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POL S 203 A: Introduction to International Relations

Meeting Time: 
MW 11:30am - 12:50pm
KNE 220
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Geoffrey P.R. Wallace

Syllabus Description:

POL S 203
Introduction to International Relations (Winter 2022)

Course Syllabus PDF (Revised)


Course Description
When are countries most likely to go to war? Why do tariffs and other barriers endure in spite of the seemingly universal benefits of free trade proclaimed by economists? Given the value often placed on having a clean environment, why do countries struggle so much to cooperate over its protection? What can governments do to stop threats to their security and well-being, whether violent or virulent? These and related questions are becoming more and more difficult to ignore in an increasingly globalized world.

This course serves as an introduction to the study of international relations. The primary purpose is to provide the theoretical and historical foundations necessary for analyzing and understanding international issues. Students will be encouraged to develop analytical skills in order to formulate their own views concerning issues and policy options facing the international community. Inevitably, every single topic of international importance cannot be covered. Nevertheless, this course will prepare students for more advanced topics in international relations, and help them to think critically about a wide range of international events. The ultimate aim is for students to leave the course as more informed and engaged citizens of the world.


Course Requirements
Students are expected to attend all lectures and meetings of their quiz section.

Final grades for the course are determined by the following components:

  • Midterm #1 – 25%
  • Midterm #2 – 25%
  • Final Exam – 30%
  • Section Participation – 20%
Catalog Description: 
The world community, its politics, and government. Offered: AWSpS.
Department Requirements: 
Introductory Courses
GE Requirements: 
Social Sciences (SSc)
Last updated: 
October 11, 2021 - 10:23pm