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Spring_2010_Syllabus_1025 - POLITICAL SCIENCE 1025 Spring...

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GLOBAL POLITICS P OLITICAL S CIENCE 1025, Spring 2010 U NIVERSITY OF M INNESOTA Instructor: Teaching assistants: Denis Kennedy Sema Binay Office hours: Tuesdays 9-11am and by appt Hrs: Wed. 11:10-12:10, Th. 12:30-1:30 Social Science Bldg 733 Social Science Bldg 1214 Email: [email protected] Email: [email protected] Course info: Zhen Wang Pol 1025, Sec. 001, 4 credits Office Hours: Thurs. 2-3:30 Meeting time: Tues. and Thurs., 11:15-12:30 Social Science Bldg 748 Anderson Hall 330; http://moodle.umn.edu Email: [email protected] On January 12, 2010, one week before the start of this course, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the island state of Haiti. Within hours of the tremors, the international community began mobilizing a massive aid and recovery effort; the ensuing operations could take years and will require considerable political will and financial expenditure. In these tragic events, we bear witness to the multifaceted and dynamic workings of "global politics;" we glimpse the key actors, political processes, and broader historical and social contexts that made this and other events intelligible. Through high-profile crises like the Haiti earthquake, as well as through countless other exceptional and unexceptional events and practices, we come into contact with “the global.” What does it mean to speak of politics in a global sense? What are the key actors, processes, and trends? The Haitian earthquake calls our attention to numerous variables, including a panoply of actors (states, aid agencies, international organizations, churches, individuals), historical events and processes (colonialism, state formation, military intervention, civil war), and contemporary trends and debates (security, poverty, aid, development). Which variables matter and how do they interact? Which theories lend insight? This class attempts to provide the tools for students to begin to answer these types of questions. This class is an introduction to the study of global and international politics. Unit I provides a broad conceptual overview of concepts, definitions, and theoretical traditions and explanatory lenses. Units II, III, and IV are devoted to security, international organization, and economics, respectively. In Unit V, students will have the opportunity to cover 2-3 themes or issues of their choice, as decided by the class (details discussed on the first day). In this way, the course will better respond to student interests. By the end of the term, students should be familiar with and able to develop arguments about a broad set of issues and themes, including debates over the changing nature of war, security, and terrorism; economics, globalization, and the evolution of the nation-state; humanitarianism, human rights, and foreign intervention; and international organization, conflict, and cooperation. The goal is for students to develop a systematic understanding of international relations in their diverse political, economic, and social aspects. This course serves as an introduction to Pol 3835, which has a more theoretical focus.
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