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POL S 203 A: Introduction to International Relations

Meeting Time: 
TTh 1:00pm - 2:20pm
JHN 102
Professional Picture
Geoffrey P.R. Wallace

Syllabus Description:

POL S 203
Introduction to International Relations (Fall 2023)

Course Syllabus PDF


Course Description

When are countries most likely to go to war? Why do tariffs and other barriers endure despite the seemingly universal benefits of free trade proclaimed by so many 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, or what is also sometimes called world politics. The primary purpose is to provide the historical and theoretical foundations necessary for analyzing and understanding international patterns and events. Students will be encouraged to develop analytical skills in order to formulate their own views concerning problems and policy options facing the international community. Inevitably, every single issue 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 puzzles and problems. 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.
Department Requirements: 
Introductory Courses
GE Requirements: 
Social Sciences (SSc)
Last updated: 
May 11, 2023 - 10:00pm