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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., Great Decisions Briefing Book, 2017 and later annual editions [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 (see Syllabus on Canvas) and with specific rules of decorum placed on our Requirements page above. 

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