IR_210_Spring_2008_Syllabus

IR_210_Spring_2008_Syllabus - IR 210 Spring 2008...

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IR 210, Spring 2008 International Relations: Introductory Analysis Dr. Dan Lynch Tel: 213-740-0773 Associate Professor E-mail: [email protected] School of International Relations Office: VKC 326-B University of Southern California Hours: Wed 10:30 am-12 pm Los Angeles, CA  90089-0043 Thurs 2-3:30 pm Introduction The objectives of IR 210 are three-fold: (1) to review international history, (2) to outline the core  analytical concepts of International Relations (IR) as a discipline, and (3) to use IR concepts to  explore certain key contemporary issues in world politics. We will use two textbooks in the course: Buzan and Little’s  International Systems in World History  (2000), and Baylis and Smith’s   The Globalization of World Politics   (2005).   Both are extremely  important books but differ significantly in their content and purpose, as you will soon discover.  Once you have mastered Baylis and Smith in the context of Buzan and Little, you will have a more  sophisticated understanding of IR and will be ready to tackle higher-level courses.   In addition,  your   reading   of   the   New   York   Times   and   general   consumption   of   “the   news”   will   become  significantly more nuanced and critical. Course requirements for IR 210 are a little different from those of other classes.  We will have two  exams: a midterm (Tuesday, March 4 th ) and a final (Tuesday, May 13 th ).   You won’t have to write  any research papers or do any take-home assignments for IR 210 .  But instead, to develop your  written communication and analytical skills, and to promote mastery of the material, you will write  detailed   commentaries   on   the   assigned   readings   and   lectures   on   the   Blackboard   IR   210  discussion boards.   You will also attend a discussion section each week in which one of four  teaching   assistants—all   outstanding   graduate   students—will   lead   focused   discussions   of   the  debates and issues covered that week in the readings and lectures. Discussion board participation and discussion section participation are together worth 50%  of your final course grade.  Therefore, it’s  imperative  that you stay on top of the assigned  readings and that you attend class and make your discussion board posts promptly.
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Written participation on the discussion boards itself counts 35% of the final course grade.   For  every lecture, you will have to post at least one thoughtful comment on the assigned readings  before  class and at least one thoughtful comment  after  class (within about 24 hours).  “Thoughtful” 
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