/25 – Last day students can submit reaction papers

4/1 – Quiz #4

4/8 – Events paper due

4/15 – Quiz #5

4/22 – Quiz #6

5/4 – Final exam

Explanation of required coursework:

    1. The reaction paper is designed to give students the opportunity to respond to those class readings found outside of the textbook. Students will be required to select a single article or chapter excerpt assigned in class, and complete a 1-2 page paper outlining the author's argument. In addition to outlining the author's argument, student will also need to address what they perceive to be the strengths and weaknesses of the argument. In order successfully do this, students will likely have to refer to other class readings as well. The reaction paper will have a rolling deadline, meaning that students will have multiple weeks to submit the paper.

    2. There is a maximum of 25 attendance points possible in this class. Between 1/19 and 4/27, there will be 25 meetings in which attendance will be officially taken. For each unexcused absence, the instructor will deduct one point from the 25 maximum points.

    3. Participation is based on both in-class and online participation. Students are expected to come to class ready to discuss the readings assigned for that day. However, the instructor will post 1-2 articles every week on Blackboard. Students can also earn participation points by using the materials covered in class to discuss the articles posted on Blackboard.

4. Students will take six quizzes over the course of the semester. Quizzes will be a mix of multiple choice and true and false, with each quiz being worth 10pts. Each student will have their lowest quiz score dropped.

3. The events paper requires students to analyze current events related to the study of international relations. Students are required to collect 2-3 news articles from reputable sources, and analyze the articles using the class readings. It is not enough to summarize the articles, but students must explain the articles using the materials presented in class. A paper handout will be posted on Blackboard addressing the specifics of the events paper assignment.

4. The mid-term exam and the final exam will both consist of a mix of matching, short answer and essay. Both exams will be worth 100pts. Students will need to bring bluebooks for both exams.

Course Policies:

1. Makeup exams and quizzes will only be given in the event of extraordinary circumstances. If such circumstances arise, please contact the instructor as soon as possible. As a means of maintaining fairness, the instructor reserves the right to request documentation to support an absence from an exam and/or quiz. If a student fails to notify the instructor of their absence, and fails to provide any sort of documentation upon request, a score of zero will be assigned for that exam and/or quiz.

2. Late papers will be accepted, but will be assessed a penalty of four points/five percent per day. This penalty will be waived in the case of extraordinary circumstances. The instructor reserves the right to request documentation to support late papers. Papers should be submitted directly to the instructor. Please request permission in advance if you will be unable to submit your paper directly to the instructor.

3. Students are expected to exercise proper etiquette in the classroom. Please adhere to the following rules:

4. Incomplete grades will be granted in the event of extraordinary circumstances preventing a student from completing the assigned coursework within the semester calendar. As a means of maintaining fairness, the instructor reserves the right to ask for documentation needed to support a request for an incomplete. Without documentation, the instructor reserves the right to not assign the incomplete grade.

5. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Regarding plagiarism, the NIU Undergraduate Catalog states that “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.” The above statement encompasses a paper written in whole or in part by another; a paper copied word-for-word or with only minor changes from another source; a paper copied in part from one or more sources without proper identification and acknowledgement of the sources; a paper that is merely a paraphrase of one or more sources, using ideas and/or logic without credit even though the actual words may be changed; and a paper that quotes, summarizes or paraphrases, or cuts and pastes words, phrases, or images from an Internet source without identification and the address of the web site. For additional information on plagiarism and how to avoid such an incident, please see this link: http://polisci.niu.edu/polisci/audience/plagiarism.shtml

6. In regards to religious observances, the University asks instructors to make students aware of the following policy. “Northern Illinois University as a public institution of higher education in the State of Illinois does not observe religious holidays. It is the university’s policy, however, to reasonably accommodate the religious observances of individual students in regards to admissions, class attendance, scheduling examinations and work requirements.  Such policies shall be made known to faculty and students. Religious observance includes all aspects of religious observance and practice as well as belief. Absence from classes or examinations for religious observance does not relieve students from responsibility for any part of the course work required during the period of absence. To request accommodation, students who expect to miss classes, examinations or other assignments as a consequence of their religious observance shall provide instructors with reasonable notice of the date or dates they will be absent.” The instructor is respectful and fully supportive of students who wish to participate in religious observances. Excused absences will be provided, but students must understand and follow the above policy with respect to reasonable notice and making up work.

7. In regards to 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 for which they may require accommodations should notify the University’s Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR). CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester. The CAAR office is located on the 4th floor of the University Health Services building and its phone number is (815) 753-1303.

8. Through 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. 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 can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.

9. Please consult the Department of Political Science Web Site on a regular basis. 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

10. Please take advantage of the University Writing Center located at Stevenson South, Tower B, Lower Level. The Writing Center is a great resource, and with their help, students can greatly enhance their academic experience at NIU. Good writing is an important part of any successful college career, and the Writing Center is there to help students improve their writing skills. The Writing Center is open from 800am-830pm, Monday through Thursday. Students can call (815) 753-6636 to make an appointment. Please visit http://uwc.niu.edu/ for more information about what the Writing Center does and what you will need to bring for your appointment.

11. Extra credit is not available on an individual basis. However, extra credit opportunities may arise for the class as a whole.

