NOTE: Will be revised prior to the Winter quarter.

Department of Humanities & Social Sciences  


GS 163

   International Relations



Fall 2010

Professor TERRENCE CASEY Office: A209 Moench  
PHONE: 877-8281 RHIT Mailbox: #93
E-Mail: Office Hours:  MTRF 3rd or drop-in.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What determines how countries and other actors behave in international politics? How do we achieve security in an insecure world? Can we restart the engine of the global economy and keep it humming well into the 21st Century? This course explores these issues through an examination of the basic concepts and theories of international relations, focusing on the relative influence of power, institutions, and ideas in shaping world politics. Although we will discuss what is going on around the world, this is not just a current events course. After completing this course you should be armed with the conceptual and theoretical tools necessary to help you understand and analyze world events in both the present and the future.


Prof. Casey's Homepage   Course Syllabus (PDF)


Reader Summaries Template (MS Word) Argumentative Essay Assignment


Textbooks: Henry Nau's Perspectives on International Relations, 2nd Edition, CQ Press, 2008  (Click here to go to Perspectives on International Relations companion website.) and Henry Nau, ed., International Relations in Perspective: A Reader, CQ Press, 2010.

News Links:

New York Times Washington Post
The Economist The Times (London)
The Financial Times BBC
The Newshour (PBS) CNN


A. Examinations (100 points each; 300 points total): Examinations will be administered on Friday, September 24th, Friday, October 22nd, and during finals week (date and time TBA). The exams will consist of both objective and analytical questions drawn from all parts of the course (readings, lectures, videos, etc.). I will provide study guides and greater guidance on the structure of the exams closer to the date.

B. Argumentative Essays (50 points each; 100 points total): Each Friday we will be discussing and debating a contentious issue in international relations. You will be required to write TWO essays that seek to provide an answer to these questions. Details on the assignment will be handed out separately. In order to help facilitate the discussions, everyone is required to gather three articles for EACH discussion. These can later be used for your paper if you write on that question, but are required even if not. These should be placed in the appropriate ANGEL dropbox. Failure to do so will result in a deduction on your paper grade (up to 10 points per paper). You must write one of these essays by Friday, October 8th (end of 5th week). The second is due on Friday, November 19th (end of 10th week) Papers turned in by October 8th have the option of being revised and resubmitted for a (potentially) higher grade. All revisions are also due by the end of 10th week

C.  Reader Book Chapter Summaries (10 points each; 100 points total): Henry Nau's, International Relations in Perspective: A Reader contains an excellent selection of classic and contemporary readings in IR. We will be reading many of these selections-- about 2-3 a week -- during the quarter. In order to ensure that you keep up with the readings and properly understand the content, you will be required to write short summaries of TEN of the selections from the reader book. (NOTE: ALL of the chapters listed in the syllabus are required reading, even though you are only required to write summaries for 10 of them.) A MS Word template is on the course website and the completed assignments should be downloaded to the appropriate ANGEL drop box. These summaries will be graded as follows: A = 10; B = 8; C = 7; D = 6; F = 0. Your grade is dependent on successfully and coherently summarizing the piece (to include proper grammar, spelling, syntax, etc.) AND explaining its significance to the understanding of international relations. Your summaries can be submitted at any time, but you must do at least five summaries prior to fall break (Oct. 14-15) and the remaining by the end of 10th week.

Schedule of Lectures and Readings

 All reading should be done PRIOR to the lecture or exercise on the topic. Note that all dates are tentative and may need to be adjusted later in the quarter. Since both books have the same author, Nau, Perspectives on International Relations, 2nd ed. Is listed as 'Textbook' below whereas Nau, International Relations in Perspective: A Reader is listed as 'Reader'.

PDFs of the PowerPoint slides accompanying the lectures will be added as the course progresses.

PART I: The Fundamentals of International Relations (Weeks 1-3)




(Sept. 3-4)

NO CLASS (Professor Casey attending the American Political Science Association Conference)



(Sept. 6-10)

What is International Relations (IR)?

Textbook, Introduction

Reader, Intro. I.1 (Morgenthau)


The International State System

Textbook, pp. 84-104 and 510-513

Reader, Chapter 2.1 (Schroeder)


IGOs and NGO’s

Textbook, Chapter 16 and pp. 196-98

Reader, Chapter 16.1 (Karns and Mingst)


DISCUSSION: Should the United States work more cooperatively with the United Nations and other international organizations?



(Sept. 13-17)

Levels of Analysis

Textbook, pp. 56-62

Reader, Chapter 1.6 (Singer)


The Realist Perspective

Textbook, pp. 20-34

Reader, Chapter 1.1 (Carr)


DISCUSSSION: Is the rise of China a threat to the United States?



(Sept. 20-24)

The Liberal Perspective

Textbook, pp. 34-44

Reader, Chapter 1.2 (Keohane and Nye)


The Identity Perspective

Textbook, pp. 44-53

Reader, Chapter 1.3 (Wendt)

 Exam #1 -- NEW DATE! Thursday, September 30th

Exam # 1 Study Guide


PART II: International Conflict and War (Weeks 4-7)





 (Sept. 27-Oct. 1)

The Causes of Conflicts: World War I

Textbook, Chapter 3

Reader, Chapter 3.1 (Trachtenberg)


Discussion: Was World War II a 'good war'?



(Oct. 4-8)

The Causes of Conflicts: World War II

Textbook, Chapter 4

Reader, Chapter 4.1 (Haas)


DISCUSSION: Were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan necessary wars?



(Oct. 11-12)

The Causes of Conflicts: The Cold War

Textbook, Chapter 5

Reader, Chapter 5.1 (Kennan) and 5.3 (Gaddis)


FALL BREAK, Oct. 14-15



(Oct. 18-22)

The Post-Cold War, 9/11, and Beyond

Textbook, Chapter 6 and 7

Reader, Chapter 6.1 (Fukuyama),  6.2 (Huntington), and 7.4 (Muller, with response)

Exam #2 New Date! -- Monday, November 1st  

Exam #2 Study Guide

PART III: Globalization and the World Economy (Weeks 8-9)






(Oct. 25-29)

The Origins of Globalization

Textbook, Chapter 8

Reader, Chapter 8.1 (Kindleberger)


Globalization: Principle and Practice

Textbook, Chapter 9

Reader, Chapter 10.1 (Krugman), and 10.2 (Dunaway)


Discussion: Does the recent financial crisis prove that free markets don't work and the government must actively intervene in the economy?



(Nov. 1-5)

Globalization Today

Textbook, Chapter 10

Reader, Chapter 9.1 (Wolf), 9.2 (Rodrik), and 1.5 (Panitch)


Economic Development: Asia and Latin America

NO LECTURE: Responsible for reading Nau, Chapter 11 ONLY

Textbook, Chapter 11



END OF QUARTER -- All other topics and readings CANCELLED



Economic Development: Africa and the Middle East

Textbook, Chapter 12

Reader, Chapter 12.2 (Arbache, Go, and Page)


DISCUSSION: Is globalization good for America?



PART IV: Global Forces for Change (Week 10)






(Nov. 15-19)

The World Environment

Textbook, Chapter 14

Reader, Chapter 14.2 (Singer and Avery)


Global Civil Society

Textbook, Chapter 15

Reader, Chapter 15.1 (Slaughter)


Conclusion: Peace through Democracy?

Textbook, Conclusion

Reader, Conclusion C.1 (Russett and Oneal)


DISCUSSION: Should the US be doing more to combat global warming?



Exam #3 -- Wednesday, November 17th, 6-8pm, Moench A202