Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
irg masthead irg masthead
Michael R. Anderson, Director 305 E. 23rd Street, A1300 78712 • 512-232-6344

Course Descriptions

IRG 301 • Intro Intl Rels & Global Stds

39265-39270 • Anderson, Michael R.
Meets MW 1000am-1100am CLA 0.126
show description

This course serves as an introduction to the College of Liberal Arts’ new interdisciplinary major, International Relations and Global Studies.  Students will engage with many broad questions relating to the contemporary world, including:  How has the modern international system come into being?  What are the major opportunities and challenges related to the world-wide movement of capital, goods and ideas we have come to define as globalization?  To what extent does the United States dominate the geopolitical, economic and cultural landscape today?  Finally, are we entering a “post-American world,” and if so, what global repercussions might this entail?  This course will attempt to transcend the disciplinary boundaries of social sciences—whether political science, economics, or anthropology—and instead ask students to take a more holistic view of global issues, rooted in historical inquiry.
Class time will be divided evenly between lecture material and discussion.  Students will be evaluated based upon their performance in weekly online discussions, periodic in-class short-answer responses and multiple-choice quizzes, a mid-term paper and a final essay.


Course Objectives:
By the end of the semester, students will have the ability to:
1)    describe a broad array of global issues confronting international actors
2)    evaluate the role of the United States in the contemporary era of “globalization”
3)    identify and analyze in some detail the scholarly debate surrounding a particular global challenge or crisis

IRG 320F • Foundatn Intl Rels/Global Stds

39275 • Holmsten, Stephanie
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GAR 0.102
show description

IRG 320F #39275

 

Course Description:  

 

This course is designed to provide foundational knowledge in key topics related to international relations and global studies and serve as a link between the introductory source (IRG 301) and the capstone project (IRG 378). The scope and theme of the course covers the four major tracks within the major: international political economy, international security, science, technology and the environment; and culture, arts and the media.

 

There are two over-arching objectives of this course. The first is to examine in some detail ideological concepts relating to the IRG major and develop critical thinking skills in our analysis of these topics. Using insights from history, political science, economics, geography, anthropology and area studies, we will apply these critical thinking skills to become engaged in the scholarship of global studies.

 

The second is to help students conceive a project topic for their capstone seminar. Students are required to select a topic of global or regional importance and write a literature review of scholarly articles related to that subject. Through this process students will become familiar with the contemporary academic debates surrounding their topics, and identify their own voice in the scholarship.

 

Required Texts: 

  • Haas, Peter M. and John A. Hird, eds., Controversies in Globalization: Contending Approaches in International Relations. 2nd ed.Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press, 2013.

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

39280
Meets TH 330pm-630pm BEN 1.124
show description

IRG 378 #39280

Capstone Research, Wednesday

 

This upper-level research seminar fulfills part of the requirement for the International Relations and Global Studies major.  Through readings, weekly discussions and individual consultations, this seminar provides students the opportunity to produce a significant paper of original research on a topic dealing with a contemporary global issue relating to international political economy and international security. Globalization will provide the overarching perspective into these related issues.

 

Required Text:  Frank J. Lechner and John Boli, eds., The Globalization Reader, 8th ed. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

39285
Meets T 330pm-630pm CLA 0.122
show description

IRG 378 #39295

Capstone Research, Monday

 

This upper-level research seminar fulfills part of the requirement for the International Relations and Global Studies major.  Through readings, weekly discussions and individual consultations, this seminar provides students the opportunity to produce a significant paper of original research on a topic dealing with a contemporary global issue relating to international political economy, including political and economic growth, US foreign policy, and international organizations. Globalization will provide the overarching perspective into these related issues.

 

Required Text:  Frank J. Lechner and John Boli, eds., The Globalization Reader, 8th ed. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

39290 • Holmsten, Stephanie
Meets W 300pm-600pm WAG 308
show description

This course is restricted to IRG majors. For IRG program information please contact Dr. Michael Anderson, Director.

The concluding, capstone seminar for the International Relations & Global Studies major is designed to give you an opportunity to draw on your program of studies to prepare a rigorous analysis of a specific aspect of contemporary world affairs.  You have the choice of two formats.  One is a tightly organized research paper; the other is structured as a policy paper directed at a senior decision-maker in a national government or international organization. 

It is profitable to all to set a number of themes for the seminar.  That enhances exchanges and allows for collaborative projects. Still, students will be given reasonable latitude in selecting topics that interest them and/or on which they have acquired specialized knowledge.  We will examine closely the nature of the policy paper and its organization as the semester progresses.  The seminar paper – in either format -  should be viewed as representative of your abilities at this stage in your career and, as such, an effective way of presenting yourself and your abilities.

