GOV 360N • Introduction to International Relations
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
Upper-division standing required. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary. International relations have enormous impacts on our daily lives, whether we realize it or not. In fact, as we'll see, many of the things we do in everyday life are influenced by international relations, and many of the things we do in turn have impacts on aspects of international relations. In this course, we'll examine the varying political, military, economic, and cultural phenomena that cross state boundaries in the world today - among them war, diplomatic negotiation, peacekeeping, terrorism, economic relations, ecological problems, cultural exchange, and religious/spiritual movements. Our major interests will be in discovering what actually happens, in examining competing ideas about why things happed as they do, and in considering various ideas about how things could change or be changed. We will pay special attention to the impact that language and presentation have both on the development of international relations and on our beliefs about what happens and why. A central part of this focus will be our continuing close examination of accounts in The New York Times and other media. As a result of this, we should become more effective consumers of media materials. Class sessions will combine lecture, occasional video and audio segments, varying web-based materials, and discussion. I have tried to design this course so that it will help you to better understand various ways of learning and thinking about international relations. I am committed to doing what I can to help you achieve this goal. In return, I ask that you commit to doing the required reading on time and coming to class ready to learn, and, when possible, participating in class discussions.
2 in-class exams and a final exam
There are two types of required readings in this course: (1) The first is a basic paperback textbook, which has yet to be selected. (2) Most of our other reading will be in the daily New York Times, which I expect you to subscribe to at a specially reduced rate. Other required and optional readings will be posted on the website for you to download from time to time.