POL 365: Introduction to International Relations

Course Documents

Hixon-Lied Science Center at Creighton University, Omaha, NE.

Majorly Important Course Documents

These first three documents need to be downloaded and read by each member of the class, as the fundamental guidelines for successful completion of the course are provided therein.
The course syllabus lists the general requirements and expectations for the course. All specifics can be located on this website.
The stylesheet explains how to format all papers for this class. All papers that you hand in for credit, except for in-class activities, must adhere to this stylesheet.
This document provides explanations how to properly cite and reference your sources. The easiest way to fail this class is to fail to cite and reference your sources. The easiest way to lose points in this class is to fail to cite and reference properly.
This gives you a list of the European states I think you should know in order to understand how the politics of Europe works. Not all of these states are vastly important to the relations of the world, but they do offer a diverse mix of state types. How would the different types of realists focus on these states differently? Or, would they?

Course Readings

These course documents are some of the actual readings. As it is illegal to post things on the Internet that are either not in the public domain or to which I do not have legal copyright, these do not include all of the readings. The rest of the readings can be accessed from the Calendar section of this website. However, realize that there are some readings that can only be accessed from campus locations. As you will not know these before trying them, I would highly suggest that you do not wait until the night before to try to access the readings.
US President Woodrow Wilson spoke these words before a joint session of the US Congress, laying out his plan for a post-war Europe and post-war World.
The League of Nations was formed in the aftermath of the destruction wrought by the War to End All Wars on the Concert of Europe. Its words echo the hopes and dreams of the age.
Roosevelt and Churchill, while vacationing on Argentina Island, laid out their own hopes for the world after the close of World War II. How does it reflect earlier visions of post-war worlds?
The United Nations was formed in the aftermath of the destruction wrought by the War to End All Wars, Part Two on the peace of Europe. Its words echo the hopes and dreams of the age.
The International Court of Justice was formed to settle disputes between states.
George Kennan, a US Foreign Service officer in the Soviet Union in 1946, wrote this telegram in reply to the US Department of State's request for information about the recent Soviet refusal to join the World Bank and International Monetary Fund institutions. Which of the three perspectives does it reflect best? Now that we are past the Cold War, how accurate was Kennan's assessment? How intelligent is that question?
This UN resolution deals with the then-current troubles in Iraq.
Chronilogically, this should be one of the first documents here, but the book treats the Democratic Peace Thesis as the culmination of the entire course. Since Democratic peace Thesis supporters tend to point to Kant and this work as the fundamental rationale as to why democracies are (should be) more peaceful than non-democracies, it makes sense to look closely at it.

Course Writing Assignments

As I assign the writing assignments, I will post them in this location. Each assignment has at least two purposes. In most cases, those two reasons are to give you preparatory practice for an upcoming event (perhaps an exam) and to help you settle in your mind why some of these concepts matter. Writing is an excellent way to force you to organize your thoughts in a clear and coherent manner.
This assignment gives you a little practice in writing for the midterm. In the assignment, you are to choose one of the ideas put forth in the UN Charter and trace its evolution from the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. This also gives you a little insight into what we mean by 'Customary International Norms,' which form the basis of International Law.
This assignment gives you a little more practice in writing for Political Science. In the assignment, you are to explain the commonalities and differences between the four different types of realism in Political Science.

Class Exams

As the syllabus says, there are to be three exams in this class. As the exams are assigned, I will post them to this area (and to the menu bar on the left). Do not forget to cite the sources of your facts and theories. Define your terms with respect to International Relations. It adds nothing to the discussion if you make up your own definitions or if you use terms in a way that is not consistent with International Relations.
Here is the first of three exams. In this exam, you are to either analyze British Prime Minister Blair's speech from the three perspectives, or you are to identify the causes and a possible solution to a current problem in the world—again, from the three perspectives.
Here is the second of the three exams. In this exam, you are to write a textbook chapter on globalization. This chapter is to be written for Introduction to Political Science students. If you have not taken that class, aim the writing style to an average sophomore in college. The chapter must be between seven and ten pages in length and must include both front matter and back matter. The actual exam sheet will explain those two terms.
This last exam gives you the option of writing about ethnic conflict, the Democratic Peace Thesis, or the Tuna Wars simulation. This exam should be about 6 pages in length—longer is better than shorter in this case. The exm sheet explains things in greater detail.
There are certain things that you should do without being told to do—write your papers in standard English is one of them. This document provides a checklist of many (not all) of the errors that are most frequently made in writing at this level. None of the items should surprise anyone, for they tend to be merely pieces of standard English.