 The following is a short list of possible themes: democracy promotion as an instrument of foreign policy; the strains among three standards to assess global economic interdependence: growth, equity and stability; the ethical dimensions of the use of force; the interplay of domestic politics and foreign policy process/substance.

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

39295 • Holmsten, Stephanie
Meets M 300pm-600pm PAR 306
show description

This course is restricted to IRG majors. For IRG program information please contact Dr. Michael Anderson, Director.

The concluding, capstone seminar for the International Relations & Global Studies major is designed to give you an opportunity to draw on your program of studies to prepare a rigorous analysis of a specific aspect of contemporary world affairs.  You have the choice of two formats.  One is a tightly organized research paper; the other is structured as a policy paper directed at a senior decision-maker in a national government or international organization. 

It is profitable to all to set a number of themes for the seminar.  That enhances exchanges and allows for collaborative projects. Still, students will be given reasonable latitude in selecting topics that interest them and/or on which they have acquired specialized knowledge.  We will examine closely the nature of the policy paper and its organization as the semester progresses.  The seminar paper – in either format -  should be viewed as representative of your abilities at this stage in your career and, as such, an effective way of presenting yourself and your abilities.

 The following is a short list of possible themes: democracy promotion as an instrument of foreign policy; the strains among three standards to assess global economic interdependence: growth, equity and stability; the ethical dimensions of the use of force; the interplay of domestic politics and foreign policy process/substance.

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

39300 • Mosser, Michael W
Meets T 330pm-630pm BEN 1.124
show description

IRG 378: Capstone Research in International Relations and Global Studies

Topic: Twenty-first Century Conflict

Spring 2015

Unique ID: 39300

International Relations and Global Studies (IRG) major

The University of Texas at Austin

 

Dr. Michael Mosser

Course location: BEN 1.124

Office: Mezes 3.222

Course time: T 3:30 – 6:30

Phone: 512.232.7280

Office hours: T, Th 9:00 – 11:00

Email: mosserm@austin.utexas.edu

(and by appointment)

Course concept

As an academic field of inquiry, international security tends to focus on the ability of states to remain secure in the face of threats to their internal and external sovereignty. Increasingly, however, the study of security has broadened to include not merely new actors, but also new conceptions of what it means to be ‘secure.’ While conflict among and within states (and increasingly non-state actors) is a major concern, the idea that insecurity can exist but still stop short of conflict has become increasingly accepted among both scholars and practitioners.     

Moreover, conflict and security have evolved since the end of the Cold War. While possible, the idea of a superpower-on-superpower strategic conflict on the scale of World War II seems increasingly unlikely. Rather, conflicts appear to occur now based much more on localized and transient grievances, or in certain cases where a major power feels the need to act unilaterally to accomplish some set of strategic aims.

This capstone course will treat all forms of conflict as our object of study, and will ask the following question: what types of conflict are we likely to see in the twenty-first century, and what patterns might we discern from these conflicts? No longer confined to interstate war, conflict since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union has ranged from superpower engaged in major conflict among states to civil war and intrastate violence. Moreover, states no longer hold the monopoly of violence. Indeed, in the last 15 years conflict has entered into areas previously thought unimaginable, such as in cyberspace.  

Course objectives:

During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a wide range of thinking on the nature of conflict after the Cold War. Beginning with a specific focus on the changing “American way of war” since 9/11, the course moves to a broader interpretation of conflict since the end of the superpower confrontation that characterized the Cold War. The course ends with a reflection on the United Nations as the arbiter of international security, its successes and failings, and its changing role in the decades since the end of the Cold War.

Readings:

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets on Tuesday. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.
Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below. All assignments will be converted to a 100-point scale with no curve. All grades, including final grades, will use the plus (+) and minus (-) system. Grade standards for all assignments are as follows:

93 >     A  

90-92   A-

87-89   B+  

80-86   B   

77-79   B-   

75-76   C+   

70-74   C

67-69   C-

60-66   D

< 60  F

 

 

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Outline and preliminary list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


 

Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%

 


Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester facilitate a course discussion on the week of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet distributed online for discussion facilitators to use. Discussion leaders are responsible for generating five questions on the readings to distribute to class via Canvas. The discussion facilitating questions will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, I will require that each of you on the weeks that you are not facilitating discussions to prepare one discussion question for the upcoming class to submit to the discussion leader. These should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

IRG 378 • Capstone Research In Irg

39305 • Mosser, Michael W
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 0.132
show description

