Print Version

Effective: Summer 2015

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: Honors Institute participant.
Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in POLI 15.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Social & Behavioral Sciences Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Critically analyze any of the contending theoretical formulations of International Relations: Liberalism/Neoliberalism institutionalism, Realism and Non-realism, the Radical Perspective, Constructivism, Hegemonic Stability Theory.
  • Critically analyze the role of the United States in the International Political Economy:
  • A successful student will understand the role of NATO, the UN and national state leaders in decision-making on intervention.
Description -
Analysis of the contending theoretical formulations of international relations, the international political economy, factors of sovereignty, nationalism, relations between the core, semi-periphery and peripheral countries, the role of the World Trade Organization in international trade relations, international terrorism and global warming. The impact of international terrorism and international security on world politics are systematically analyzed in the context of an increasingly unipolar world as the struggle for hegemony ensues. As an Honors Course, it is a full seminar with advanced teaching methods focusing on major writing, reading, and research assignments, student class presentations, group discussions and interactions.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Analyze range of theoretical formulations of international relations theory.
  2. Compare and contrast contending views of international political economy.
  3. Understand and utilize current research trends in international relations theory.
  4. Analyze semi-peripheral and peripheral nation states relations with core nations in global economy.
  5. Evaluate the role of the United States in the international community.
  6. Analyze role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs)in global trade relations.
  7. Analyze the impact of terrorism on international relations.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Introduction to the intellectual foundations of International Relations as an academic discipline.
    1. Liberal Institutionalism
    2. Hobbesian realism and its contemporary variant of neo-liberalism
    3. Marxist and neo-Marxist thinking
    4. Contribution of Dependency Theory to International Relations Theory
    5. Contribution of World Systems Theory to International Relations Theory
  2. Liberal Theories of International Relations
    1. Origins of Liberalism in reaction to mercantilism
    2. Contributions of Adam Smith and David Ricardo
    3. Assumptions of Liberalism as rational, utility-maximizing actors
    4. Limitations of economic role of government
  3. Marxist Theory of International Relations
    1. Origins of Marxist perspective as a reaction to liberalism
    2. Assumptions of Marxist perspective
    3. Classes as dominant actors in the political economy
    4. Classes acting in their material economic interests
    5. Exploitative nature of capitalism and the international division of labor
  4. The Realist Theory of International Relations
    1. Intellectual contributions of Hobbes, Machiavelli, Colbert and List
    2. Emergence of Realism in the 1930s
    3. Assumptions of Realism
    4. Nation-states as dominant actors
    5. Nation-states as power-maximizers
    6. Nation-states as rational actors
    7. Theory of hegemonic stability
    8. Realism, political processes, and complex interdependence
    9. Roles of international organizations
  5. Contribution of Dependency Theory to International Relations Theory
    1. Dependency as a socio-economic and political concept
    2. Structural Dependency as a socio-economic and political concept
    3. The gap between rich and poor countries
    4. Domestic Inequality
    5. Convergence and Divergence
    6. The State, Growth, and Inequality
    7. Role of Multilateral agencies in dependent underdeveloped states
    8. The World Trade Organization in international trade
  6. World Systems Theory Contribution to International Relations Theory
    1. Emergence of World Capitalist System in 16th century Europe
    2. Role of Agriculture in the development of World Capitalist system in 16th century
    3. Incorporation of areas into world system
    4. Concept of Core, Semi-periphery, and Periphery
    5. Contemporary function of World Capitalist System
  7. Role of Non-government organizations (NGO) in the international political economy
    1. The role of the United Nations in international relations
    2. The role of specialized agencies of of the UN in international relations
    3. The role of UNCHR in international conflict
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Consistent and systematic participation in seminar
  2. Oral Presentations (PowerPoint) of assigned topics
  3. Development of research paper topic, thesis, outline and analytical model utilizing the scientific method of analysis
  4. Development of 20 page research paper demonstrating critical, analytical, research and writing skills
  5. Presentation of extract of research paper assignment to seminar
Representative Text(s) -
Goddard, C. Roe, Patrick Cronin and Kishore C. Dash. International Political Economy: State Market Relations in the Changing Global Order. 2nd ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reiner Publishing, 2003.
Handleman, Howard. The Challenge of Third World Development. 4th ed. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006.
Kaufman, Joyce Introduction to International Relations Theory & Practice, Rowan & Littlefied, NY 2013.
Kaufman, Joyce A Concise History of US Foreign Policy, Rowan & Littlefield, N.Y. 2013.
Mingst, Karen A., Essential of International Relations, 4th Edition, W.W.Norton & Com. Ltd. New York, 2007.
Seligson, Mitchell and John T. Passe-Smith. The Political Economy of Global Inequality. 5th ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reiner Publishers, Boulder, Colorado 2014.
World Policy Journal articles
Wallerstein, Immanuel. The Modern World System III: The Second Era of Great Expansion of the Capitalist World Economy, 1730-1840. San Diego, CA: Academic Press INC., 1980.
McWilliams, Wayne C. and Harry Piotrowski. The World Since 1945: A History of International Relations. 7th ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reiner Publishers, 2009.
Viotti, Paul R. & Kauppi, Mark V., International Relations & World Politics: Security, Economy, Idenity, 3rd Edition, Pearson/Prentice Hall, N.J. 2008.

Foreign Affairs Journal
Foreign Policy Journal
Latin American Perspectives,School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University.

NOTE: Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they still remain seminal pieces of scholarship (texts) in this area of study.

Disciplines -
Political Science
Method of Instruction -
  1. Formal weekly lectures
  2. Oral Group Presentations (Power Point) on assigned topics
  3. In class seminar-style discussions on assigned topics of critical importance to class material with intensive and systematic participation from students
  4. Small group discussions on current issues in international relations
  5. Professor meets in extra session with all seminar students in a series of individual and small group learning communities, out-of-class, to work together on students' research and presentation preparation.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Weekly assigned readings from texts of between (200-300 pp.) on module for week
  2. Five to six pages of written outline of required weekly reading assignments
  3. Development of research paper topic, thesis, outline and analytic model
  4. Twenty page critical analytical research paper assignment utilizing the scientific method.
  5. Students work closely with instructor individually and in small groups on oral presentation and research paper assignment.