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Syllabus for GOVT 006 2012 Version Public Version

Syllabus for GOVT 006 2012 Version Public Version

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Published by: Paul Musgrave on Jul 06, 2012
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Syllabus for GOVT 006: Introduction to International Relations Summer 2012

Course Information
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday July 9 – August 10 Car Barn 202 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Instructor Information
Paul Musgrave

Office Hours By Appointment

The field of international relations studies the interactions of political units that do not answer to a common authority. As a result, the questions that IR scholars ask about the world are almost always different than those asked by scholars of American or comparative politics. Instead of studying individuals’ voting behavior or the evolution of a country’s political institutions, IR scholars ask instead: Why do states make war? Why do states sometimes choose protectionism and sometimes choose free trade? Is war more or less likely if there are one, two, or many powerful states in the world? Did the advent of nuclear weapons fundamentally change world politics? Will the twenty-first century be as bloody as the twentieth? Answering these questions will help us understand more immediate problems, like what the consequences of a given U.S. foreign policy move will be or how we should understand the relationship between global trade and domestic politics. In this class, we will explore the major theories of international relations, investigate a variety of applications of these theories, and discuss topics that seem likely to grow in importance in the future. In this course, we will talk about how theories help us understand the world. This is a different—and more powerful—way of thinking about the subject than journalistic or policy-driven accounts that hinge on contingent and limited factors. One consequence of this approach is that you may find it somewhat difficult to think in abstract and causal terms at first. That is natural (literally so—our brains are not designed to handle chains of abstract reasoning!). But thinking theoretically will become easier for you as the course progresses, and you will finish the course with the tools necessary to understand your world in a more profound way than when you began.

A Note on the Syllabus

I do not expect any major changes to be made to the syllabus after the course begins, but if any changes should become necessary, I will notify the class in a timely manner. Musgrave Syllabus for GOVT 006, Summer 2012 1

Class Meetings
The class will begin on time. I will usually begin the day by referring to either a current event in the news or a major event from history before beginning the lecture. During the lecture, you should feel free to ask questions. There will be time for discussion at the end of most class sections. Headlines don’t set the agenda for International Relations, but scholars certainly do react to events in the world. Consequently, you should keep up to date with the news, ideally by reading the New York Times, the Financial Times, or the Wall Street Journal.

Office Hours
I do not hold set office hours, but I do encourage you to visit my tungle page (http://www.tungle.com/paulmusgrave) to set up meetings with me. Visiting office hours is an important part of your education.

Participation/Attendance: In-Class Reading Quizzes: Midterm: Final Essay: Final Exam: Grading Scale A+ A A97-100 93-96.9 90-92.9 B+ B B15% 15% 30% 20% 20% 87-89.9 83-86.9 80-82.9 C+ C C77-79.9 73-76.9 70-72.9 D F 60-69.9 <60

The midterm and final will be mixes of short-answer, identification, and essay questions. The final exam will be comprehensive. The final paper will be 4 to 6 pages long (12-point, double-spaced, in Garamond font, with 1‖ margins throughout). I will distribute topics and additional instructions during the course. Expect a minimum of six and a maximum of ten short quizzes over material from the reading. I will drop your lowest score. Participation and attendance are both important to the course. Good participation doesn’t require you to put your hand up every time I ask for questions; rather, I will evaluate the quality of your participation as well as the quantity. You should also feel free to come to my office hours if you do not like participating in the informal discussion part of the course. From time to time, we will have in-class activities that require your participation. Absences without an excuse will count as a zero. Official documentation, such as a medical excuse or the official GU form for university-related extracurricular activities, is required for an absence to be excused and not counted against your participation grade. I am strict about this, because it’s fairest to everyone. Musgrave Syllabus for GOVT 006, Summer 2012 2

You may not appeal a grade until 24 hours after you have received the work. All grade appeals must be accompanied by a written explanation of why you think the grade should be changed. I reserve the right to raise or lower the grade on re-examination.

Academic Integrity
All university policy regarding academic integrity applies in this course and will be strictly enforced. Violations include, but are not limited to, 1) cheating of any kind and 2) providing false or misleading information to receive a postponement or extension on a test, quiz, or assignment. For a full review of university policy, see http://scs.georgetown.edu/departments/29/summer-school/resources-and-policies.cfm .

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities should contact the Academic Resource Center (Leavey Center, Suite 335; 202-687-8354; arc@georgetown.edu; http://ldss.georgetown.edu/index.cfm) before the start of classes to allow their office time to review the documentation and make recommendations for appropriate accommodations. If accommodations are recommended, you will be given a letter from ARC to share with your professors. You are personally responsible for completing this process officially and in a timely manner. Neither accommodations nor exceptions to policies can be permitted to students who have not completed this process in advance.