IRG 378: Capstone Research in International Relations and Global Studies

Topic: The Technology of Security

Spring 2015

Unique ID: 39305

International Relations and Global Studies (IRG) major

The University of Texas at Austin

 

Dr. Michael Mosser

Course location: GAR 0.132

Office: Mezes 3.222

Course time: T 3:30 – 6:30

Phone: 512.232.7280

Office hours: T, Th 9:00 – 11:00

Email: mosserm@austin.utexas.edu

(and by appointment)

Course concept

While international security is often taught from a ‘big picture’ perspective, it can be argued that much of the actual implementation of international security is driven by technology. This capstone seminar goes beyond theorizing and delves deep into the scientific and technological aspects of international security. It keeps much of the basic understanding of international security but adds a technological focus that will appeal to those students enrolled on the IRG science and technology track.

Course objectives:

Designed to appeal to the IRG major on the science and technology track, this capstone seminar will examine in detail the technology that enables international security apparatus to function, as well as the technological challenges faced by international security actors in the 21st century.  During the course of this semester, students will be exposed to a more specialized range of topics than the traditional international security capstone course but will maintain a focus on how science and technology affect (and are affected by) international security.

Topics covered in the course will include:

  • information technology and security
  • biosecurity
  • nuclear weapons and nonproliferation policy
  • critical infrastructure
  • missile defense systems and space weaponization
  • energy, food, and water security
  • security issues related to climate change
Readings:

There is no required textbook for this course. Rather, each week has a series of readings assigned that are to be read before the class meets each week. Befitting a once-a-week capstone course, the readings are more extensive but still manageable. The average reading load per week is ~100 pages.

Recommended Reading:

  • Richard K. Betts, Conflict after the Cold War (4th Edition). Prentice Hall, 2012.
  • Sean Kay, Global Security in the Twenty-First Century (2nd Edition). Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.
Assignments and grading

Your course grade will consist of a paper grade and a discussion/participation grade. A breakdown of the requirements and expectations for each category is below. All assignments will be converted to a 100-point scale with no curve. All grades, including final grades, will use the plus (+) and minus (-) system. Grade standards for all assignments are as follows:

93 >     A  

90-92   A-

87-89   B+  

80-86   B   

77-79   B-   

75-76   C+   

70-74   C

67-69   C-

60-66   D

< 60  F

 

 

Paper: 80%

As this class is a capstone course, the bulk of the grade for the course will consist of a capstone original research paper. Fulfillment of this writing requirement will entail completing a paper of approximately 7,500-8,000 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font). Such a paper should be a thorough treatment of the topic chosen, including a clear thesis statement, logical consistency in the arguments used to show the validity of the thesis, and a clear and concise conclusion that effectively summarizes your argument. It should be appropriately documented with references and citations, and should stand on its own as an individual work of scholarship.

Soon after the beginning of the semester, I will meet with each of you individually to discuss your choice of paper topic and your approach chosen to address it. The paper will comprise the majority of the total grade for the course, but attendance and a presentation of your research count for grades as well.

The paper is divided into the following sections:

a)     

Research proposal: Worth 10% of overall grade


b)    Abstract, outline, and list of references: Worth 10% of overall grade.


c)     First draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.

d)    Oral presentation to the group
: Worth 20% of overall grade

e)    Final draft of paper: Worth 20% of overall grade.


 

 

 

Discussion Leading / Participation / Discussion Questions: 20%

Class discussion in a capstone seminar is more than expected; it is a given. Everyone has his or her own style of discussion, and I do not expect to turn those who prefer not to speak often in class into debate champions. Nevertheless, I do expect that each of you will at some point in the semester co-lead a course discussion on the topic of your choosing. You will have your classmates’ questions to serve as a point of departure (see below), which you may use as you wish. There will be a sign-up sheet posted on Canvas for you to sign up to lead a discussion. Discussion leaders will prepare five questions drawn from the readings and will post them no later than Wednesday at 5:00 pm. The discussion leadership portion of your participation will comprise 10% of your course grade.



Because this is a capstone course, it is expected that you will have already absorbed the importance of class attendance. I strongly encourage you to attend every class and be prepared for lively and stimulating discussion. To that end, unless you are a discussion leader, I will require that each of you prepare one discussion question every week for the upcoming class to submit via Canvas. This question should be drawn from the readings and should reflect any questions, comments, or cries of outrage you may have regarding the arguments set forth by the authors. These discussion questions will not be graded individually, but together will count for 10% of your course grade. They most definitely will help you get the most from the class. I will prepare the first set of discussion questions as a template for future assignments. 

bottom border