Fundamentals Syllabus

Fundamentals Syllabus - Fundamentals of International...

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Fundamentals of International Politics (PSC 3315-02) MWF 2:00-2:50 Draper 203 Dr. Victor J. Hinojosa Office: Burleson, 303 Phone: 710-6045 Office Hours: 3:00-5:00 Monday and Wednesday And by appointment E-mail: Course Purpose and Overview This course serves as an introduction to the academic study of international relations. We discuss what international relations scholars study and how international relations are studied. Throughout the course we discuss the various theoretical approaches to the study of international politics, focusing primarily on realism, liberalism, and constructivism. A consistent theme is how our theoretical framework shapes our understanding of issues and events. We also discuss the various methodological approaches to the study of international relations and discover how various research strategies illumine different puzzles. The course further focuses on critical issues in contemporary international relations. Questions of war and peace are fundamental in the field, and the course begins with an assessment of those issues across time: from the beginning of the state system, to World Wars I and II, to the Cold War, and to the current Post-Cold War era. The contemporary security dilemma, which is influenced by state and non-state actors, will also be a consistent concern of the course. International relations are about more than security, however. Today economic issues often drive international affairs. This course surveys the development of the international economic system and explores how markets affect states and states affect markets. We also discuss how nations develop economically, some better than others. This serves as a bridge to the final section of the course, which focuses on the humanitarian issues at the heart of contemporary international relations scholarship: economic development and poverty, ethnic conflict, disease pandemics, non-state actors, and terrorism. While much of our discussion is empirical, we do not shy away from normative questions. Throughout the course we consider questions like “is globalization good?” – and if so, for whom? What are a nation’s responsibilities in a world of poverty, oppression, and injustice? What are our responsibilities as citizens in such a world? At
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Fundamentals Syllabus - Fundamentals of International...

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