Classroom Etiquette and Student Conduct
Students should turn off all cell phones, pagers, laptop computers, and other electronic devices while in class. (There are studies backing up instructors’ intuitions that students do not retain information as well if their laptops are open during teaching time, even if they are using their computers to take notes.) I will make a limited exception for iPads, Kindles, Nooks, and similar tablets if they are used for reading electronic versions of course texts only. Failure to comply will forfeit your tablet privileges for the semester (yes, even if your only copy of the book is electronic). I will post lecture notes and other material on Blackboard. The lecture notes will be posted after the conclusion of the class session.

Course Readings
This course is reading intensive. I strongly suggest that you form reading groups to lighten the load. Course readings not drawn from the required texts will be posted on Blackboard. Required Texts:  Jeffry Frieden, David Lake, and Kenneth Schultz, World Politics: Interests, Interactions, Institutions (Norton, 2010). (Henceforward FLS.) ISBN 978-0-39392709-2  Daniel Drezner, Theories of International Politics and Zombies (Princeton University Press, 2011) ISBN13: 978-0-691-14783-3

Musgrave Syllabus for GOVT 006, Summer 2012


Karen A. Mingst and Jack A. Snyder, Essential Readings in World Politics (978-0393-93534-9). (Henceforward ER.) Please note: Make sure you buy the FOURTH edition.

SECTION 1. The grand theories of international relations.
1. Introduction What distinguishes the study of ―politics among nations‖ from the study of politics within nations? How do social scientists think about the world? What is the difference between a theoretical and a historical approach to the study of international relations?    2. Thucydides. ―The Melian Dialogue.‖ ER pp. 10-11 Jack Synder, ―One World, Rival Theories,” ER pp. 2-9. FLS, Introduction and Chapter 1.

Grand Theories: Realism What is realism? When do realists believe that countries will go to war? What do realists think drives international relations? Do realists believe that lasting international peace is attainable?  FLS, Chapters 2 and 3 (Please make sure to read the ―Special Topic‖ about game theory on pages 75-78.)  Morgenthau, Hans. ―A Realist Theory of International Politics and Political Power.‖ 26-30.  Drezner, Zombies, 1-46  Mearsheimer, John. ―Anarchy and the Struggle for Power.‖ ER 31-49. Grand Theories: Liberalism and Neoliberalism Can states avoid conflict through cooperation? What is the nature of state power and preferences? Can states create institutions that allow them to avoid destructive, negative-sum conflict? Do states act to pursue absolute gains or relative gains?  FLS, Chapter 5  Doyle, Michael. ―Liberalism and World Politics.‖ ER 50-63.  Jervis, Robert. ―Cooperation under the Security Dilemma.‖ ER 335-349.  Drezner, Zombies, 47-66. Grand Theories: Constructivism What is the relationship between interest and identity? Of what stuff is the social world constructed? How do actors’ ideas affect their behavior?  Wendt, Alexander. ―Anarchy is what states make of it,‖ 64-88 in ER.  Drezner, Zombies, 67-76, 99-114. (You can read the other chapters as well.)



Musgrave Syllabus for GOVT 006, Summer 2012 4

Cooperation and conflict
5. Polarity and the international system How does the number of powers in a given system affect the politics of that system? Is there anything special about unipolarity? How does hegemony emerge— and what do transitions between hegemonic orders look like?  Charles Krauthammer, ―The Unipolar Moment,‖ Foreign Affairs (1990) ONLINE  Christopher Layne, ―The Unipolar Illusion: Why New Great Powers Will Rise,‖ International Security (1993) ONLINE  Ikenberry et al. ―Unipolarity, state behavior and systemic consequences,‖ ER 110-129.  Bull, ―Does Order Exist in World Politics?‖ ER 105-109. When do states cooperate? Can states use international organizations to overcome their uncertainty about others’ intentions to cooperate? Or is such reassurance impossible, thereby making conflict inevitable?  John Mearsheimer, ―The False Promise of International Institutions.‖ ER 308-319.  Keohane, Robert O. ―After Hegemony.‖ ER 292-307.  Thomas J. Christensen and Jack Snyder. ―Chain Gangs and Passed Bucks.‖ International Organization (1990). When does cooperation break down? (I) Why do states make war? Why doesn’t the weaker side simply back down and submit, allowing both the aggressor and the victim to avoid the costs of war itself?  James Fearon, ―Rationalist Explanations for War,‖ ER 349-374.  FLS Chapter 4. When does cooperation break down? (II) Why can’t states cooperate in the presence of potential major losses from inaction, as in environmental politics?  FLS, Chapter 12  Garrett Hardin, ―The Tragedy of the Commons,‖ ER  Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Prize Lecture: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2009/ostro m-lecture.html




