The major in Political Science and International Relations introduces students to the complex and fascinating world of politics and provides them with essential tools for understanding and analyzing it. In an increasingly interdependent world of nations and international organizations, such understanding is important for a variety of internationally oriented careers, as well as for its own sake as part of a liberal arts education. Rather than constructing a major that offers vague introductions to many different aspects of world affairs, this major draws fully on the Political Science Department's analytical tradition of undergraduate education. Students will gain great breadth in their understanding of world affairs, but with analytical rigor and depth.
The core of the major consists of four courses that introduce the concepts and theories of the subfields of international relations (relations between nations) and comparative politics (political processes and policymaking within nations). These basic theoretical and cultural tools are supplemented and applied with additional substantive courses in International Relations, Political Science, and related disciplines. Included in these additional courses is a selection of a track focusing on one of the three important substantive areas of Global Security, Political Economy, and Development, or Governance of Nations.
The department aims to educate students in the basic theories and practices of politics, both domestic and international, so as to prepare them to take on leading positions and roles in the public sector. As such the curriculum focuses on teaching the students analytical tools and skills which will enable them to understand and analyze politics and political behavior as well as the institutions and processes through which public policy is formed in different political systems. In order to effectively implement the aforementioned goals, the department is focusing on searching and introducing political theories as well as critically revising political theories.
Students completing the requirements of the department will receive a degree in Political Science and International Studies. The graduates will be able to enter in diverse realms of society including Foreign Service, political parties, law, and the media, just to mention a few.
IR121 INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
This course is a core course in the BA International Relations and provides a general introduction to the discipline of International Relations and to major themes in world politics. Major theories and approaches to world politics are covered, including Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism, Marxism, Feminism, and Postcolonial and Critical Approaches. Topics to be covered will include issues of war and peace, power, global economy, identities and ideologies, regionalism, foreign policy analysis, global civil society, justice and human rights, international organizations and empire. The course pays particular attention to the relationship between the discipline of International Relations as a field of knowledge and its application and/or relevance to the experience and interests of actors in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
IR123 INTRODUCTION TO POLITICS
This class is designed to introduce students to the academic study of politics. It is designed to provide you with an introduction to political science as a discipline. The course consists of two primary sections. First, we will explore the scope of political science as a field of inquiry and the methods used by political scientists. In this section, we will examine both normative and descriptive approaches to politics. Normative approaches focus on questions of what should occur in politics, and, in contrast, descriptive approaches seek to analyze what does occur in politics. As social scientists, we are concerned mostly with questions falling into the latter category. The second section of the course will focus on the substance of politics, including the roles played by states, mass publics, organizations, and institutions, as well as the outputs of their interactions, public policy, and international relations.
IR104 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY
This course is designed to introduce you to the scientific study of human nature. You will learn how psychologists ask questions from several different perspectives: questions about the relation of brain and behavior, about perception, about learning and thinking, about development, about social behavior and personality, and about psychopathology and psychotherapy. You will also learn about the methods psychologists use to find the answers to these questions and become acquainted with many of the important findings and theoretical approaches in the field of psychology. By the time it's over, we hope that you will have learned to think critically about psychological evidence, and to evaluate its validity and its relevance to important issues in your life.
IR205 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
This course is designed to provide students with a broad introduction to the study of international politics and will focus on significant themes and debates in the arena of contemporary international affairs. The course will introduce students to a variety of theoretical approaches to understanding these contemporary issues. It will also emphasize case-study analysis, both as a tool for applying the fruits of theory to the study of real-world events, and also as a tool for evaluating competing theoretical approaches. As so many of the topics studied in this course are the subject of ongoing debate (or even controversy) in both national and international arenas, the course relies on vigorous classroom discussion and active debate as a means of understanding and evaluating all sides of each issue.
IR207 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY
This course provides a broad overview of sociology and how it applies to everyday life. Major theoretical perspectives and concepts are presented, including sociological imagination, culture, deviance, inequality, social change, and social structure. Students also explore the influence of social class and social institutions, such as churches, education, healthcare, government, economy, and environment. The family as a social structure is also examined.
IR209 POLITICAL ECONOMICS
This course explores the economics and politics of public policy to provide an analytic framework for considering why, how, and with what success/failure government intervenes in a variety of policy areas. Particular attention will be paid to important policy issues relating to taxation, social security, low-income assistance, health insurance, education (both K-12 and higher ed), the environment, and government deficits. The costs and benefits of alternative policies will be explored along with the distribution of responsibilities between the federal, state and local governments. One of the aims of the discussion in the class will be to test abstract theories of development using in-depth knowledge of cases and to further our understanding of cases by applying lessons from theoretical and statistical work.
IR206 POLITICAL SYSTEMS
This course offers a broad introduction to comparative politics, the subfield of political science concerned mainly with political ideas, institutions, and behavior within states. The course examines such themes as the origins and functions of states, formal institutions such as legislatures and executives, the variety and impact of electoral systems, the nature of democracy and autocracy, internal and external challenges to political order, and the impact of international and domestic factors on state performance. Discussions of theoretical and cross-regional issues will be accompanied by treatment of individual countries and contexts. This course counts for the Comparative Government distribution requirement.
IR208 IDENTITY, ETHNICITY & NATIONALISM
This course explores the concepts of identity, ethnicity, and nationalism from a comparative perspective. Drawing upon theories from political science, anthropology, sociology, and economics, we will examine how identity is defined and how societies use these constructions for, among other things, nation-building, welfare distribution, and economic development. Theoretical readings will be supplemented with empirical studies from developed and developing countries across different time periods. Given its central role in the lives of individuals and in the development of world politics, it is no surprise that nationalism continues to be a source of informed debate among some of the best minds in the fields of history, anthropology, sociology, comparative politics and international relations.
