PS 426: World Politics
Professor Stephen Majeski  Fall Quarter 1998
Office: Gowen Hall 39; Phone: 543-2399  MWF 10:00-11:20
Office hours: Tu 1-2, TH 11-12  CMU 226  

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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 of international politics that highlights various aspects of the theoretical approach. We will do three of these book/simulation pairs. Some simulations are game-like in nature and involve role-playing. Other simulations are computer based and require 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.

Course requirements: Students are expected to attend class and participate actively in class discussion. Students must participate in all three simulations run during the course of the quarter. Two of the three simulations will require students to work in teams. Each student will write (3) papers about the three-paired books and simulations we will work through this quarter. Papers cannot be written without a grasp of the theoretical material in the readings and participation in the simulations. Each student will write her/his own individual set of papers. Each of these papers has a maximum length limit of five (5) double-spaced pages (excluding simulation runs and other types of empirical analysis) with 12-pt. font and standard margins. I strongly encourage students to submit papers electronically and may require that papers are submitted electronically. 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. Precise writing assignments will be discussed at the appropriate time during the course. A class newsgroup will be set up for students to share thoughts and ideas about the course readings, how the simulations are progressing, and structured discussion about the writing assignments. In addition, all students will be required to attend two workshops (during regularly scheduled class time) organized by the department writing lab to acquaint you with their services, access to the newsgroup, and a peer review paper project that you will all be asked to participate in for the second paper assignment. The class will be divided into two groups to participate in the simulations and the two required workshops each group will be required to attend are listed in the syllabus.

Grading: Final grades will be based on the quality of student participation in class discussions and active involvement in the group simulations (20%) and on the three papers - 1st and 2nd papers worth 25% each and the third paper worth (30%). 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."
Required reading materials:
Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Relations
Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics
Robert Keohane, After Hegemony
Rules and Instructions for the three simulations can be found on the course web page.
Course Readings and Simulations
** Note the location for each class
CMU 226 - (CMU)
Geography Collaboratory - Smith 415C (GEO)
Pol Science Computer Classroom - Smith 220 (POL)
9/28 CMU Course Introduction and "Field Trip" to Political Science Computer Classroom, and Geography Computer Collaboratory

Book/Simulation1: Systemic Approaches to International Politics; Neorealism

9/30 CMU K. Waltz Theory of International Relations, Chs. 3 and 4.
10/2 CMU K. Waltz Theory of International Relations, Chs. 5 and 6. Diplomacy Rules and Instructions are on the course web page.
Diplomacy Simulation - Group A 10/5 GEO, 10/9 GEO, 10/14 GEO, 10/19 GEO
Group A - Writing workshop 1, 10/7 Gowen 1B - 10:00-10:30
Diplomacy Simulation - Group B 10/7 GEO, 10/12 GEO, 10/16 GEO, 10/21 GEO
Group B - Writing workshop 1, 10/9 Gowen 1B - 10:00-10:30
10/23 CMU Wrap up -Waltz and Diplomacy Simulation
Top of page
Reading AssignmentsDiplomacy RulesPaper AssignmentLecture Outlines

Book/Simulation2: Bringing Economics and Wealth into International Politics

10/26 CMU Robert Gilpin War and Change in World Politics Chs. 1 and 2.
10/28 CMU Robert Gilpin War and Change in World Politics Chs. 3-5. Rules and Instructions for the Game of War and Trade are on the course web page.
Paper on Waltz and the Diplomacy Simulation due 10/28 by 5:00 P.M.
The War and Trade Simulation - Group B 10/30 GEO, 11/4 GEO, 11/9 GEO, 11/16 GEO
Group B- Writing workshop 2 11/13 Gowen 1B - 10:00-11:20
The War and Trade Simulation - Group A 11/2 GEO, 11/6 GEO, 11/13 GEO, 11/18 GEO
Group A - Writing workshop 2 11/9 Gowen 1B - 10:00-11:20
11/20 CMU Wrap up - Gilpin and The War and Trade Simulation
Top of page
Reading AssignmentsWar and TradePaper AssignmentPeer Review ForumLecture Outlines

Book/Simulation3: Cooperation and the Development of Institutions in International Politics

11/23 CMU Robert Keohane, AfterHegemony, Chs. 1, 4, and 5.
11/25 CMU Robert Keohane, AfterHegemony, Chs. 8 and 9.
Paper on Gilpin and the Game of War and Trade Simulation due 11/25 by 5:00 P.M.
SimSociety Simulation - Group A 11/30 POL, 12/4 POL
SimSociety Simulation - Group B 12/2 POL, 12/7 POL
12/9 CMU Wrap up Keohane and SimSociety Simulation and Course Conclusion
Paper on Keohane and SimSociety Simulation due 12/14 by 5:00 P.M
Top of page
Reading AssignmentsSim Society Research Info.Paper AssignmentLecture Outlines