Political Science | International Pol Controversies
Y102 | 9787 | Wilkening


The purpose of this course is to help students critically analyze
some of the most pressing international issues in the world today.
Approximately the first two weeks or so will be devoted to
introducing the most frequently used concepts and theories in
political science and international relations. This is to equip
students with a set of conceptual tools that will enable them to
grasp the discussions of substantive issues that follow. The
remainder of the course will be divided between analysis of major
issues and themes in the contemporary international setting, and
analysis of politics in specific regions. A sample list of issues we
will cover includes US foreign policy (including America’s current
involvement in the Middle East), globalization, the spread of
democratization, human rights, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We will also cover most regions of the world, in the course analyzing
such phenomena as Russia and China’s transitions away from Communism,
the prospects for democracy in the Middle East, the tragedy of civil
war and poverty throughout most of Africa, the formation of the
European ‘suprastate,’ and the movement away from military
dictatorships throughout Latin America. If an issue of particular
interest to students is left off of the syllabus, the instructor will
be relatively flexible. Course requirements will include several
short article reviews, occasional quizzes over the readings, and a
take home mid-term and final.