IR305 POLITICAL THOUGHT
This course examines major texts in the history of political thought and the questions they raise about the design of the political and social order. It considers the ways in which thinkers have responded to the particular political problems of their day and the ways in which they contribute to a broader conversation about human goods and needs, justice, democracy, and the proper relationship of the individual to the state. One aim will be to understand the strengths and weaknesses of various regimes and philosophical approaches in order to gain a critical perspective on our own. Thinkers include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Tocqueville.
IR302 CONTROVERSIES IN CONTEMPORARY DEMOCRACIES
This module studies a variety of developments that potentially challenge contemporary democracies, including the declining ability of the electoral process, political parties, and welfare states to appeal to citizens, and the rise of alternative types of political protest in response. The aim of the course is to provide students with an up-to-date survey of comparative research into these developments and to enable students to use the comparative method to conduct their own inquiries within this area.
IR304 GESTURE & COGNITION
Human language stands out among communication systems both for its level of abstractness and its level of complexity. Its complexity has led to theories of acquisition and processing that give the language a special status, as an aspect of cognition that is largely innate (rather than acquired via general learning mechanisms), and largely encapsulated from other aspects of cognition and behavior. The complexity of language has also forced psycholinguists to cut language into more approachable subdomains of study, such as speech perception, word recognition, word production, sentence processing, etc. In this seminar, we will critically examine the arguments for treating language as a series of special systems. We will discuss several key subdomains of psycholinguistics, their relations to each other, and influences of non-linguistic aspects of cognition on language acquisition and processing.
IR306 POLITICAL HISTORY
This is a graduate reading course designed to facilitate historical and policy research across regions and methodological approaches. Intensive course readings will examine historical scholarship on the major international phenomena and events that transformed multiple societies during the twentieth century. Topics will include globalization, industrial capitalism, total war, economic depression, fascism, communism, Cold War, decolonization, post-industrial capitalism, human rights, and terrorism. The course will analyze how different societies and regions experienced common phenomena and events in diverse ways. The course will also interrogate legacies, memories, myths, and lingering traumas.
IR401 NEGOTIATION SKILLS
Negotiation is the art and science of securing an agreement between 2 or more independent parties. Through understanding the behavior evidenced in competitive situations, the student will develop negotiation skills which will prove to be a valuable asset in every area of life. This course will allow students to develop negotiation skills experientially and understand negotiation in useful analytical frameworks. Considerable emphasis will be placed on negotiation exercises and role-playing in class, followed by group discussion, lecture, and individual analysis.
IR405 COMPARATIVE FOREIGN POLICY
This course’s aim is to examine overarching reasons as to why different states have different foreign policies. The goal is not to catalog and study the foreign policy of a great many states, though of course examples will be used, but rather to think about the theoretical reasons why different states would go about their interactions with other states in different manners. Theories of state behavior will be drawn from many overarching international relations frameworks including but not necessarily limited to realism, liberalism, and constructivism. The class itself will be a mixture of lecture and discussion.
IR405 EUROPEAN UNION
This course is designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students, who are interested in acquiring specialized knowledge of the European Union (EU) and want to advance their analytical and research skills. The course familiarizes students with the role of the EU in international affairs. The EU emerged as an important actor in world politics during the second half of the twentieth century. The assigned literature examines different aspects of the involvement of the EU in the world arena. Although the EU is neither a traditional sovereign state nor a typical international organization, its actions have a profound effect on an array of international policies. Moreover the relations of the EU with the United States, China and Russia constitute pillars of the international system, while the political and normative effect of the EU in the wider European neighborhood is undeniable. The course aims at exploring questions such as Is the EU one single actor in international politics or many different states coordinating their actions? Will the EU become the next superpower? What are the EU strengths and weaknesses in the international arena?
IR402 ETHNIC GROUP BEHAVIOUR
This is one of a two-semester sequence in Human Behavior and the Social Environment. Human behavior is taught from an ecological perspective, focusing on the individual in a transaction with the social environment and vice-versa. The environment includes social, structural, cultural, and physical components. It introduces a broad range of theories relating to biological, psychological, cognitive, and social development, as well as race, class, ethnicity, gender, and family group variables.
IR404 GLOBALIZATION & EFFECTS
This course critically examines the subject of globalization from a sociological perspective. Globalisation is a vast topic, and no one course can cover all its aspects. This course aims to give the student grounding in the most fundamental aspects of globalization, with an exploration of selected substantive topics (‘case studies’) to help root the general in the particular. We examine the concept itself, the central themes of changing communications, social networks, and experiences of space and time, and the major economic, political and ideological dimensions of globalization.
BBA 355 BUSINESS ETHICS
In this course, students will be introduced with business ethics issues that are faced by businesses nowadays. It concentrates on ethical dilemmas, decision making, ethical and unethical behavior and other ethics issues.
CSC 035 HISTORY OF CIVILIZATIONS
This course explores different aspects in the history of civilizations, highlighting essential features of the topic starting from the early days. The course will touch upon different themes that help promote a better understanding of how various historical forces such as cultural, social, and political shaped the courses of civilizational developments and global interconnections in this particular time period.
CSC 181 WRITING SKILLS
This course presents practical writing as a critical component for success in the workplace. In this class, students develop a foundation for designing effective messages, both written and oral, from concept to delivery. Students learn to analyze audiences, choose information, and create the most effective arrangement and channel ort hat message. Particularly, the course emphasizes elements of persuasive communication: how to design messages for diverse and possibly resistant audiences and how to design CV, letters, and e-mails.
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