200 to 400 Level

The syllabi available for viewing on this website are intended for informational purposes only. The actual syllabi used in class will change from semester to semester. Additionally, professors often make minor changes to assignments over the course of the semester. Students should use the syllabi distributed in class as a guide for course assignments and book purchases and should not rely on the syllabi posted here, unless directed to do so by their instructor.

Satisfies CAS social sciences divisional studies requirement. Introduction to basic concepts of international politics: the state system and types of states, modern ideologies, legal frameworks of international transactions, and political regions. Also raises key issues such as population, the environment, war, and international law.

Globalization and world poverty; how and why over 80% of the world remains poor and inequality increases despite economic modernization and democratization. Addresses urbanization, immigration, religion, politics, development politics, foreign aid, women, drugs, environment, food security. Special attention to Latin American, African, and Asian experiences.


Provides an overview of the challenges and problems of West European cooperation and integration since 1945. Fundamental events, data, and political systems of the European Unification process.

Examines different patterns of political development and contemporary politics in Western Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the former Soviet bloc.  Introduces the comparative method in political science and competing theories of political development and political change.

Undergraduate required principal course. Satisfies CAS social sciences divisional studies requirement. Study of basic factors in international relations, Western state systems, the concept of balance of power, nationalism, and imperialism. Primarily for concentrators.

The dynamic growth of Pacific Rim countries poses an impressive array of challenges for the U.S. and the world. Analyzes Japanese trade and defense policies, the rise of the “mini-dragons” (Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore) and “new mini-dragons” (Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia), “Confucian Capitalism,” democratization (and its failure in China), and legacies of the Indochina war.

Drug trafficking is one of the greatest threats to security and stability in the Americas. In this class, we study how drug trafficking became such an immense problem and why it has been so difficult to solve.

Undergraduate required principal course. Prereq: CAS EC 101 and EC 102. Basic issues of international finance. Topics include the balance of payment adjustment, theories of exchange rate determination, and case studies in international economic policy. Geared for international relations students; does not count toward economics requirements for economics concentrators.

Traces the emergence of sustainable development as the defining environmental challenge of our times. Surveys and evaluates policies for balancing ecological sustainability and economic development in various parts of the world and at the global level.

Employs social science theories to explain the political development of the Middle East since World War I. Part 1 examines state formation and competing explanations for authoritarianism. Part 2 analyzes social movements ranging from Islamist groups to mass mobilization.

Covers the world’s seas in areas of resource exploitation, use of commercial transport, the deployment of maritime power, environmental issues, possible use by terrorists, and the associated body of international law.

Introduction to the historical roots and contemporary relevance of religion for American foreign policy. Uses conventional chronological approaches to explore key themes that illustrate the role of religion as input and object of American foreign policy.

Introduction to American military history from the colonial period to the role of military force in contemporary U.S. statecraft. Examines the character of the armed services, the American style of waging war, and the relationship between the military and society.

Explores how and why financial crises take place,spread across borders, and how to avoid future financial crises. Uses political, historical, and sociological analysis to address these questions while exploring both mainstream and alternative economic approaches to financial crises.

Looks at the Eastern Mediterranean as a center of Great Power confrontation, and considers its impact on wider international relations; the domestic political results; the role of sea power; and the origins, conduct, and resolution of wars.

The twentieth century history of the non-Arab Muslim Middle East, i.e., Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Analysis of the constitutional revolutions in Turkey and Iran, Kemalism, the Islamic revolution in Iran, and communism in the Soviet Union and Afghanistan.

Covers the history of the Iranian plateau and adjacent areas from the eve of the Muslim conquest of the Sasanian Empire (early 7th century) to the eve of the Constitutional Revolution of 1906.

Introduces the practice of diplomacy as management of a country’s foreign relations with a view to secure or restore peace. The nation state in diplomatic relations; foreign ministries, diplomatic missions, embassies, and consulates; the peacekeeping role of international law and international government organizations.

