Political Science 270 is the introductory study of the field of International Relations. It is a study of the relations among nation-states throughout our large and complex world, with some emphasis on United States Foreign Policy. International Relations is a dynamic and complex subject that is ever evolving with the balance of power and focus constantly changing due to a large number of factors. Traditionally, this subject has been conceived strictly as the study of the relationships among governments. However, these relations cannot be viewed in an isolated manner. They are inextricably determined by other variables, such as the many international organizations (e.g., the United Nations, OAS etc…), multinational corporations, individuals, cultures, economics, geography and history. All of these dimensions will be covered throughout the course in various isolated and integrated approaches.
This course will provide each student with a solid background in the major trends and issues of current world politics and in the main theories and explanations used by scholars of International Relations. Students will gain a greater understanding of the various systems employed by nation-states and groups to control policy and gain influence (e.g., economic, legal, political and social systems.) Upon conclusion of the course, students will become aware of the complexity and difficulty foreign policy makers face when managing world affairs, and the resulting consequences for the people of the world. Students will also become aware of the various interests at play in day to day events, how best to assess and analyze events and how to project latent intentions and interests of the international actors.