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Political Science 051: Introduction to International Relations University of Vermont Summer 2012 May 21st – June 15th Online

Lecturer: Alexandru Balas, PhD Email: Alexandru.Balas@uvm.edu Office Hours: TBD (on Skype – username: TBD) Course Description Countries around the world interact across a variety of different dimensions. This course is designed to introduce students to the many relationships that constitute global politics. Students will start by learning the major theoretical approaches in the international relations field from Thucydides to post-Cold War theories. After discussing the various actors in international politics, we then explore the key topics and debates in contemporary international relations: international conflict, international cooperation, international law, international political economy, and international development. What leads to war between two countries? How do international 3rd parties solve conflicts? Why do international actors cooperate with each other? How do international organizations help provide aid to countries after major crises? Why do countries sign international trade agreements? This is not a current events course, but students should leave the class with new tools for thinking about how to explain recent international actions and contemporary international behavioral trends. Learning Objectives At the end of the course, the participants will:        Be able to differentiate between, and apply, the major theories of international relations to understanding current events Be able to evaluate how well international relations theories explain the international system Have a good understanding of the causes of war Have a general familiarity with the causes of other types of violent conflict (terrorism, organized crime, and internationalized criminal gangs) Be able to explain the motives for international cooperation Have a general familiarity with the principles of international conflict management Have an understanding of the basic concepts in international law, international political economy, and international development

Required Readings and Additional Materials
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Joshua S. Goldstein and Jon C. Pevehouse. International Relations, 10th Edition, Longman, 2011 Karen A. Mingst, Jack L. Snyder, Essential Readings in World Politics, Fourth Edition, 2010

In addition to readings assigned from the books above, there are a number of additional required readings drawn from various scholarly journals, international news magazines, and reports. These readings may be accessed electronically through the library website or will be available on the course website. There may be some minor modifications regarding readings during the semester. If such modifications occur, they will be announced well in advance. Course Website and Additional Concerns The website for this course can be found at https://bb.uvm.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp . On the website I will post my contact information, links to online readings, a copy of the syllabus, and other important documents. I also will post announcements on the course website. Please contact me if you have any problems accessing materials on the course website. Requirements I expect all students to log in the online class regularly. I expect all students to attend the live webinars. If they cannot attend the live webinars, they should watch the recordings at a suitable time, but not later than 48 hours after the live webinar. Participation (5%) You will receive 5% out of the total grade for these two types of activities: a) Attending all the live webinars (or logging in to watch the webinar) – 2% b) Sharing news on international relations with your colleagues and commenting on why you think this news is interesting from an international relations point of view – you should have some arguments, not just saying “because of its major importance…”, or “because I really like EU politics…”. The news could be in video format, newspaper articles, blogs. You should end your news sharing with a question to develop dialogue between you and your colleagues. -3% Geography Quiz (10%) There will be a geography quiz on TBD. Part of international relations is knowing the actors and knowing information about the actors. Thus we will have a geography quiz on which you will be tested on issues of geography, political leadership, current international political events, and international organizations membership. I will give you more information on the specifics of the geography quiz as the time approaches. The questions on the geography quiz will be drawn from
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current events related to international relations that occurred in the previous 3 weeks to the geography quiz, and were featured in the New York Times and on the Economist.com. You should also study the maps on pg.564-572 of Goldstein and Pevehouse. Blog Commentaries (30% total) There will be two opportunities to post blog entries on current events. You should post your blog comments on one of the two options available: 1) watching a short online documentary on Al Jazeera English (on youtube) and writing a 1 pg. blog postings on a topic covered in one edition of one of these shows: Riz Khan, Witness, Frost Over the World, People and Power, Inside Story, or 101 East; or 2) listening to BBC World Service podcasts and writing a 1pg. commentary on a topic covered in one edition in one of these shows: Global News or From Our Own Correspondents. Please see the tip sheet for more information on the blog postings. Please note that each of the three blog postings (one per week) should be about 1 page in length (approximately 300 words). Once you posted your blog posting for the week, you should find another person’s blog posting and agree or disagree with their main idea in the blog. You should support your comments with evidence and arguments. You should link your arguments to the theories of international relations discussed. Please see the tip sheet for more information on the blog postings. Policy Papers (45% total – 15%*3 policy papers) + (10% decision-making review) Each of you will be asked to write three short policy papers (3-4 pages, Times New Roman 12, double spaced) on specific international relations topics. The structure of the policy papers should be the following:        briefly state your solution 1 to the problem present pros and cons for solution 1 (in bullet point format but explained enough so that a policy-maker that doesn’t have a lot of time could understand it) briefly state your solution 2 to the problem present pros and cons for solution 2 briefly state your solution 3 to the problem present pros and cons for solution 3 choose the solution you favor and explain why this is your favorite solution

