Syllabus IR 381 Spring 2009

Syllabus IR 381 Spring 2009 - Introduction to International...

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Introduction to International Security Professor Manning University of Southern California, School of International Relations, Spring 2009 Class Meetings: MW 12:30-1:50pm Office: VKC 300B Lecture Room: VKC 156 Hours: T/T by appointment Email Address: [email protected] The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 may have dramatically altered the sense of security and post-Cold War immunity from foreign threats most Americans had enjoyed but more than seven years after that tragic morning we see that the fundamentals of international politics have not changed significantly. In many respects a greater transformation occurred on 25 December 1991 when Mikhail Gorbachev dissolved the Soviet Union, thereby effectively ending the Cold War, but even then beyond a shift away from bipolarity the fundamentals remained constant. Over seventeen years later the United States is still the most powerful and richest nation existing in an anarchic international environment and its leaders remain principally concerned with the same problems their predecessors worried about – deterring aggression and seeking to meet America’s resources with its global ambitions. At the time of this writing one thing is clear about the challenges Barack Obama and his national security team will face – they are numerous, multi-faceted and we cannot ignore them. At the same time, the field of international security will continue to evolve as the environment changes but as long as the primary units existing in the anarchic international arena are sovereign states, the fundamental concern of the practitioners and theorists of international security will be the search for freedom from fear and aggression. Course Objectives and Structure: By the end of this semester you should be well-acquainted with the foundational concepts in this field of study and have a firm grasp of the pillars of the nuclear problem –nuclear deterrence strategy, arms control and proliferation. We will also engage in a series of seminars exploring such related topics as the political-psychological reactions of citizens from your age group to the threat of catastrophic nuclear war and terrorism, the rise of China, the role nuclear weapons have played and will continue (?) to play in underwriting international security/stability and the formulation of an American grand strategy to replace Containment. Expectations Everyone must come to the seminar fully abreast of the material assigned in the required reading and prepared to engage in a serious discussion on that seminar’s topic. As each student will have over three months to conduct the research for and write their research paper the product of your efforts will be assessed accordingly. More specific details on these expectations will follow.
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Components of Your Grade 10 Effort/Participation/Attendance A- 90-92 C 73-76 25 Midterm Examination B+ 87-89 C- 70-72 30 Research Paper B 83-86 D+ 67-69 35 Final Examination B- 80-82 D 63-66 C+ 77-79 D- 60-62 Required Readings and Textbooks
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Syllabus IR 381 Spring 2009 - Introduction to International...

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