Semester Schedule

(please note that I reserve the right to adjust the semester schedule as needed):

Week #1: Introduction

1/12 – Introduction and overview of course

1/14 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 1: Core Principles & Actors and Influences (pp. 2-26).

Week #2: Theories and Concepts – Realism

1/19 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 2: Power & The International System (pp. 42-63).

1/21 – “The Melian Dialogue” in John A. Vasquez, ed., Classics of International Relations 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996), pp. 9-15. (RESERVE)

Hans J. Morgenthau, “A Realist Theory of International Politics,” in John A. Vasquez, ed., Classics of International Relations 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996), pp. 24-28. (RESERVE)

Week #3: Theories and Concepts – Realism

1/26 – John J. Mearsheimer, "Structural Realism" in Tim Dunne, Milja Kurki, and Steve Smith, eds., International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 71-88. (RESERVE)

1/28 – QUIZ #1

Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 2: Alliances & Strategy (pp. 63-77).

Week #4: Theories and Concepts – Realism & Liberalism

2/2 – Stephen Walt, “Alliances: Balancing and Bandwagoning” in Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, eds., International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues (New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 2000), pp. 110-118. (RESERVE)

2/4 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 3: Liberal Traditions & Domestic Influences (pp. 82-103).

W eek #5: Theories and Concepts – Liberalism

2/9 – Michael W. Doyle, “Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs,” in Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, eds., International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues (New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 2000), pp. 97-109. (RESERVE)

Charles W. Kegley, Jr., “The Neoliberal Challenge to Realist Theories of World Politics,” in Charles W.

Kegley, Jr., ed., Controversies in International Relations Theory: Realism and the Neoliberal Challenge

(New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995), pp. 4-5 (Box 1.1). (RESERVE)

Charles W. Kegley, Jr., “The Foundations of International Relations Theory and the Resurrection of the Realist-Liberal Debate,” in Charles W. Kegley, Jr., ed., Controversies in International Relations Theory: Realism and the Neoliberal Challenge (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995), p. 32 (Box 2.1). (RESERVE)

2/11 – QUIZ #2

Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 3: Foreign Policymaking (pp. 103-114)

Week #6: Theories and Concepts – Constructivism & Social Theories

2/16 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 4: Constructivism (pp. 120-128).

Alexander Wendt, “Anarchy is What States Make of It,” in Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, eds., International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues (New York: Addison Wesley Longman, 2000), pp. 75-82. (RESERVE)


Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 4: Marxism, Peace Studies, Gender Theories (pp. 128-148).

Week #7: Mid-Term Exam Week

2/23 – Wrap-up and review for mid-term exam


Week #8: International Conflict

3/2 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 5: The Wars of the World (pp. 152-160).

Robert Jervis, “Theories of War in an Era of Leading-Power Peace: Presidential Address, American Political Science Association, 2001,” American Political Science Review 96.1 (March 2002), pp. 1-14.


3/4 – G. John Ikenberry, “The Rise of China and the Future of the West,” Foreign Affairs 87.1 (January/February 2008), pp. 23-37. (RESERVE)

Zbigniew Brzezinski and John J. Mearsheimer, “Clash of the Titans,” Foreign Policy 146 (January/February 2005), pp. 45-50. (RESERVE)

Week #9: No Class – Spring Break

Week #10: International Conflict & Military Force and Terrorism

3/16 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 5: Conflicts of Ideas & Conflicts of Interest (pp. 160-189)

3/18 – QUIZ #3

Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 6: Terrorism & Weapons of Mass Destruction (pp. 207-222).

Marc Sageman, “The Next Generation of Terror,” Foreign Policy 165 (March/April 2008), pp. 36-42.


Week #11: International Law

3/23 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 7: The United Nations (pp. 232-254)


Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 7: International Law, Sovereignty & Human Rights (pp.254-274)

International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect, “The Responsibility to Protect,” The Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (December 2001), pp. VII-XIII (foreword + synopsis). (RESERVE)

Week #12: International Political Economy

3/30 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 8: Theories of Trade (pp. 280-306).

4/1 – QUIZ #4

Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 9: The Currency System & Multinational Business (pp. 318-331, 339- 347).

Week #13: International Integration & the Environment and Population

4/6 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 10: Integration Theory and the European Union (pp. 352-370).

Gideon Rachman, “The Death of Enlargement,” Washington Quarterly 29.3 (Summer 2006), pp. 51-56.



Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 11: Interdependence and the Environment & Managing the Environment (pp. 385-402).

Week #14: Environment and Population & The North-South Gap

4/13 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 11: Natural Resources & Population (pp. 402-417).

Sandra Postel and Aaron T. Wolf, “Dehydrating Conflict,” Foreign Policy 126 (September/October 2001), pp. 60-67. (RESERVE)

4/15 – QUIZ #5

Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 12: The State of the South & Theories of Accumulation (pp. 422-441).

Week #15: The North-South Gap & International Development

4/20 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 12: Imperialism (pp. 441-453).

4/22 – QUIZ #6

Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 13: Experiences & Lessons (pp.458-476)

Week #16: International Development & Wrap-up

4/27 – Goldstein & Pevehouse, Chapter 13: North-South Capital Flows & Foreign Assistance (pp. 476-492).

4/29 – Wrap-up and review for final exam

Week #17: Final Exam Week

5/4 – FINAL EXAM 8-950AM