PSCI 420(F) Senior Seminar in International Relations: Globalization and Terror
This seminar will critically examine whether or not the recent war on terrorism has fundamentally altered trends of globalization that have been unfolding for the last thirty years or so. Class work will proceed in two parts. First, we will read about globalization. We will not read everything there is to read about globalization; nor will we attempt to survey all theoretical perspectives on globalization. Rather, we will plumb a particular line of thought, drawn mostly from neo-Marxists writers, to familiarize ourselves with some of the major issues. The second part of the course will center on individual student research projects. Each student will choose some facet of the recent war on terrorism (e.g., whether it is a "war" or not; how "terrorism" is defined; how it has affected the movement of goods and people around the world; whether it has had important cultural effects; etc.) and, throughout the entire semester will comb journalistic and academic sources for information. Format: seminar. Requirements: a 5-page paper on one of the books we read together, a presentation to the class on the topic of his or her research, and a 20-page research paper engaging the question of how that particular aspect of the war on terrorism has influenced larger processes of globalization. Prerequisites: senior standing; Political Science major; two classes in international relations; permission of the instructor is required for this course. Enrollment limit 16 (expected: 16).
PSCI 420(F) Senior Seminar in International Relations: American Hegemony and
the Future of the International System
Since the time of Thucydides, world politics has always been a story of several great powers competing for power, wealth, and security. The collapse and dissolution of the Soviet Union, however, left the United States in a position of dominance that has no parallel in history. This course examines how international relations theorists and American policymakers have grappled with the dilemmas and opportunities of global hegemony since 1989, with a particular focus on the challenges that have emerged in the aftermath of September 11. Will other powers, such as China or a united Europe, inevitably challenge American dominance? Should America actively seek to promote its ideas and values throughout the world? Does a hegemon have unique and special responsibilities for advancing international justice? What kind of grand strategy should the United States pursue, both now and in the future? Why does so much of the world seem to resent American hegemony? Format: seminar. Requirements: course assignments will include weekly papers and a 25- to 30-page research paper. Prerequisites: two courses in international relations; permission of instructor. Enrollment limit:16 (expected: 16). Open only to senior Political Science majors. International Relations Subfield
Hour: M. LYNCH
PSCI 420(S) Senior Seminar in International Relations: Culture, Identity and Power
Mainstream realist and liberal international relations theory has long focused on issues of power, rationality, and material self-interest. September 11 fundamentally challenged these theories. International relations theory had little to say about the powerful forces of religious identity and ideological grievance which motivated al Qaeda. The rise of anti-American sentiment around the world, along with American visions of reshaping the world in its own image, seemed to fundamentally challenge the core assumptions of international relations theory. Rather than a world of nation-states struggling for self-interest, many now saw the world as one of clashing civilizations struggling for cultural identity, or as one driven by the pressures of the spread of American power and culture through globalization. Culture and identity, rather than power or wealth, seem to have moved to the center of world politics. Unlike realism and liberalism, the constructivist school of thought had long emphasized the power of ideas and culture. This course explores these constructivist international relations theories to make sense of the rising importance of culture, ideas, and identity in world affairs. Format: seminar. Requirements: class participation, weekly assignments, and a research paper. Prerequisites: senior standing; Political Science major; Political Science 202 and at least one other course in international relations; permission of instructor. Enrollment limit: 16 (expected: 16).
Hour: M. LYNCH