INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Introduction to International Relations
|Prof. Gregory Gause||
Office Hours: TTh 12:30-1:30, 3:30-4:30 PM
|525 Old Mill||
or by appointment
Purpose: Why did the
This is a course in the Teacher-Advisor Program. First, that means that this is a small class. While I will lecture in some classes, in others we will cover the material through dialogue and classroom participation. That places a burden on you as a student. It is imperative that you come to class prepared to discuss the readings. Part of your grade will be classroom participation. Second, because we are relatively few in number, we can spend more time on honing your skills as a critical reader and a clear writer. To that end, I will ask you to analyze the arguments of a number of our readings. I will also require you to rewrite a number of your assignments, based upon my comments. These rewrites are not optional. There is no essay so perfect than it cannot be improved. Third, I am the academic advisor for every student in this class. I hope that, as we get to know each other, you will feel comfortable in coming to me with any questions or problems you have in your academic life at UVM.
Organization and Grading: The major written assignments in the class are two essays, maximum seven pages (double-spaced, typed) in length. The first will be due on October 30; the second will be due on December 15. For both essays, submit to me a draft of your first paragraph and an outline of the remainder of the essay three classes before the essay is due. The last page of the syllabus lists the questions for those essays. Students will also write two “thesis identification exercises” (no longer than 500 words each) based on assigned readings. This assignment is explained in greater detail on p. 6 of the syllabus. You will be required to submit rewrites of your “thesis identification exercises” based upon my comments on your first drafts. There will be at least 4 in-class, multiple choice quizzes during the semester. The schedule for those quizzes is in the syllabus, though I reserve the right to postpone quizzes if material needs to be covered for that quiz. I reserve the right to assign other writing assignments which will be calculated with the quiz grades for purposes of computing the final grade.
There is no final exam in this course. The final grade will be computed as follows: First essay -- 25%; Second essay -- 25%; Quizzes -- 20%; Thesis identification exercises -- 20%; class participation -- 10%.
From time to time I will be unable to attend a regularly scheduled class, because of academic or other obligations out of town. I reserve the right to schedule make-up classes during reading period to cover any material in the syllabus that was not completed during the semester.
Texts: The following texts have been ordered by the bookstore --
-Joshua Goldstein and Jon C. Pevehouse,
International Relations (brief 4th edition)
-Joseph Nye, Understanding International Conflicts (6th edition)
-Joan Spero and Jeffrey Hart, The Politics of International Economic Relations (custom edition)
time to time I will be unable to attend a regularly scheduled class, because of
academic or other obligations out of town.
I reserve the right to schedule make-up classes during reading period to
cover any material in the syllabus that was not completed during the semester.
-- The Department of Political Science requires that this classroom protocol,
defining minimum standards of conduct, be included in all syllabi of political
Students are expected to attend and be prepared for ALL regularly
Students are expected to arrive on time and stay in class until the
class period ends. If a students
knows in advance that s/he will need to leave early, s/he should notify the
instructor before the class period begins.
Students are expected to treat faculty and fellow students with respect.
For example, students must not disrupt class by leaving and reentering
during class, must not distract class by making noise, and must be attentive to
comments being made by the instructors and by peers.
SCHEDULE OF LECTURES,
Sept. 2: Introduction to the Course; Distribution of the Syllabus
Sept. 4-9: Elements of the International System: Anarchy, Order, Power and Sovereignty.
-Goldstein, pp. 1-9, 37-56, 216-236, 249-264, 354-361
-Nye, pp. 1-12, 175-185, Chapter 8
Sept. 11: First thesis identification exercise due – Hedley Bull, "The Idea of International Society," to be distributed via e-mail. Discussion of the article.
Sept. 16-18: Levels of Analysis.
-Goldstein, pp. 9-19, 75-89
-Nye, Chapter 2
Sept. 23 – FIRST QUIZ
Sept. 23-30: World War I
-Nye, Chapters 3 and 4
Oct. 2: Second thesis identification exercise due – Raymond Aron, "Homogeneous and Heterogeneous International Systems," to be distributed via e-mail. Discussion of the article.
Oct 7-9: Contending Theories of International Relations: Realism and Liberalism (with special reference to international conflict)
-Nye, pp. 12-29
-Goldstein, pp. 35-37, 66-75, 112-152
-Thucydides, “The Melian Dialogue,” http://gainsford.tripod.com/melian.htm
Oct. 14: SECOND QUIZ
Oct. 14-21: The Cold War, Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Deterrence.