SECTION 3. Changes to the World System

Musgrave Syllabus for GOVT 006, Summer 2012



Have nuclear weapons changed world politics? Some have claimed that the introduction of nuclear weapons in 1945 forever altered world politics. Others are more skeptical, and believe that nuclear weapons are just another tool that states can use in pursuit of their objectives. To what, if any degree, did the invention of nuclear weapons and the development of a world with multiple nuclear powers remake the texture of international life?  Albert Wohlstetter, ―The Delicate Balance of Terror,‖ Foreign Affairs 37.2 (January 1959) ONLINE  Schelling, ―The Threat That Leaves Something to Chance,‖ from The Strategy of Conflict (1960) ONLINE  Schelling, ―The Diplomacy of Violence,‖ ER 326-334  John Mueller, ―The Essential Irrelevance of Nuclear Weapons,‖ International Security (Autumn 1988) ONLINE  Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, ―The Nukes We Need,‖ Foreign Affairs (November/December 2009) ONLINE  ―Is Nuclear Zero the Best Option?‖ A debate between Ken Waltz and Scott Sagan in The National Interest (2010). ONLINE  *Doctor Strangelove [Film Screening TBA] Non-governmental organizations Non-governmental organizations have become increasingly visible in international life in the past thirty years, but are they important? Does their influence vary by issue? And has their influence always lived up to its moral billing?  FLS, Chapter 10  Alexander Cooley and James Ron, ―The NGO Scramble: Organizational Insecurity and the Political Economy of Transnational Action‖ International Security (2002) ONLINE  Silverstein, Ken. ―Silence of the Lambs.‖ Slate. ONLINE Terrorists What do terrorists want? How can terrorist tactics affect whether terrorists succeed? How important are terrorists in the international system?  Robert Pape, ―The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism‖, American Political Science Review (2003) ONLINE  Max Abrahms, ―What Terrorists Really Want: Terrorist Motives and Counterterrorism Strategy,‖ International Security (2008) ONLINE  Kydd and Walter, ―The Strategies of Terrorism,‖ ER Midterm




SECTION 4. International Political Economy.

Musgrave Syllabus for GOVT 006, Summer 2012



An Introduction to International Political Economy Can states control trade? Does allowing capital to move across borders significantly change the nature of international and domestic politics? Who makes the rules in the world economic system?  FLS, Chapters 6 and 7 International Trade, Finance, and Domestic Politics How can political leaders use foreign affairs to influence domestic outcomes—and how can they use obstacles at home to bolster their position in international organizations? How can domestic interest groups organize to affect international settlements? How do international arrangements affect domestic interest groups?  Robert Gilpin, ―The Nature of Political Economy,‖ ER 485-492.  Selections from Ronald Rogowski, Commerce and Coalitions (1989), from International Political Economy ONLINE  Alt and Gilligan, ―The Political Economy of Trading States‖ ONLINE International Political Economy: Development What makes some countries rich and others poor?  FLS, Chapter 8 and 9  Martin Wolf, ―Why Globalization Works,‖ ER 516-541.  Helen Milner, ―Globalization, Development, and International Institutions‖, ER International Political Economy: “Political” Comes First What are the limits to the influence of governments over economics? How do shifting political arrangements transform international economic structures?  Scheve and Slaughter, ―A New Deal for Globalization,‖ IPE 536-545. (On Blackboard.) ONLINE  Rodrik, ―How to Save Globalization from Its Cheerleaders,‖ IPE 546-566. (On Blackboard.) ONLINE




SECTION 5. The future of international relations.
17. IS + IPE: Can unipolarity last? The United States has been the most powerful state in the world system for at least the past 65 years. Since the end of the Cold War, it has not even had a real challenger. But will this happy condition persist? And what will happen if the era of unipolarity ends?  Michael Mastanduno, ―System Maker and Privilege Taker.‖ World Politics (2009) ONLINE  Robert Jervis, ―International Primacy: Is the Game Worth the Candle?‖ International Security (1993) ONLINE Musgrave Syllabus for GOVT 006, Summer 2012 7

 18.

John Mearsheimer, ―The Future of the American Pacifier,‖ Foreign Affairs (September/October 2001). ONLINE

IS + IPE: The rise of China What does the growing power of China signify for the world system?  Friedberg, Aaron L. ―Ripe for Rivalry.‖ International Security (1993) ONLINE  Christensen, Thomas. ―Fostering Stability or Creating a Monster? The Rise of China and U.S. Policy Toward East Asia,‖ International Security (2006). ONLINE  Drezner, Daniel. (2009) ―Bad debts: assessing China’s financial influence in great power politics.‖ International Security (2009) ONLINE  Kenneth Lieberthal. (2011) ―The American Pivot to Asia‖ Foreign Policy. ONLINE  Richard Stone. (2012) ―A New Dawn for China’s Space Scientists.‖ Science.

 19.

Richard Stone. (2012) ―Run by the Army for the Army?‖ Science. ONLINE

Does the future belong to the United States—or any state at all? We have largely taken the dominance of the state for granted in this survey of IR theory. But where did the state come from? Is the state here to stay? And what does this portend for the post-American century?  FLS, Chapter 13  John Rapley, ―The New Middle Ages,‖ Foreign Affairs (2006) ONLINE  Richard Haass, ―The Age of Nonpolarity,‖ Foreign Affairs (2008) ONLINE  Selections from Robert Lieber (2012), Power and Willpower in the American Future. ONLINE


Final Exam.

Musgrave Syllabus for GOVT 006, Summer 2012


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