POLI 1301 - B Introduction to International Relations
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COURSE DESCRIPTION: Is war between the US and China inevitable? Could the spread of nuclear weapons to countries such as Iran and North Korea make the world less dangerous? Does a separate peace hold between democracies? Is it possible for states to behave morally? This course, which introduces students to the major paradigms, theories, concepts and debates associated with the academic study of international politics/international relations (IR), addresses these and other critical questions. We will start the semester with an introduction to the methodology of theory-building and theory-testing in the social sciences, political science, and IR, then look at the major schools of IR Theory and discuss the implications of these theories for foreign policy decision making (and for the future of the world!)? We will end the semester by looking at various salient issues and debates in the contemporary study of IR, including terrorism, US grand strategy, the utility of military force, civil wars and ethnic conflict, and the future of the "international liberal order." (Informal) Course Description: This is not a course about current events. It is a course that provides theoretical explanations for questions such as: why do states behave the way, why states go to war, and what might happen in the event of an alien invasion. We will discuss the structure of the international system as well as major issues in the field, but it is not a “current events” course. It is about how to make sense of “current events” and how to think about the world. The entire course can be summarized in this sentence— Everything is more complicated than it seems, there are no easy answers, and nothing is black and white. Note on the Syllabus: While the course is not a “current events” course, there are obvious and non-obvious connections to current events, and from time to time changes might become necessary or desirable. I reserve the right to modify this syllabus, with the stipulation that any changes will be communicated to the entire class clearly and in writing.
Cristol, Jonathan Levi. (2021, Fall), Syllabus, POLI 1301 - B Introduction to Intern Relations, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.
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