Attention should be given to grammar, punctuation etc. Footnotes and bibliographical references are not required but can be used. More information will be provided a few weeks in advance of the first policy paper, on the course website. Each of you will also be asked once to act as policy-makers and read 3 policy papers of your colleagues, and for each of them pinpoint the strengths and the weaknesses of the paper in a page

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commentary (1 page for each of the 3 policy papers assigned = 3 pages total). Then you will be asked to assign a grade to these 3 policy papers. Afterwards each week, the students who are reviewing the policy papers will be asked to each submit their favorite policy on the discussion board and provide arguments for why they think that policy is the best one. At the end of the week, we will have an anonymous survey and everyone will get to vote on the top five policies. Grading: Your final course grade will not be curved and will be calculated according to a standard scale in which 97 and above is an A+, 93-97 is an A, 90-93 is an A-, 87-90 is a B+, 83-87 is a B, 80-83 is a B-, 77-80 is a C+, 73-77 is a C, 70-73 is a C-, 67-70 is a D+, 63-67 is a D, 60-63 is a D- and below 60 is a F. If you have a question about a grade that you have received, you should contact the instructor during office hours no earlier than 24 hours, but no later than 1 week after the graded assignment is returned to you. Please come to your meeting prepared with specific questions regarding your grade. For example, “why did I receive a C- on this exam” is not explicit enough for a grade challenge, but “I believe my answer for question 17 should receive more credit because I address concepts x, y, and z correctly” will lead to a more constructive discussion of your grade. In the rare event that you believe the grade you received was unwarranted, you should then submit to me a written statement that details your complaint, along with the original copy of the graded work. The grade you receive from the re-grade will be final, regardless of whether the revised grade is higher or lower than the original grade. Rules on Course Requirements: The following rules govern the requirements for this course: 1) Assignments are due on the dates and times noted on the syllabus and other places online. Failure to turn in any assignment by the designated date and time indicated results in a failing grade for that assignment. 2) Failure to turn in any assignment (even if the due date is past) results in a failing grade for the course. 3) Any exceptions to the above rules are given at the instructors’ discretion, only with prior approval, and only under instances of extreme emergency or serious illness. Appropriate documentation must be supplied by the student in any event. 4) Students are required to keep all notes, records of citations, and drafts associated with their assignments until two weeks after the due date of that assignment. Students should also keep electronic copies of their assignments. 5) Students may not receive assistance from anyone (except the instructors, staff members at the Writing Center-http://www.uvm.edu/wid/writingcenter/ -, or a librarian) in completing the assignments for this course. 6) The instructor will employ the latest software and other techniques to detect instances of academic dishonesty. Students determined to be in violation of the University regulations
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regarding academic honesty will usually receive a failing grade in this course and a letter will be placed in their student files indicating the circumstances surrounding that failing grade. In addition, they may be subject to additional University penalties. The instructor will follow procedures, and students retain all rights under the Student Code that can be found at http://www.uvm.edu/policies/student/studentcode.pdf. 7) Students needing additional time or other accommodations concerning note taking, the course website, or the paper assignments should discuss such matters with the instructors at the outset of the course. Appropriate documentation concerning disabilities may be required. For further information, consult the guide to disabilities that can be found at http://www.uvm.edu/access/. 8) The scanned readings on the course website are for educational purposes only. If you want to print them, please print only one copy for your personal use in this classroom. These readings are not to be shared with students not enrolled in this course. Classroom Protocol -- The Department of Political Science requires that this classroom protocol, defining minimum standards of conduct, be included in all syllabi of political science classes. 1. Students are expected to attend and be prepared for ALL regularly scheduled classes. 2. Students are expected to treat faculty and fellow students with respect. Rules on Webinars Behavior: 1) Students are expected to log in the webinar 5 minutes before the start of the class period. 2) Students who miss the live webinars should log in and watch the webinar’s recording. 3) When making comments in the webinar space students should state their questions clearly and be respectful of the opinions of their colleagues. Extensions and Late Work: 1) All work is due on the assigned due date by midnight. 2) Any assignment turned in late will be docked one full letter grade (ten percentage points) for the first day it is late, as well as an additional half-letter grade (five percentage points) for each additional day it is late. 3) Extensions for any requirements will not be granted except in cases of documented emergencies or serious illnesses. If you find yourself in such a situation, please contact me as soon as possible. I will be much more accommodating of your situation if you have notified me beforehand or in a timely manner. Academic Dishonesty:

