Politics 2940 Introduction to International Politics

Politics 2940 Introduction to International Politics


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York University

Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

Department of Politics

Politics 2940 6.0 (B)

Introduction to International Politics

Fall 2019/Winter 2020

Lectures: Wednesdays, 10:30am – 12:15pm

Course Director: Dr. Monika Thakur

Email: thakurm@yorku.ca

Office: Ross Building S662

Office hours: Fall 2019: Wednesdays, 12:30pm-2:30pm, or by appointment

Winter 2020: Tuesdays, 11:00am-1:00pm, or by appointment

Teaching Assistants: Thibault Biscahie

Massoud Vahedi

Robin Verrall

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the discipline of International Relations (IR), within Political Science. This course will strengthen students’ knowledge of the conceptual and theoretical debates in IR, as well as historical developments in the post-1945 period. The first part of the course (Fall semester) will examine various IR theoretical approaches, ranging from traditional problem-solving theories such as realist, liberal and Marxist perspectives to critical theories such as feminist, poststructuralist, constructivist, post-colonial and green perspectives. The second part of the course (Winter semester) will critically analyse contemporary issues such as the role of the UN, global environmental issues, specifically climate change, foreign policy decision-making, global economy and global trade, global poverty and international development, war, terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferation, and humanitarian intervention.

Objectives and Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students should be able to:

· Use the strategies for critical thinking and analysis that they learn in the course to help develop a deeper understanding of the global political world and their position in it;

· Provide evidence of some specialized knowledge of economic, political and social contexts in the post-1945 period;

· Discuss critically, and write knowledgeably about, major IR theories, relating these both to contemporary events and to historical processes;

· Demonstrate a critical understanding of and engagement with a wide range of IR academic literature related to the key themes in the course;

· Demonstrate critical analytical skills, particular in relation to how meanings, definitions and truths are constructed;

· Display their critical understanding of key issues through the development of a succinct writing style (for essays), and the ability to present complex arguments in class discussions;

· Use their knowledge as a basis for further study or pursuing a career in International Relations; and for students of other academic disciplines, to exhibit sufficient knowledge of IR and to enable them to conceptualize the international dimensions of their chosen fields; and

· Use their knowledge to be more engaged with and informed about global politics.

· Skills development: analytical skills; writing and communication skills; critical thinking skills; problem-solving skills; presentation skills

Course Readings

The required readings for the course:

· Textbook: John Baylis, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens (Editors), The Globalization of World Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017). The textbook is used in both Fall and Winter semesters.

· Moodle: readings for Fall 2019, Week 9/10 (Green Theory – Paterson, 2013; Queer International Theory – Weber, 2015) and Winter 2020, Week 1 (Foreign Policy Analysis; Hill – 2013) ONLY will be posted on Moodle, respecting York University’s Fair Dealings guidelines

· Short online sources (***): provided to help with understanding weekly topics.

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