Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Readings POLSC 4 — World Politics (Spring 2014)

Dr. Donald Douglas, Long Beach City College, Spring 2014
POLSC 4 World Politics – Take-Home Essay Assignment

Students are to write a 4-6 page essay, double spaced with 10- or 12-point font, stapled in the upper left-hand corner. The topic is for students to use international relations theory to analyze Russia’s military incursion in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea into the Russia state. Students should focus on the following questions: What’s happening now in Ukraine and Crimea and why are events there important to international relations? What’s the problem from the perspective of international security? What are Russia’s interests in the region? (How do IR theories explain those interests?) What are U.S. interests, not just in Ukraine but for America’s global role? And, finally, how should the U.S. and the international community respond? Be sure to place these questions in the context of topics discussed in class, like the use of force, economic and military power, international institutions, and economic statecraft (like sanctions).

Students should use the textbook, James M. Scott et al., IR, for discussions of international theories (and pay attention to Ch. 9 on “Sanctions and Their Consequences,” which we haven’t yet covered). Also, see Daniel Drezner, “Bringing the Pain: Can Sanctions Hurt Putin Enough to Make Him Give-Up Crimea?” Foreign Policy, March 7, 2014; Julia Ioffie, “Putin's War in Crimea Could Soon Spread to Eastern Ukraine," New Republic, March 1, 2014; Jamie Kirchick, “How the ‘Realists’ Misjudged Ukraine,” Daily Beast, March 3, 2014; Victor Davis Hanson, “Putin Is Everything and More — But Not Stupid,” PJ Media, March 9, 2014; Gary Kasparov, “Vladimir Putin and the Lessons of 1938,” Politico, March 16, 2014; Ivan Krastev, “Russian Revisionism: Putin's Plan For Overturning the European Order,” Foreign Affairs, March 16, 2014; Steven Lee Myers et al., “Defying West, Putin Formally Claims Crimea for Russia,” New York Times, “March 19, 2014; Walter Russell Mead, “Red Lines in Ukraine,” American Interest, February 28, 2014 and “Putin Invades Crimea: Obama Hardest Hit?” American Interest, March 3, 2014; Mitt Romney, “The Price of Failed Leadership,” Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2014; and Carol Williams, “Costs to Russia for Crimea Seizure Far Beyond Pinprick Sanctions,” Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2014. (All readings are available online and will be posted at the class blog and announced in class.)

No other outside reading is necessary. That said, additional readings may be used, but only at the discretion of Professor Douglas (i.e., you will need advanced-approval for readings not included on this handout). The assignment is due at the beginning of class on Wednesday, April 9, 2014. Late papers are not accepted. Or, to be clear, it’s possible that I would accept a late paper in a genuine emergency, on the scale of personal hospitalization or the death of an immediate family member. A zero grade on the paper assignment will result in a “D” or “F” grade for the entire semester (depending on the student’s outstanding class average). Note that according to college policy, a critical thinking (writing) project is a requirement for all GE transfer classes.

Now, here’s the thing: The assignment forces students to think and write theoretically. Outline the main expectations of the theories you discuss. What theoretical approach provides the best explanation for events? What do you think? How important is Ukraine to American international relations and national security? Why or why not is Ukraine important? Plus, don’t be shy about sharing your opinion. What do you think should happen? How well are U.S. foreign policy leaders handling the crisis? What about Europe? Are the Europeans in tune with the U.S.? Why or why not? These prompts are not exhaustive. What else is important here? Have fun with the assignment and most of all, write a good paper.


Dr. Donald K. Douglas
Long Beach City College: Spring 2014
Office Location: T2361
Office Hours: M-W 10:05-11:05am; T-TH 2:30-4:00pm
E-mail: ddouglas [at]

Course Outline and Reading Assignments:

I. The Study of World Politics (Feb. 3, 5, and 10)

James M. Scott, Ralph G. Carter, and A. Cooper Drury, IR (Boston: Wadsworth, 2014), Chapter 1.
Jack Snyder, “One World, Rival Theories,” Foreign Policy (November/December 2004).

II. Anarchy, States and Non-State Actors (Feb. 12 and 19)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 2.
Kenneth Waltz, “The Anarchic Structure of World Politics” (1979), in Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, eds., International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues.
Jessica Mathews, “Power Shift,” Foreign Affairs (January/February 1997).

III. Liberalism and Realism (Feb. 24 and 26)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 3.
Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, “Realism and Complex Interdependence,” Chapter 2, in Power and Interdependence, 3rd edition (2001).

 *** Midterm Examination – March 3 ***

IV. Alternative Perspectives on IR (March 5 and 10)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 4.
Alexander Wendt, "Anarchy is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics," International Organization (Spring 1992), especially pp., 391-395, 403-407,and the conclusion.
J. Ann Tickner, "Engendered Insecurities: Feminist Perspectives on International Relations," in Gender in International Relations: Feminist Perspectives on Achieving Global Security (1992).

V. Understanding Conflict and War (March 12 and 17)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 5.
Joshua Goldstein, "Think Again: War," Foreign Policy (September/October 2011).

 *** Midterm Examination –March 19 ***

VI. International Conflict Management (March 24 and 26)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 6.
John Lewis Gaddis, "The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System,” International Security (Spring 1986).

VII. International Institutions and Security Cooperation (March 31 and April 2)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 7.
Charles Kupchan and Clifford Kupchan, "Concerts, Collective Security, and the Future of Europe," International Security (Summer 1991), especially pp. 113-137.
Madeleine Albright, "Think Again: The United Nations," Foreign Policy (September/October 2003).

VIII. Trade, Finance, and Economic Integration (April 7 and 9)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 8.
Helen Milner, "International Political Economy: Beyond Hegemonic Stability," Foreign Policy (Spring 1998).
Benjamin J. Cohen, "Currency and State Power," in Martha Finnemore and Judith Goldstein, eds., Back to Basics: State Power in a Contemporary World (Oxford University Press, 2013).

*** Midterm Examination – April 14 ***

IX. Economic Statecraft (April 16 and 28)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 9.
George A. Lopez and David Cortright, "Containing Iraq: Sanctions Worked," Foreign Affairs (July/August 2004).

X. Political Economy and Development (April 30 and May 5)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 10.
Andre Gunder Frank, "The Development of Underdevelopment," Monthly Review (September 1966).
"The Failure of Economic Development: Interview with William Easterly," Challenge (January/February 2002).
David Dollar and Aart Kraay, "Spreading the Wealth," Foreign Affairs (January/February 2002).
Ruchir Sharma, "Broken BRICs: Why the Rest Stopped Rising," Foreign Affairs (November/December 2012).

XI. Human Rights (May 7 and 12)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 11.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "The Politics of Human Rights," Commentary (August 1977).

*** Midterm Examination – May 14 ***

XII. The Global Environment (May 19 and 21)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 12.
Bjørn Lomborg, "Environmental Alarmism, Then and Now. The Club of Rome's Problem – and Ours," Foreign Affairs (July/August 2012).
Steven Hayward, "In Denial: The Meltdown of the Climate Campaign," Weekly Standard (2010).

XIII. Transitional Advocacy Networks (May 28)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 13.
Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, "Transnational Advocacy Networks in International and Regional Politics," International Social Science Journal (March 1999).

XIV. The Future of World Politics (June 2)

Scott, Carter and Drury, IR, Chapter 14.
Samuel Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations,” Foreign Affairs (Summer 1993).
Robert Kagan, "History's Back. Ambitious Autocracies, Hesitant Democracies," Weekly Standard (August 2008).

*** Final Examination – December 11 ***