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03/23/2013

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Department of Political Science POLS 051Dr. Fariborz Mokhtari Summer 2013Introduction to International relationsWhy do nations fight? Why do wars occur? How could peace be maintained? How doethics, expediency, and national interest influence international affairs? How donational power, international politics, and sovereignty interact? Is the internationalsystem inherently programmed for conflict? Is every nation in a struggle for survivalfears others? Is the quest for dominance the only choice available to assure survivalof the great powers? These are basic questions addressed in an introductory courseon International Relations. Theories of international relations could be grouped intwo schools of thought. One is Liberalism that views states to be the main actors ininternational politics, that internal characteristics shape states’ behavior, and that economic interdependence, democracy, and international organizations constitutemore compelling influences on states than power calculations. The other is Realismthat also sees states as main actors in international relations, but finds humannature, the global structure of state relations, and the struggle to survival, as themain motivators of international relations. We begin our quest to understandinternational relations with “Classical Realism” which dominated the study of politics among nations from the 1940s for three decades and re-emerged in the1990s.Required Readings:Hans J. Morgenthau,
The Struggle for Power and Peace (Brief Edition), Revised by Kenneth W. Thompson (McGraw-Hill)
John G. Stoessinger,
Crusaders And Pragmatists: Movers of Modern American ForeignPolicy 
(Norton)The books are available through online booksellers at very reasonable prices.Evaluation:There will be three examinations in this course. The first, a take-home, will receive20% of the grade for the course. The second, an hourly in-class test, will receive40% of the grade. The final exam will be another take-home with 25% of the grade.The remaining 15% will be allocated to class participation and quizzes. Classattendance is crucial since make-ups for missed discussions and quizzes will beimpossible and impractical. Take-home exams submitted late, will be subjected to a50% grade penalty.

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