World Politics

POL SCI XL 20

This course provides an introduction to the problems of world politics, and furnishes students with the analytical tools and background necessary to better understand world politics.

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What you can learn.

  • Trace the five major historical periods that set the stage for current international political and economic systems
  • Assess how "interests," "interactions," and "institutions" drive actors' behavior in world politics
  • Survey the three major paradigms governing state behavior and criticisms posed by various strands of critical theories
  • Identify the controversies surrounding free trade and key international trade regimes
  • Articulate how international law and norms shape states' understanding of their interests and constrain states' behavior
  • Reflect on the challenges states encounter in face of rapid globalization now and in the future and propose collective responses to transnational issues

About this course:

This course provides an introduction to the problems of world politics. Why do countries interact as they do? Is it the result of diplomats' personalities and styles, of each country's domestic political processes, or of more amorphous global imperatives driven by balances of power among nations? Is globalization reversible or will it inevitably spread until there is a new international status quo? How have--and can--nations deal with trans-border issues, such as pollution, drugs, HIV/AIDS, and terrorism? The course furnishes students with the analytical tools and background necessary to better understand world politics. The first half of the course introduces the various influences on, and theories of, world politics. The second half requires students to apply these tools to analyze selected present-day cases. Transferable for UC Credit. 

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