Examines the important role of non-state actors in international relations. Non- state actors include sub-national governments, international organizations, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, religious groups, violent groups, for-profit security firms, social movements, and grassroots organizations.

Intellectual, cultural, political, diplomatic, and military history of the region between Germany and Russia from the Middle Ages to the present.

This course is designed as an introduction to the issues dominating African political life today. Core course debates revolve around recent trends in African economic growth, democratic governance, and armed conflict, in addition to several other issues of contemporary concern

Undergraduate required principal course. The causes and consequences of the First World War; the search for postwar reconstruction and stability during the twenties; economic collapse, revolutionary nationalism, and fascism during the 1930’s; the Second World War and the advent of the bipolar world.

Undergraduate required principal course. The causes and consequences of the Soviet-American Cold War from its origins in Europe to its extension to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The rise of the multipolar international system, the emergence of the nonaligned blocs, and inter- and intra-alliance conflicts.

Introduction to the international relations of post-colonial Africa. Core themes include the politics of post-independence international alignments, the external causes and effects of authoritarian rule, and Africa’s role in the global political economy.

Studies the growing international influence on politics of human rights principles, documents, and organizations, drawing especially on African cases such as Congo, Zimbabwe, and Sudan.  Topics include universality vs. cultural relativism, individual vs. group rights, and issues in human rights enforcement.

Exploration of critical issues concerning women, gender, and race throughout the world. Topics include women and the global economy, health care, reproduction, the dynamics of sex industries, violence against women, international women’s movements, and political/institutional change.

Introduction to various analytical approaches for understanding the dynamics of global interaction. Explores the variety of “worlds” made visible through the lens of theory. Fosters critical thinking about how conceptual tools shape our understanding of the world and attempted solutions to global problems.

Comparative study of politics in member states of the European Union, with emphasis on political development, institutions, major issues in contemporary politics, and the impact of European integration.  Selective references to original and new member states of the EU.

Analysis of the structure of major political institutions – government bureaucracy, Communist Party, and others – and policy-society relations during the seventy-four years of the USSR’s existence. Prime focus is institutional rather than historical, and deals with the Soviet politics “game” as it was played.

Analysis of the emergent political forces, institutions, and alliances in the post-Soviet Russian Federation, against the background of the unresolved economic, ethnic, and social problems that are the USSR’s legacy to the “new Russia.” Prospects for stabilization are assessed in the context of the multiple crises facing Russia today.

Focuses on China’s political, economic, and strategic development since 1949. It examines three questions: In what ways is China rising? How did it happen? What are the impacts of China’s rise on the U.S. and the global system?

Introduction to the patterns and complexities of Latin American politics and international relations. Focuses on the distinctive Latin American political experience and alternative explanations for it, including colonization, the international economy, and human and material resource capacity and utilization.

Prereq: CAS EC 101, EC 102, OR EC 111, EC 112. An introduction to the economics of Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Topics include Japanese firms, labor markets, finance, monetary and fiscal policies, industrial policies, and Taiwanese and Korean post-1960 economic development.

Prereq: CAS IR 271 or CAS PO 251. Examines Southeast Asia as an important emerging political, economic, and security region in world politics. Background materials, including the region’s history, cultural diversity, and geo-strategic position are given weight in the course.

Introduction to modern Chinese politics including the development of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the political development of the PRC since its founding in 1949. Focus is on the party’s official policy and its changing relationships with the people of China.

Introduction to South Asia and regional conflict and cooperation.  Focus on India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka inter-state relations; great power interventions; power distributions; norms; political, military, and economic conflict and cooperation.

Provides an overview of major theoretical perspectives on the creation and function of international organizations, comparative case studies of selected organizations, and an examination of present and future roles of international organizations in selected issue areas.

Satisfies CAS social sciences divisional studies requirement. Analysis of the factors determining national and international security. Examines the historical relationship between military power and politics. Topics include causes of war, conduct of war, prevention of war.

Decisive factors in the foreign relations of Russia and the other former Soviet republics, including historical continuity and change, survival and and change of ideology, domestic politics, economic and geographical factors, military and external political considerations. The future of arms control, nuclear weapons, the economy, and relations among the former republics are also examined.

