790-102-12 - 790:102:12 Introduction to International...

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790:102:12 – Introduction to International Relations Page 1 of 6 Rutgers University Spring 2009 Department of Political Science M and W 7:15 – 8:35 (7 th Period) Hickman Hall 138 790:102:12 – Introduction to International Relations Instructor: Michael Rossi E-Mail : [email protected] Office Hours/Location : 6:00 – 7:00 Wed Hickman Hall Room 404 Course Overview This introductory course seeks to develop students’ skills in understanding how states and non-state actors interact with one another at the international level. Through an examination of the actors, the issues, and events, which transcend national boundaries, we will examine three general themes: What are the strategic choices that confront states? Why do states choose the courses of action they do? How does the international political system structure and shape the beliefs and the courses of action that states follow? Several disciplines, including history, economics, philosophy and power politics, help us to understand international relations. Introductory IR courses have traditionally placed the state at the center of all analyses. States have traditionally been seen as unitary actors expressing the collective interest of the entire population (or at the very least, sectors of the population that mattered in terms of policy-making). As argued by the Realist tradition for more than 2,500 years, the state is the dominant actor in the international arena, but its prominence has increasingly come under competition by the rise in a variety of non-state actors over the past fifty to seventy-five years. Some are intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations, NATO and the European Union. Others are non-governmental organizations, such as Red Cross, Amnesty International, and multinational corporations (some of whose annual profit margins excel the GDP of many Third World countries). With this in mind, a fourth question is added to our central focus: What is the future role of the state in the present international environment? Although this course is introductory and does not assume prior coursework, it is not an easy class and sets high expectations. The reading is substantial , and many terms and concepts will be exposed to you for the first time. We will look at historical case studies to better help understand the ways in which the international system operates, but we will also thoroughly examine theoretical concepts and arguments throughout the semester. Class lectures are not solely based on assigned readings but will build on what we have read with new information provided by me. Needless to say, class attendance is not only recommended, it is strategic.
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790:102:12 – Introduction to International Relations Page 2 of 6 Requirements One midterm examination (30 % of your grade), date: March 11 One final examination (30% of your grade), date: May 11, 8-11 PM HCK 138 One 2000 word analytical paper (questions will be provided) (30 % of your grade),
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790-102-12 - 790:102:12 Introduction to International...

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