Jun 22, 2024  
2021-2022 College Catalog 
2021-2022 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

POS 202 - Introduction to International Relations [SUN# POS 1120]

3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 0 lab periods

Examination of contemporary international relations. Includes approaches to the study of international relations, international systems, actors in international systems, globalization, and major forms of interactions.

Gen-Ed: Meets AGEC - SBS and G; Meets CTE - SBS and G.

Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify and describe key differences between a realist and a liberal/idealist approach to international relations.
  2. Differentiate between the individual, state, and global levels of analysis.

Performance Objectives:
  1. Describe the various approaches to the study of international relations.
  2. Differentiate a number of historic and contemporary international systems.
  3. Describe key actors in the international system.
  4. Explain various aspects of globalization.
  5. Examine the major forms of interactions between state and nonstate actors.

  1. Approaches to the Study of International Relations
    1. Theories and Critiques
      1. Realism and Neorealism
      2. Liberalism/Idealism and Neoliberalism
      3. Constructivism
      4. Critical Theories: Marxism, Dependency Theory, and Feminism
    2. Levels of Analysis
      1. Individual level
      2. State level
      3. System level
    3. Theories of International Decision Making
      1. Different decision making models
      2. Domestic and international determinants of foreign policy
  2. Evolution of the International System
    1. Historic international systems
    2. Major Great Power Wars and Cycles
    3. Unipolarity, bipolarity, and multipolarity
    4.    Features of the contemporary global system
    5. The Global North and the Global South (and the Global East?)
  3. Actors in the International System
    1. Sovereign States
    2. Nonstate Actors
      1. Intergovernmental Organizations: Global, Regional, Single Purpose, Multipurpose
      2. Nongovernmental Organizations: Ethnonational movements and indigenous populations, transnational religious movements, humanitarian and other issue advocacy groups, multinational corporations
      3. Other nonstate actors: international terrorist groups and criminal organizations
  4. Causes of Armed Conflict at different levels of analysis
    1. Individual Level: Is war inherent in human nature or due to individual leaders?
    2. State level: what internal characteristics of states make wars more or less likely?
    3. Global level: what factors at the global level inhibit or enhance the likelihood of war?
  5. Realist and Liberal Approaches to Peace
    1. Different military and diplomatic strategies for preserving peace/preventing war
    2. Arms races, types of weapons, trends in weaponry, and the global arms trade
    3. Alliances: part of the problem or of the solution?
    4. Balance of power
    5. Arms control and disarmament
    6. Collective security: regional and international IGOs
    7. International law, just war theory, and enforcement of human rights norms
  6. Globalization
    1. Globalization of Finance and the international monetary system
    2. Globalization of Trade and competing trade strategies
    3. Globalization of Production
    4. Globalization of Labor
    5. Global Migration patterns and trends
  7. Global Environmental Challenges and Responses
    1. Climate Change and its winners and losers
    2. The politics of fossil fuels and other forms of energy
    3. Sustainable development

Effective Term:
Full Academic Year 2018/2019