PS 426: World Politics
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.

Grading: Final grades will be based the two papers and student participation. Each paper will be worth 40% of the final grade. Student participation will be based upon on the quality of student participation in class discussions and active involvement (you need to be present to participate but you also need to be involved and not let others do all the work) in the three group exercises and will count for 20% of the final grade. Please note that University policy on the grade of "incomplete" will be followed in this course. As stated on p. 33 of the UW General Catalogue: "An incomplete is given only when the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work until within two weeks of the end of the quarter and has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control." Also, I take plagiarism seriously and you should too. Make sure that you know what plagiarism is. For sure, it includes copying one of your classmates' papers. You, of course, are encouraged to talk about the paper assignments with you colleagues but you must write your own paper. Go here for a definition of plagiarism and important information about other issues regarding grading and academic conduct.
Required reading materials:
All reading matrials are in a course packet available at Professional Copy and Print
Located on the "AVE"
The reading packet contains material from the following four books
Robert Keohane, (Editor) Neorealism and its Critics
Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics
Robert Keohane, After Hegemony
Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics
Rules and Instructions for the three exercises can be found on the course web page.
Course Readings and Simulations
** Note the location for each class -- It varies so check before each class.
Savery 249 denoted - (SAV)
Pol Science Computer Classroom - Smith 220 (POL)
Experiments initially meet in Gowen 1A -- (GOW) for Group B on 2/17 but initially in Savery 249 for Group A on 2/24
1/6 SAV Course Overview

Book/Simulation1: Systemic Approaches to International Politics; Neorealism

Keohane, Neorealism and its Critics Pages, pp. 70-130
Robert Gilpin War and Change in World Politics, pp. 9-15, 50-210.
1/8 SAV -- Lecture on Waltz and Giplin
1/13 SAV -- Lecture on Waltz and Gilpin, Group Assignments and Preparation for The War and Trade Simulation
Make sure to read the Instructions for the Game of War and Trade (on course web page) and understand them thoroughly
The War and Trade Simulation - Group A 1/15 POL, 1/22 POL, 1/29, POL
The War and Trade Simulation - Group B 1/20 POL, 1/27 POL , 2/3 POL
2/5 SAV Wrap up -Waltz, Gilpin and the War and Trade Simulation Simulation
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Reading AssignmentsWar and TradePaper AssignmentLecture Outlines

Book/Simulation2: Cooperation and the Development of Institutions in International Politics

Keohane, After Hegemony pp. 5-17, 49-84, 135-216.
Wendt, Social Theory of International Relations, pp. 246-312.
2/10 SAV Lecture on Keohane and Wendt
2/12 SAV Lecture on Keohane and Wendt
2/17 GOW Experiments Group B
2/19 - No Class
Paper on Waltz/Gilpin and The War and Trade Simulation due by 5:00 P.M.

2/24 SAV Experiments Group A
2/26 SAV Discussion of Experiment Results and Setup for SimSociety Simulation
3/2 POL SimSociety Simulation - Group A
3/4 POL SimSociety Simulation - Group B
3/9 Extra time in the Lab for simulation work POL
3/11 SAV Wrap up Keohane/Wendt and SimSociety Simulation/Experiment and Course Conclusion
Paper on Keohane/Wendt and Experiment/SimSociety Simulation due 3/16 by 5:00 P.M
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Reading AssignmentsSim Society Research Info.Paper AssignmentLecture Outlines