Politics 373: International Security and Cooperation
Spring Semester 2014
Smullin Hall Room 216
Prof. Michael Marks
Office: Smullin 332
Office Tel. 503-370-6932
Home Page: http://www.willamette.edu/~mmarks
Office Hours: MWF: 10:15–11:15, TuTh 8:30–9:40, and by
This course is designed to introduce students to important theoretical
approaches to the study of international security and cooperation. It
also applies these approaches to empirical cases and concrete issues of
international harmony and discord. Special emphasis is placed on
security and cooperation in a post-Cold War world. The purpose of the
course is to help students make sense out of the changes sweeping the
nature of war and peace by understanding these changes in historical
perspective. Through lectures and discussions, students will explore
different ways that conflict and accord are conceptualized by both
academic observers and political decision makers.
The course also incorporates active student learning through the
“case method”. Classes during most weeks of the semester
will revolve around a case study of international security and/or
cooperation. In this method of learning, students take the initiative
in drawing out the lessons contained in a selection of instances of
international security and cooperation that span a range of theoretical
questions and policy issues.
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 conflict and reconciliation.
2. Identify major causes for international conflict and reconciliation.
3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of competing arguments for
international conflict and reconciliation.
4. Explain the sources and manifestations of different forms of
international conflict and reconciliation.
5. Write effectively and persuasively analyzing historical trends in
international conflict and reconciliation.
6. Use factual evidence to analyze international conflict and
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 the assigned case
studies (including making notes in response to the suggested questions
handed out with each case study and preparing for the assigned
role-playing exercise), reading newspapers and/or online news resources
on topics relevant to the class, writing the three essay assignments
due over the course of the semester.
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 the case studies. No
research is required for these take-home writing assignments aside from
a thorough reading of the case studies. Notice that some of the essays
are due on a Monday which will give the instructor time to return
essays in a timely fashion.
More About the Case Method
It is my conviction that people learn best when they verbalize new
material. Therefore, in the classes I teach I encourage student
participation. In the case method of learning, student participation is
not only helpful, it is absolutely necessary. Students are responsible
for elucidating the lessons contained in each case by talking through
problems and even acting out decisions made by political officials and
makers. I will act to facilitate discussions, but the students will be
the engine that moves class discussions along. Therefore,
it is absolutely necessary that every student should read and prepare
for each case before the week for which it is 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: 503-370-6471,
TTY: 503-375-5383) for consultation and to make the necessary
The core of this class consists of the case studies that will provide
for the majority of classroom discussion. All of the cases are
available online from the Georgetown University Institute for the Study
of Diplomacy (GUISD).
Instructions for buying cases: To purchase each case, first go to the
GUISD website at:
Click on “Case Studies.” You can then browse by case
number, title, or author. When you find the case for each week you can
purchase the case with a credit card. You have two choices: Either you
can have a paper version of the case mailed to you for $5.00, or you
can view the case online in PDF format for $3.50 (if you view the case
online you can still print the case and have a hard-copy version of it
for your use).
You can also save money by purchasing all nine cases in the form of a
case book which I gave created through GUISD. The case book is
catalogued by instructor name (Marks) and also by course number
(Politics 373) and is designated Case Book 364 (cb364).
The case book
if purchased as a PDF file (with each case individually printable) is
$27; if purchased as a hard copy it is $45. Make sure to
purchase the case book for this semester (as I have taught the course
before and GUISD may still have links for previous semesters online).
In addition, make sure to purchase the
case book for this class (there is also a case book for my American
Foreign Policy course which is also listed under my name).
The syllabus for this course is also posted online. You can open up the
web page for the case book and for each individual case by clicking on
the case number (each listed below for the appropriate week) or the
case book number in the preceding paragraph which opens a link in your
web browser to the appropriate GUISD web page. From there you can
purchase the individual case or the case book.
The first time you purchase a case you will set up an account. Each
time you purchase a case you will use your existing account. You will
need a credit card to purchase cases. If you do not have a credit card
please see the instructor to make alternate arrangements.
Very Important Information:
1) If you choose to have paper versions of the cases mailed to you make
sure to leave enough time to have the case delivered. 2) If you choose
to view an individual case online (from which you can print up a hard
copy) you have seven days from the date of payment to view the case. In
some cases computer browser caches are not large enough to view entire
cases. Therefore, do not wait until the last minute to view or print a
case online in the event your browser cache is experiencing difficulty
downloading a case.
Incompletes will only be given 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
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.).
The composition of the final grade will calculated as follows: Each of
three essays: 30%; In addition, because the case method requires active
student involvement, 10% of the final grade will be comprised of class
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, unless
you are doing so in the form of a cited quotation. 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
According to CLA policy, students participating in approved university
activities (e.g., varsity athletics, Debate Team, theater and other
performing arts, Model UN, etc.) are excused from class provided proper
notification has been made by the relevant office supervising the
event. Additionally, the CLA faculty have adopted a policy whereby
students are permitted to be absent from class to observe religious
holidays that do not fall on days in which classes are otherwise not in
Beyond the above, students in this course are permitted to be absent
from class a maximum of 10% of class sessions (which this semester is
three class days) due to illness, injury, or other emergency (e.g.,
death of a family member, flooded dorm room or apartment, hostile
roommate interaction, etc.). Notice of a missed class due to illness,
injury, or emergency must be made by 5:00 pm on the day that class is
missed. Additional absences for students with a contagious disease as
documented by a medical professional will be permitted. Students with a
prolonged illness should consider petitioning the university for a
Medical Incomplete or Medical Withdrawal for some or all of their
Students who exceed the allotted un-excused absences must submit a 750
word essay analyzing the topic of each additional missed class session
(students should contact the instructor for specific instructions).
Essays are due within 48 hours of a missed class. Failure to turn in
these essays will result in a one-third reduction in the course grade
for each essay not submitted.
Course Schedule and Weekly Reading
January 14–16: Introduction
Conceptual and Theoretical Overview
“Power” and the Sources of Conflict
415: “The German Question and the Cold War” (Author:
David S. Painter).
February 11–13: Causes
of Conflict and Reconciliation
401: “Beagle Channel Negotiations” (Author: Thomas
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17: FIRST ESSAY DUE
Theory and Strategic Interaction
330: “SALT II and the Soviet First-Strike Threat”
(Authors: Paul R. Bennett and Jack Snyder)
423: “Negotiating an International Regime to Mine the Deep
Seabed” (Author: Robert E. Bowen)
373: “On the Brink of War: India, Pakistan, and the 1990
Kashmir Crisis” (Author: Tinaz Pavri)
March 11–13: Summary
Discussion of case studies to date.
MONDAY, MARCH 17: SECOND ESSAY DUE
Nationalism and Regional Conflict
“Yugoslavia, 1991–92: Could Diplomacy Have Prevented a
Tragedy?” (Authors: James E. Bjork and Allan E. Goodman)
March 24–28: Spring
International Norms and Arms Control
519: “India’s Nuclear Tests: The Consequences for
International Security” (Author: Dinshaw Mistry)
Globalization and the Changing Nature of Sovereignty
258: “Establishing an International Criminal Court: The
Emergence of a New Global Authority?” (Author: Eric K. Leonard)
Terrorism and the Changing Nature of War
“The Extraordinary Rendition of Abu Omar: Ethics and the War on
Terror” (Authors: Daniel R. Kempton and Matthew Rossow)
TUESDAY, APRIL 29: THIRD ESSAY DUE