|Professor Stephen Majeski||Winter Quarter 2004|
|Office: Gowen Hall 106; Phone: 543-2780||Tu,Th 10:30-12:20|
|Office hours: Monday 11-12, Thursday 1-2 or by Apt.||Savery 249 and other locations|
About the course: In this course, we will examine how international politics appears to work. That is, how nation-states act and interact with each other in particular structural contexts and produce various characteristics of the global system (i.e., conflict, cooperation, economic growth, and changes in the distribution of wealth) and how various structural arrangements of international politics, such as the distribution of power or geography, help explain the behavior of nation-states. We will address these issues in two interrelated ways. First, we will read about and discuss an important theoretical approach to explaining international politics. Second, all students will participate in a simulation or experiment of international politics that highlights various aspects of the theoretical approach. We will do three of these book/simulation pairs. One simulation is game-like in nature and involve role-playing. A second exercise will involve students taking part in an experiment. A second simulation is computer based and requires students to work with a few computer programs that represent in various ways aspects of international politics. No initial computer skills are required. Students will learn all they need to know in a few short sessions. Access to computers will be provided via the Political Science Computer Classroom and the instructor will make sure that every student can successfully work with the computer simulations. This is not your typical international relations course. It is a hands on course. No. You will not get to "do" international relations -- there will be no "please start World War III and discuss assignments" -- but you will be put into situations "like" what people who "do" international relations find themselves in and then write about those experiences.
Course requirements: Students are expected to attend class and participate actively in class discussion. Students must participate in all three exercises (The War and Trade simulation, and experiment, and the Simsociety simulation) run during the course of the quarter. Two of the three exercises will require students to work in teams. Each student will write (2) papers. One will combine the Waltz and Gilpin readings and the War and Trade Simulation. A second will combine the Wendt and Keohane readings and the experiment and SimSociety simulations. Papers cannot be written without a grasp of the theoretical material in the readings and participation in the exercises. Each student will write her/his own individual set of papers. Each of these papers has a maximum length limit of eight (8) double-spaced pages (excluding simulation runs and other types of empirical analysis) with 12-pt. font and standard margins. If you do not have an e-mail account, make sure you get one right away. It is crucial that you have your papers and supporting data, computer runs or analysis backed up electronically. I will not accept any excuses about "lost" computer files. Also, late papers (unless you have received from me an extension before the paper is due) are docked .2 per day. Extensions will only be granted for valid medical excuses. Precise writing assignments can be found on this webpage. The class will be divided into two groups to participate in the exercizes. So when we are doing the simulations people will not be attending every scheduled class time. Groups will alternate days as the simulations will be run with the class divided into two groups. This will give people ample opportunity to do the class readings and work on paper assignments.
Book/Simulation1: Systemic Approaches to International Politics; Neorealism
Book/Simulation2: Cooperation and the Development of Institutions in International Politics