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World politics is often taken to be an arena of human interaction unto itself, where the concepts that serve us well in understanding domestic politics and our everyday public lives–democracy, law, morality, authority–are displaced by their opposites–rule by the strong, use of force, raison d’etat, anarchy. In particular, the discipline of International Relations claims special responsibility for analyzing and explaining this arena. But how different is world politics? We live in a world in which resolutions of the United Nations Security Council carry the aura of law and authority; human rights are held up as universal moral standards; international treaties regularly restrain supposedly sovereign states in regulating their domestic economies; and the vast majority of wars are now ‘civil’ ones. This course is about politics at the world scale and the myriad ways in which scholars and practitioners interpret and explain it. We start by covering international relations theories, and then turn to the international politics around the use of force, the amassing of wealth and implications of economic inequality, human rights, public health and environmental goals.
Format: lecture; The lectures will be given as Powerpoint slides that students will cover before class, as they do the readings. Synchronous course time will be devoted to discussion and to activities.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
short papers and tests, essay, final exam or project, and class participation
non; this is an introductory course, open to first-year students and sophomores; juniors and seniors may enroll only with permission of instructor and under special circumstances
first-year students and sophomores
POEC Required Courses
PSCI International Relations Courses