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PSC 209: World Politics, Syllabus

Revised slightly, 5/22/19 by Prof. Jeremy Lewis.

Please check the following, using your Hawks identity only:

In summer, 3 semester weeks are compressed into each summer week, and each week of readings begins on Wednesday with a test each Tuesday following; each textbook chapter (though not GoogOlympics event) should be noted in 4-5 paragraphs, and each short reading in one paragraph, submitted in the Google form for reports on readings.

When adapted for course-by-conference, any class session missed will be replaced with report paragraphs as above, or an alternative.

Instructor: Professor Jeremy Lewis, Flowers 209, available M-F most of the day, especially 2-3 pm. 334.833.4521. <jLewis>. Office hours are detailed here. Course information is detailed here.

Catalog description

Introduction to comparative government and international relations.  The types of regime around the world, and differences among developed and less developed nation states.  Discussion of current issues in US foreign policy and world affairs.
This course introduces you to the concepts and practice of international politics, US foreign policy and institutions. Thus the course combines the modern developmental and organizational approaches with the traditional realist versus idealist schools method.

Course objectives

To prepare students for upper level courses in comparative government and international relations.
To engage college core students in learning about the political processes beyond the borders of the United States
Learning objectives: students will
Understand the differences among authoritarian and democratic; developed and less developed nation states.
Understand some issues of world politics.
Engage in critical thinking and writing about US foreign policy and current world affairs.
Expected outcomes: students will demonstrate these in Requirements
Current academic requirements are detailed on the Requirements page; requirements for the course adapted to course-by-conference are the same, except that any class session that is missed, shall be replaced with an essay of one typed page, single-spaced  on the session's reading or topic -- or, at the discretion of the instructor, by a tutorial session. Honors students: additional readings, presentations, discussion, test questions and a brief paper may be required: see Requirements page
For latest information, see the Booklist page.
Rourke, John T. and Mark Boyer.  International Politics on the World Stage, Brief Edition. (Dushkin).
This main text, lively in style, combines both traditional and modern approaches to world politics. It blends realist international relations with comparison of regimes and organizations.
Foreign Policy Association, ed., this calendar year's Great Decisions Briefing Book, [Selections]
Lively, illustrated, annual anthology (topics vary).  This book is not available through conventional book buying channels, but is published annually in February through the website; used copies of the physical book may also be available from Amazon or eBay.  We use it for discussions of contemporary issues.
Other resources
Other brief materials may be linked, or placed in a folder on Google Drive; these may include excerpts of some great classic pieces, such as Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian wars.  We shall occasionally analyze excerpts of documentary films, or recent news coverage where available. Current world affairs, such as an international crisis, will be discussed as part of the syllabus.  Attendance is recommended at at least one of the Alabama World Affairs Council's excellent guest speaker events, usually held at the Museum of Fine Arts, usually second Tuesday of the month at 6:15pm, following a reception at 5:30pm. Please dress smartly and obey the laws and college policy against alcohol consumption. Huntingdon has subscribed for several students per session.
You are expected to comply with the HC Honor Code [read College's statement, August 2009, of procedure for violations] and with specific rules of decorum placed on our Requirements page above.  You are also expected to comply with Huntingdon College's Code of Classroom Conduct, August 2009.

HC's attendance policy

Students are expected to attend all classes.
My specific attendance policy [read full details on Required page]
While school sanctioned excuses will not count against you, absences reduce your potential contribution to class, and absences in excess of four contact hours will reduce your class participation score.
HC's policy on completion of absence related work
A specific policy for completion of absence related work is up to the individual instructor.  The instructor must state the policy in the course syllabus.  The specific policy must not penalize a student for participation in a documented College sanctioned event or for a documented medical, personal or family emergency.  [Also requires prior notification via a new online form, and verification by a coach, or similar]
My specific policy on late completion of in-class work
Late completion of tests or other graded exercises in class will only be permitted in cases with documented, prior notification and documented excuses from a coach, medical doctor or similar authority.
Grading Policy
See my timetable of weekly topics and deliverable documents (or click on the course code on masthead)
See my Requirements page

Support Services for Students with Disabilities

"Faculty at Huntingdon College make every effort to accommodate unique and special needs of students with respect to speech, hearing, vision, seating, or other possible adaptions. Please notify the Disability Services Intake Coordinator, via email at or at (334) 833.4465, as soon as possible, of requested accommodations."
Staton Center for Learning Enrichment
"The Center for Writing and Critical Thinking, located in Jackson 112, provides support at all levels to students working to improve proficiency at skills associated with college-level reading, writing, and critical thinking. The Center offers an active interface among student, instructor, assignment, and tutor. Free one-on-one tutoring is available to all Huntingdon students, either by appointment or on a walk-in basis, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Contact Ms. Vaughan Dickson, Director of the Center for Writing and Critical Thinking, at (334) 833-4454 or by email at to schedule an appointment or for more information."
Medical Considerations
"If you have a medical condition that may preclude participation in this course or any aspect of this course, the College suggests you consult your physician. The College will work with you based upon physician recommendations to find the best means to address any concerns."
Title IX Statement
"Huntingdon faculty are committed to supporting students and upholding the College's non-discrimination policy. Under Title IX, discrimination based upon sex and gender is prohibited. If you experience an incident of sex- or gender-based discrimination, we encourage you to report it. While you may talk to a faculty member, understand that as a "Responsible Employee" of the College the faculty member MUST report to the college's Title IX Coordinator what you share. If you would like to speak with someone who may be able to afford you privacy or confidentiality, there are people who can meet with you. Faculty can help direct you or you may refer to Huntingdon's Sexual Misconduct Policy at You do not have to go through the experience alone."
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