America’s tradition and heritage in foreign policy. American foreign policy during the Cold War. Conflicting approaches to the formulation of American foreign policy in the current international environment. Domestic and institutional actors in policy formulation: Congress, media, Presidency, CIA, military.

The intelligence process and its role in democratic societies; the organization and functions of the U.S. intelligence community; techniques of intelligence collection, analysis, counterintelligence and covert action; assessment of problems and attempted solutions in the United States and other democracies.

How U.S. foreign policy is made.  After a historical introduction, focus on the external bureaucratic, societal, and leadership forces that combine to shape broad policy lines and particular initiatives that produce feedback influencing the future.

Examines the history and current state of U.S.-Pakistan relations. Considers the political and strategic complexities of the bilateral alliance as well as Pakistan’s key role in the international relations of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Muslim world.

Introduces the contemporary Middle East, including the Arab World, Iran, Israel, and Turkey; examines the systems of government; the role of external powers; the origins of the state system; the sources and objectives of opposition forces; the prospects for political reform, including democratization; and the prospects for future cooperation or conflict.

Considers political, cultural, economic, and social developments in the modern states of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya as they struggle to gain independence from colonial domination and to consolidate viable, secure, and legitimate states and prosperous national communities.

Prereq: CAS EC 101 and EC 102. Emphasizes the dynamic interaction between politics and economics to understand and explain historical and contemporary issues in international political economy, including international monetary, trade, investment, financial, and environmental relations. Considers emerging challenges and structures in the international political economy.

Haitian Revolution; British Caribbean, leadership, governance, and power in Africa during the period of legitimate trade; visionaries, dictators, and nationalist politics in the Caribbean; chiefs, western elites, and nationalism in colonial Africa; road to governance in post-colonial Caribbean and Africa.

Employs a multidisciplinary approach to analyze the relations between the industrialized nations of the “North” and the developing nations of the “South.” Addresses historical and current issues in North-South relations, including trade, investment, migration, regional economic integration, and the environment.

Geographical/historical background; social structure, ethnic, religious, and linguistic diversities; Anglo-Russian interventions; consequences of tobacco concession; constitutional revolution and reform; Qajar legacy; centralization, secularization, modernization under Pahlavis; oil and Mossadeg; autocracy and revolution; liberals, communists, fundamentalists, and Islamic revolution.

Capstone course for Latin American Studies Program concentrators. Seminar on a key issue in contemporary Latin America. Includes presentations by Latin American Studies faculty on the topic from the specific perspectives of their academic specialties.

Examines a range of historical and contemporary conflicts and wars in Latin America, both internal and regional, examining their causes and consequences, and the most important factors that explain how they were resolved or why they persist.

Studies women in nonindustrial countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, stressing empirical research, theory, and methodology. Comparisons between regions and with industrial countries. Focus on sex segregation, female labor force participation, migration, fertility, family roles, and women and political power.

Public diplomacy is the principal way in which states engage with overseas publics. The course examines the principles, functions, and practices of public diplomacy, as well as how they are affected by technological and political change.

Exploration of the military, political, social, economic, and cultural consequences of the First World War and the peace conference of 1919. Focuses on technological innovations, the expanded role of the state, and the long-range impact of the Versailles settlement.

Transnational immigration and economic development in Asia, focusing on China, India, and South Korea. Cases examined include the rise of manufacturing prowess in China, India’s software industry, and Korea’s corporate competitiveness in the world.

Prereq:  Junior or higher standing and at least two previous sociology courses, or consent of instructor.  Examines different sociological perspectives on global social dynamics and processes.

Prereq: junior standing and consent of instructor.  Explores European politics through the lens of culture, using materials from literature, film, and the social sciences, including live sessions with European writers/artists.

Examination of American Cold War foreign policy from its origins at the end of World War II through its conduct – Marshall Plan, Détente, Cold War II – to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union. Reading seminar.