Politics 214: International Politics
Fall Semester 2015
Smullin Hall Room XXX
Prof. Michael Marks
Office: Smullin 332
Office Tel. 503–370–6932
Politics Dept. Tel. 503–370–6060
Home Page: http://www.willamette.edu/~mmarks
Office Hours: MWF: 8:00–9:00, 10:15–11:15, and by
This course introduces students to various important theoretical
approaches to the study of international relations and foreign policy
analysis. It also applies these approaches to concrete historical cases
and current issues of international affairs. The course is designed to
familiarize students with the major modes of international relations
analysis and to enable them to apply these analyses to substantive
Student Learning Outcomes
At the conclusion of this course students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of theory for
describing and explaining international political behavior.
2. Distinguish among the main theoretical schools of thought
(paradigms) that comprise the field of international relations.
3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these paradigms as well as
arguments made in support of them in the course readings.
4. Develop one’s own approach to international relations,
informed by the major theoretical approaches discussed in the course.
5. Write effectively and persuasively analyzing competing paradigms in
the study of international relations.
6. Use factual evidence to analyze international relations.
Time Commitment for This Course
Willamette’s Credit Hour Policy holds that for every hour of
class time there is an expectation of 2–3 hours work outside of
class. Thus, for a class meeting three hours a week such as this one
you should anticipate spending 6–9 hours outside of class engaged
in course-related activities. For this course you should allocate your
time among the following three activities: Reading assigned texts
(including preparing weekly chapter summaries of those texts), reading
newspapers and/or online news resources on topics relevant to the
class, writing the three essay assignments due over the course of the
The course will employ a combination of lectures and classroom
discussion. Some class sessions will be devoted to an explanation of
the week's topics and themes, while other class meetings will provide
a forum for involved discussion of the weekly readings. Therefore,
students will be expected to have completed the readings and be
prepared to actively engage in the classroom discussion.
About Class Participation
The large size of this class is not particularly suited to
classroom discussion. However, people tend to learn better when they
verbalize new material. Therefore, students should be prepared to
discuss the readings the weeks they are assigned.
Electronic Devices in the Classroom
Laptop computers can assist in note taking and wireless Internet access
on campus can aid in organized classroom exercises. However, laptop
computers can also be a classroom distraction. Laptop computers are
permitted in class for note taking purposes. Additionally, there may be
occasions when the class as a whole may want to use the campus wireless
network to look things up online. However, please refrain from checking
e-mail, online chatting, websurfing, game playing, etc. during class.
If you are observed doing so during class time, you will asked to no
longer bring your laptop to class. Additionally, cell phones should be
turned off prior to class.
Students requiring accommodation should contact the Office of
Disability & Learning Services (Baxter Hall, Phone:
TTY: 503–375–5383) for consultation and to make the
Plagiarism and Cheating Policy
All writing assignments turned in must be your own written work. You
may not copy, borrow, or appropriate other authors’ work.
Reference to other people’s ideas must include attribution. All
references to other authors’ work must be fully documented in the
form of citations and/or footnotes, and direct quotes must be indicated
as such with quotation marks. Suspected cases of plagiarism will be
pursued vigorously and appropriate penalties (including an
“F” for the course) will be applied.
Plagiarism and Cheating Policy
Managing the Reading List
In order to profit fully from the readings, students should read
the material assigned for a particular week before the scheduled
classroom discussion. We will discuss the readings assuming that the
students have read them ahead of time. It is absolutely necessary
that students be prepared to discuss the readings in the weekly
The following two books are required:
1. Paul D’Anieri, International
Politics: Power and Purpose in Global Affairs (Third Edition).
Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2014.
2. Phil Williams, Donald M. Goldstein, Jay M. Shafritz (eds.), Classic Readings and Contemporary Debates
in International Relations (Third Edition). Belmont, CA: Thomson
Note: The D’Anieri International Politics
book has an accompanying website. The website is integrated with the
textbook and offers additional chapter-by-chapter materials, including
simulations, web link exercises, information revolution exercises,
chapter summaries, and practice tests to help you master course
material. Utilizing the website is not mandatory, but you may find some
of the materials useful as you read the book. Consult the textbook for
more information on accessing the companion website.
1. There will be three take-home writing assignments. Questions will
ask the students to analyze and evaluate some feature of the preceding
weeks’ thematic discussions as covered in class and in the
readings. No research is required for these take-home writing
2. Each week, except those weeks in
which essays (above) are due, students are to choose one of the
course readings for that week and hand in, in class on Monday of that week,
a short (no more than one paragraph) summary of the reading’s
main points, along with a discussion question for that reading. These assignments are due in class on
Mondays. No credit will be given for late submissions of these reading
The final grade will be computed as follows: First writing assignment:
20%; Second and third writing assignments: 35% each; Weekly summaries
of course readings, 10%. In addition, the instructor reserves the right
to raise final grades for superior classroom participation, and lower
final grades for deficient classroom attendance.
Incompletes will be given only under exceptional circumstances such as
serious illness. You may appeal any of your grades during office hours
only after you have handed in
a typed, reasoned memorandum detailing the specific reasons why you think the
grade you received is not justified.
Late writing assignments will be assessed a one-third grade penalty per
day (e.g., a B+ paper handed in a day late receives a B, two days late
a B–, etc.).
Course Schedule and Weekly Reading
September 2: Introduction
1. No readings
How Do We Study International Politics?
1. D’Anieri: Chapters 1–2
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Reading 18
September 14–18: Realism
1. D’Anieri: Chapter 3, section on Realism (pages 61–77)
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Readings 5, 6, 8, 28, 29
Liberalism and Domestic Politics
1. D’Anieri: Chapter 3, section on Liberalism (pages 78–91)
and Chapter 5
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Reading 2, 17, 23, 37
September 28–October 2:
Constructivism and Feminist Theory
1. D’Anieri: Chapter 4, sections on Constructivism and Feminism
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Readings 4, 35, 36, 38, 39
OCTOBER 5: FIRST ESSAY DUE
Marxist Theory and Economic Structuralism
1. D’Anieri: Chapter 4, section on Economic Structuralism (pages
95–103) and conclusion (pages 117–122)
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Readings 10, 11, 12
October 12–16: Foreign
Policy and Decision Making
1. D’Anieri: Chapter 6
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Readings 20, 42, 43, 47
1. D’Anieri: Chapters 8–9
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Reading 45
1. D’Anieri: Pages 193–207 of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Readings 27, 31, 32, 33, 34
NOVEMBER 2: SECOND ESSAY DUE
International Political Economy
1. D’Anieri: Chapters 10–11
1. D’Anieri: Pages 207–225 of Chapter 7 and pages
435–456 of Chapter 14
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Reading 51
November 16–20: Global
1. D’Anieri: Chapter 12
To be determined.
November 30–December 4:
1. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Readings 16, 52, 53, 55, 59
DECEMBER 7: THIRD ESSAY DUE
December 7–11: Future
1. D’Anieri: Chapter 15
2. Williams, Goldstein, Shafritz: Reading 21