Home » POLS 20200 - Introduction to International Relations, Fall 2009
POLS 20200 - Introduction to International Relations, Fall 2009

This course is about anarchy and death. To us, anarchy means the absence of centralized order. There is no central government in international politics, hence international politics are anarchic. Anarchy distinguishes international politics from domestic politics, the latter characterized by centralized and hierarchical power structures. Anarchy is the defining feature of international politics. Anarchy causes or exacerbates many of humanity's greatest problems, including war, pollution, and famine. Anarchy leads to excess or unnecessary death. It also generally makes accumulation and distribution of wealth more difficult. This course analyzes the extent and effects of anarchy. The central questions we assess are: What is anarchy and what are its effects? What can be done to reduce the effects of anarchy? To address these questions, the course proceeds through these parts: An overview of various theories and concepts used by scholars to understand international politics and respond to the two major questions just listed. War is bad, but that feeling does not a policy prescription make. Policy prescriptions should be based on patterns discerned from history and reasoned analysis. These patterns and analysis are our theories and concepts. A brief history of international politics, to better understand its evolution and trajectory. A survey of the major issues in international politics, which we study using the theories and concepts from part 1. These issues include: war, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, ethnic conflict and peacekeeping, globalization and international trade and finance, international organizations, the environment, and ethics. A look at the future, or at least projections and arguments about the future by various scholars.

Course Authors

Professor Daniel Lindley | Ph.D.

  • Course Level: Beginner
  • Subject: Humanities and Social Science
  • Fees: TBA
  • Language: English
  • Certificate: Available
  • Duration:
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