-Nye, Chapter 5
-Goldstein, pp. 57-63, 152-165
-John Lewis Gaddis, “The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System” (on Bailey-Howe Library e-reserve system: http://voyager.uvm.edu)
Oct. 23: First paragraph and outline of first essay due (returned Oct. 28)
Oct. 23-28: International Political Economy: Realism and Liberalism Revisited. Trade and Finance.
-Goldstein, Chapter 5
-Nye, pp. 204-223
Oct. 30: FIRST ESSAY DUE
Nov. 4: THIRD QUIZ
Oct. 30-Nov. 6: The Post-World War II Capitalist System.
-Spero and Hart, Chapters 2-3, 6-7
Nov. 11-20: The Possibilities and Problems of International Cooperation: Oil/OPEC and the European Union
-Goldstein, pp. 236-248
-Spero, Chapter 9
-Nye, pp. 223-229
Nov. 20: FOURTH QUIZ
Dec. 2: A Critique of Realism and Liberalism: Feminism
-Goldstein, pp. 99-108
Dec. 4: First paragraph and outline of second essay due (returned Dec. 9)
Dec. 4 and 11: A Clash of Civilizations or a New World Order? Conclusion of the Course
-Nye, Chapter 9
Dec. 9: Discussion of second essay, based on outlines
Dec. 15: SECOND ESSAY DUE
must be double-spaced typed, with one-inch margins at the top, bottom and sides
of the pages.
Letter size of the font may be no smaller than the size used in this syllabus.
limits will be strictly observed. Do
not exceed them.
essays are analytical, not research-based.
You need not read anything but
the assigned readings to write them. You
do, however, have to think about the assigned readings and the lectures in
order to write good essays.
key to these essays is making an argument and supporting it with references to
the readings and lectures. Your
answer to the question -- your thesis -- should be clearly stated at the very
outset of the paper. Give a brief
overview of the structure of your argument -- how you intend to support your
thesis -- before launching into your discussion of the cases.
Make sure that when you do refer directly to a reading that you properly
cite the author(s). A full citation
is not necessary. An abbreviated
citation (eg.: Goldstein, p. 234) is sufficient.
If you do cite a source other than those included in the assigned
readings, give the full citation.
e) Leave yourself enough time to
write a first draft, edit and cut it, and hand in the second draft.
Thesis Identification Exercises.
You will read the two selections and write very short (no more than 500 words) descriptions of what the author's thesis is and the arguments used to support it. By thesis, I mean the major point or argument that the author is trying to convey in the reading. Being able to identify an author's thesis is an essential skill of critical reading. Having a clear thesis is an essential element of good analytical writing. You are also expected to summarize the main supporting argument or arguments that the author uses to prove his or her thesis.
These exercises will be worth 20% of the student's final grade.
First Essay -- Choose one of the following two questions. Due at the beginning of class October 30. Length: maximum seven pages (double-spaced, typed).
1. Does realism as
an approach to studying international relations dictate specific policy choices
to decision makers? Or could different people, beginning with the same realist
first principles, come to very different policy conclusions about specific
issues? Discuss this question by imagining yourself as a British policy maker in
August 1914. Make an argument, based on realist principles, for Britain taking
an aggressive role in supporting France and Russia, even to the point of war, in
the crisis. Then present an argument, also based on realist principles, for
Britain to remain aloof from the developing crisis. (Remember, this is a
question about realism. A good answer has to discuss the basic principles of
realism as a starting point, before getting into the details of the two
2. The crisis of August 1914 led to a world war. The many crises of the Cold War did not. Is the only difference the presence of nuclear weapons? If so, explain how nuclear weapons have so drastically altered the security situation since 1945, with examples from the Cold War. If not, describe the other relevant differences between the outbreak of World War I and the Cold War that can explain why great power war occurred in the first case and did not in the second. (A good answer to this question must be truly comparative -- it must discuss both the World War I case and the Cold War case.)
Second Essay -- Due December 15. Length: maximum seven pages (double-spaced, typed).
Does realism or liberalism provide a better explanation for how states behave in the international economic realm? Discuss this question in relation to the cases we have examined this semester: trade and financial relations among North America, Japan and Western Europe since 1945; the European Union; and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. (Your answer to this question need not necessarily be that one theoretical approach is always right and the other always wrong. If you are going to argue that some cases seem best explained by one theory and others by another, you must discuss the conditions under which each one seems to apply.)
International Relations Links
If you are interested in following events in international relations or learning more about specific issues, the following links can be very useful:
|New York Times International section|
|Washington Post International section|
|The home page of the journal Foreign Affairs, which can also connect you to news services, think tanks, international organizations, and other interesting international sites.|
|Website for the Goldstein textbook, which contains study guides and sample quizzes for each chapter.|