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World Politics

POL 225W

World Politics

POL 225W

Course Description

Prerequisite: LEVEL 2 READING or LEVEL 2 WRITING or co-enrollment in ENG 98. Examines the nature and structure of world politics. Emphasizes the dynamics of conflict and cooperation, processes of foreign policy decision-making, and analytical approaches used to explain and assess how nations behave. Emphasizes the influence of contemporary issues in world politics on American government and politics. (This course satisfies the American Government graduation requirement in all curricula.) (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Use conceptual frameworks to analyze continuity and change in the international system.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the macro political approaches to the study of world politics.
  • Distinguish between the individual, national, and systemic levels of analysis.
  • Identify and explain the forces of continuity and forces of change in world politics.

Analyze the major analytical perspectives through which scholars and policy makers have interpreted international relations.

Objectives:

  • Describe the assumptions and basic concepts that underpin the following theoretical approaches to the study of world politics: current history, liberal idealism, realism, behavioralism, neoliberalism.
  • Evaluate the problems and possibilities of developing a science of international politics.

Assess models used to examine how states make foreign policy choices.

Objectives:

  • List and evaluate the intellectual steps involved in the rational actor model.
  • Describe the attributes of the bureaucratic politics model.
  • Identify the factors (domestic and external) affecting leaders' capacity to lead.
  • Contrast decision making as an ideal and the actual process of foreign policy decision making.

Relate the basic structures of world politics to historical cycles of war and peace.

Objectives:

  • Identify and compare the most common theoretical explanations of great-power war.
  • Describe and apply post-World War II models of the balance of power: unipolarity, bipolarity, bipolycentrism, multipolarity.
  • Propose and defend an explanation for the "long peace" between the superpowers during the Cold War.
  • Develop a model that clarifies the links between the North-South conflict and: international hierarchy, the development process, nonstate actors, global environmental challenges, global demographic patterns.
  • Analyze the effects of the dispersion of weapons technology and weapons proliferation on global conflict.
  • Assess the role of universal and regional actors in limiting global conflict.

Evaluate common strategies used in the international system to limit and resolve conflict.

Objectives:

  • Use the concept of security dilemma to account for state behavior in the realm of national security policy.
  • Identify the elements of a crisis situation.
  • Explain how states can use coercive diplomacy to limit or prevent conflict.
  • Describe the goals of economic sanctions and assess the suitability of sanctions for achieving these goals.
  • Illustrate the use of collective security to maintain peace.
  • Evaluate the relative success of arms control and disarmament in preserving peace.
  • Develop plausible scenarios for how conflict might be managed in a future international system based on globalization.

Write effectively for a specific audience and purpose.

Objectives:

  • Articulate clearly important ideas.
  • Select, organize, and present details to support a main idea.
  • Employ the conventions of written, edited, standard English.
  • Quote, paraphrase, and summarize accurately.
  • Document sources in a conventional style.
  • Use appropriate vocabulary for the audience and purpose.

Demonstrate the learning of concepts through writing

Objectives:

  • Analyze course content in written form.
  • Explain the subject matter in a coherent writing style.