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POL3835Syllabus - POL 3835 International Relations Theory...

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POL 3835: International Relations Theory Lauren Wilcox Summer 2008 [email protected] Tuesday/Thursday 5:45-8:50 Social Sciences 1368 Blegen 255. Office Hours: Thursday 4-5:30 Café Hours: Mondays 4-7 What does it mean to think theoretically about International Relations? The principal objective of this course is for students to develop an appreciation of the ways in which various theoretical perspectives lead to different understandings of the structures and practices of world politics. Each of the perspectives that we address in this course—realism, liberalism, constructivism, and a variety of critical social theories – accepts the assumption that the many and varied interactions among states and non-state actors in the global arena are vital elements of our world. However, in interpreting these many and varied forms of world politics, each of the theories offers not only a unique accounting of why international relations take the form that they do, but also distinct guidance about what international political activity should be. Therefore, this course will explore how each perspective explains events that occur in the arena of global politics; it also considers how adherents of each perspective think international actors should act in this arena. That is, we will investigate both the explanatory insights and the normative political implications that distinguish each theoretical perspective. Through the highlighting of such theoretical differences, the course is intended to provide the means for students to develop their own theoretically informed analyses of issues in contemporary international relations. Course Prerequisites It is recommended that this course be taken prior to coursework at the 4xxx-or 5xxx-level in the field of international relations. Students in this course should have descriptive familiarity with the subject matter of world politics, such as is provided in Political Science 1025. Students who have no course background in international politics will find the class difficult. The course is not recommended for students in the first year of their undergraduate studies. This course is intended for students who have already taken POL1025. Students who have not taken this class may find 3835 difficult, especially for a condensed summer class. Course Outcomes: Students will: Demonstrate the ability to use several influential theoretical perspectives to analyze current situations in international relations;
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Recognize the use and influence of these perspectives in everyday speech, journalism, and academic writing; Analyze and apply several different theoretical paradigms in International Relations Recognize the normative content of various theories of International Relations Required Texts: The following texts are available at the Campus Bookstore as well as various internet sources. We will be reading the Carr book immediately, so please plan accordingly. There is limited
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POL3835Syllabus - POL 3835 International Relations Theory...

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