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Cheating and plagiarism are absolutely unacceptable. I will employ various methods and techniques to detect cases of academic dishonesty. To be perfectly honest, in most cases it is typically quite easy for professors to spot cheating and plagiarism. If you are unsure as to what constitutes plagiarism, please ask me. When in doubt, always cite the source you have consulted! If you turn in a piece of plagiarized work, the appropriate university procedures will be pursued. You should be familiar with university codes on academic integrity, which can be found at: http://www.uvm.edu/policies/student/acadintegrity.pdf Other Rules: 1) Generally, I reply pretty fast to emails, but do not expect a reply overnight. I am from an older generation and thus I am not connected to the Internet 24/7  2) When you communicate via email with me or other faculty members, I would strongly suggest you use formal language and appropriate email etiquette. Start with “Dear X…” , reference the course you are registered in, and always sign your emails. Using text abbreviations is probably not a good idea. Starting your email with “Hey…” is not acceptable either. 3) Questions that have their answer in the syllabus will not be answered. You probably do not want to show me that you have not read the syllabus before asking a question either. NOTE: The Course Schedule and the assigned readings are available through the Course Materials on Blackboard. Please make sure to check weekly for the readings assigned and for the materials of that week. The materials for each week will be available in advance. COURSE SCHEDULE WEEK 1 International Relations Nuts and Bolts Goldstein and Pevehouse, 3-38 Theories of International Relations Goldstein and Pevehouse, 43-79, 84-94 Kant, ``To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch'' from Perpetual Peace, and Other Essays on Politics, History, and Morals (Mingst and Snyder) – pdf scan format provided by instructor WEEK 2 International Organizations Goldstein and Pevehouse, 233-254, 354-370
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International Conflict Goldstein and Pevehouse, 153-190 The Economist, ``The Man in the Baghdad Cafe: Which `Civilisation' You Belong to Matters Less than You Might Think'' WEEK 3 Terrorism and Violent Organizations The Economist, Criminal Gangs in the Americas: Out of the Underworld, January 5, 2006 http://www.economist.com/node/5354677 New York Times, Profile of Viktor Bout, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/06/world/europe/06iht06bout.10775886.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2 The Economist, “Exploding misconceptions” http://www.economist.com/node/17730424 International Peace Lessons Learned from the World’s Most Peaceful Countries, pg.61-81 http://www.visionofhumanity.org/wpcontent/uploads/PDF/2010/2010%20GPI%20Discussion%20Paper.pdf Invest Less in Bombs and More in Schools, http://www.visionofhumanity.org/info-center/invest-less-in-bombs-and-more-in-schools/ Daniel Curran et al., Two Paths to Peace Dennis Sandole, A Comprehensive Mapping of Conflict and Conflict Resolution: A Three Pillar Approach, http://www.gmu.edu/programs/icar/pcs/sandole#N_1_#N_1_ WEEK 4 International Political Economy Goldstein and Pevehouse, 283-294 International Development Goldstein and Pevehouse, 423-440, 484-493
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The Economist, Global Targets, Local Ingenuity, http://www.economist.com/node/17090934 The Economist, The $25 Billion Question, 1-6 , http://www.economist.com/node/4127278

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